*cough* "yeah so I'm gonna go...hmm...yeah..." Teeny briskly followed Chrissy to the counter and ordered five Black Cows, hoping the ice cream would be hard to scoop so she could stay away from the unease a little longer. She booted Chrissy over a seat and eyed the heavily eye-linered waitress.
"What'll it be boys?"
"How many times do we have to go through this we're not bo..."
"Five black cows please" Teeny cut in before her friend started her speech on clear gender lines for the fourteenth time. She noticed the look Chrissy shot her and ignored it; one argument was enough for the day. The waitress sauntered off to the back leaving a trail of eyes behind her.
Chrissy was knocked out of her trance of the waitress, by Teeny whispering next to her, "I'm thinking once they're over this little boy squabble we should go pick up our bikes and have an unofficial sleepover in the tree house again" Teeny smiled widely flashing her latest move star look and a toothy grin, knowing it would take a lot to convince Chrissy.
"And again....no!" she shot back, "we can't just invite ourselves into it before we've even bought it, I swear the amount of sleepover's we had in the last one before we took it home is what made it collapse on the swings" she stressed. Teeny's smile dropped as she fondly remembered their first tree house, it took them so long to get the money together, but when they did, their entire friendship revolved around it. "Do you know how many lectures I got on garden safety after that?! And I'm not just talking the regular outdoorsy type either, my mum saw Scott jump over the fence after it collapsed (Roberta invited him over) and mom totally got the wrong idea."
"Huh?" Teeny looked at her blankly "Scott...Garden safety...you're making no sense again"
"You remember when I finally talked to my mum about, you know...umm..." Teeny was once again filled with the blank looks. Chrissy leaned in close and whispered "planting the seed and...." Teeny's eyes widening told Chrissy that she understood. "Oh...ok..." she tried to stop her giggling and looked at her friend seriously waiting for her to continue. "Well now mum uses all these gardening code words for...you know...the S word...its weird"
'Uh huh....' She couldn't hold it in any longer; she burst out laughing uncontrollably as Chrissy looked on totally embarrassed. They where both knocked out of their conversation to hear Joey's door slam shut. They all looked out of the window to see Tara running down the street. With her hair flowing behind her catching the sun, Tara glanced behind her once last time before turning the corner, allowing her friends to see her red and sore eyes filling with more tears, and she was gone.
Everyone looked at Sam hoping she was going to fill them in on what just happened, but it appeared Sam was too busy comforting a blubbering Roberta against her chest. The door bell still jingled against the wood still after the harsh blow Tara gave it, silencing the entire Milk Bar.
Later that evening Chrissy decided she couldn't ignore what was going on for much longer, she grabbed her bike to cycled over to Tara's place, everyone had split for the day, deciding they needed a bit of a break from each other...all except Teeny who spent her whole day bored out of her mind. When Chrissy got there all the lights where off but the car was still in the drive way. She peered into the windows using her hand to stop the light of the gas lamps blocking her view in, but she could see nothing but empty dank rooms. Very confused, she pushed her bike around the side of the house but was paused instantly as she heard crashing and what sounded like a yelp shortly afterwards. She was frozen in her spot for a second; that was until she realized who that yelp belonged to, everything clicked as the quiet around the house it turned into slow sobbing.
"Tara..." she whispered.
Chrissy dragged her bike away from view clumsily as she heard someone coming down the stairs inside. She sweeped behind the side of the house, and pressed her back up against the wooden wall feeling the raindrops that had fell earlier that day absorbing into her new white sweater. The front door slammed shut and she could hear the footsteps coming closer. Her breathing increased rapidly, she closed her eyes and took a big deep breath in, holding it and pleaded to any holy spirit out there for Tara's father not to see her. Her back was getting cold and damp, she could hear nothing. Chrissy slowly she exhaled an opened her eyes slowly. Only too see two angry ones starring right back at her.
"Chrissy...what... are you doing... here" his voice was harsh and unfriendly, a face still pressed near hers, wavering as he tried to keep balance. It was so close she could smell the whisky on his breath and see the yellow teeth being absorbed by his cracked lips as he let each word slither out. She could almost make out a shadow against his chin where he must not have shaved for days, the bristle looking sore and violent. She was isolated in shock starring back at this intruding face. She looked up at the moon and gathered herself together again, smiled and slid out from his arm leaning by her head.
"I was just, um, I thought, Tara would want to borrow my bike tomorrow...so I uh, was leaving it here" She looked down at her feet shuffling about the concrete floor waiting for his response.
"Well isn't that nice of you..." Without another word, or question of why Tara couldn't use her own bike, he stumbled away and climbed into his car speeding down the gas light edition drive. Usually Chrissy would be worried for his safety but all she felt now was scared and shocked.
Without another thought she ran to the front door and swung it open, paced up the stairs and ran down the dark hallway looking for Tara's room, she had only been in the house once before and now she knew why, the carpets where dirty and walls where smeared with things she didn't even want to think about. How could such a beautiful girl come from such a horrible hole? It looked nothing like this from the outside. She slowed down as a she saw the flickering of a TV reflecting on the hall wall from one of the rooms. She silently walked past glancing in to see Tara's brother Donny's sitting in his underwear passed out in front of the box surrounded by beer cans.
Finally she reached Tara's room, pushing open the door ever so slightly out of fear; Chrissy's eyes fell on a lump shadowed in the corner by the window, she knew it was Tara, her trademark hair was glowing against the moon, and she could see the tears still forming out of those gorgeously blue eyes. Damaged eyes, she thought. Without another beat, she ran to Tara and swooped her into her arms, letting her cry, despite the protests Tara put up about Chrissy being there, she stayed and kept a hold of her best friend, and stayed there til morning.