Emily: "Remind me again why we thought doing this ourselves was a good idea."
Mary: "We wanted a fresh start without any strings attached?"
Emily: "You don't think we could have paid the guys off with some beer and pizza?"
Mary: "The thought hadn't even occurred to me. Actually, I'm sort of wishing they had helped us."
Emily: "It's a bit late for that now. We'll just have to keep that in mind for when we move out, which will have to be under cover of darkness if Tristan and James are going to be helping."
Emily: "We are planning on eventually moving out of here, right?"
Mary: "Hey, it may not be a mansion in Beverly Hills, but it's ours. It's nice to be doing things for ourselves for a change."
Emily: "That's true. I do appreciate you letting me follow you around again."
Mary: "It's not like you didn't pay the deposit and won't be paying half the rent. You're not exactly mooching off me."
Emily: "True, though I'm still seething over my credit being destroyed."
Mary: "You still think Stone was behind that one too?"
Emily: "No doubt. Just another game…"
Emily's voice trailed off, her eyes focusing on a small area of worn hardwood a few feet in front of her. The last six months had been filled with quiet healing, both the physical and emotional wounds mending slowly. The days had flowed together, hours bleeding into hours with little to distinguish one from the other. Summer had been replaced by autumn in the blink of an eye.
Mary: "Hey, are you all right?"
Emily: "Yeah, just thinking again. Wondering where all the time went."
Mary: "It went into getting better."
Emily: "I suppose that's true, but it still seems like it sort of vanished."
Mary: "You had some good pain meds at the beginning. I'm still jealous actually."
Emily: "About the only thing I remember about those is the floor being all squishy. Oh and the glowing wall-worms."
Mary: "That's how you know they were good."
Emily smiled. So much had happened between them, yet they'd managed to come out from it all stronger than ever. They'd never talked about what had happened, instead sharing a silent understanding of forgiveness and gratitude. Emily figured they could always talk about it if they needed to, when the time was right. In the mean time, there was no reason to dwell on terrible events that had happened that night.
Emily: "So did we get all our stuff over here?"
Mary: "I'm pretty sure. It still feels like something's missing."
Emily: "We got all the pots and pans from the kitchen, right?"
Mary: "Yeah, I dragged that beast of a box up here first thing. Did we remember the bathroom stuff? The hamper and all that?"
Emily: "Yep. That's the box I dropped down the stairs three times."
Mary: "I hope that scale broke. It's a lying piece of crap."
Emily: "Knowing our luck it's still in one piece. I think we got everything."
Mary: "Can't we just pretend we have furniture?"
Emily: "Sure, we can sit on imaginary chairs while we eat dinner at our imaginary table. Then we can sleep in imaginary beds. It'll be great, like when we were kids and had that imaginary pirate ship, complete with imaginary parrots."
Mary: "Shit. At least we managed to remember to bring the Old Radiation King."
Emily: "Which is still in the back of the car."
Emily: "So the question is, are there any non-seedy furniture-type stores open right now that will deliver a pair of mattresses for us tonight without costing us an arm and a leg each?"
Mary: "You may be asking too much."
Emily: "Then I guess we spend one more night at the old homestead, or sleep here on the floor. Pick your poison."
Before Mary had a chance to open her mouth, she was interrupted by a loud knocking at the door. She looked at Emily, who merely shrugged, before heading to the door and looking cautiously through the glass panes, letting out a stifled laugh as she worked her way through the half-dozen locks.