Lisa and Michael were alone in the breakroom. Dave and Sarah went to go get some take out Chinese. Beth was busy helping Mr. James find out why Matthew was acting so strange. And Dave said that Michael didn’t have to go everywhere with Sarah and was welcome at the station any time. Either with Sarah or alone.
“So, you seem to know Sarah better than I do. How is she doing?” Lisa asked.
“She’s fine. She just wishes Spring break lasted longer.”
“Oh that’s right. Next Tuesday is the day yall go back to school.”
“Yeah. I’m looking forward to it really. I have some new songs I’d like to share with my teacher. And some of my poems are suppose to be printed in the school magazine along with stories and drawings. Sarah’s drawing of a wolf howling at the moon is gonna be in it. She doesn’t know though.”
“I’ve never seen her draw anything like that. Oh, but once when Sarah was a little girl she drew the WNYX logo all by herself. Right then, we knew she had a thing for art. And Dave posted it up on the fridge. It was very good for a four year old.”
Michael smiled and said, “What ever happened to Sarah’s mom?”
Lisa never thought that this would come up. She couldn’t lie to Michael. “Well, If I do tell you, you have to promise me something.”
“To never tell anyone I told you.”
Michael looked around the breakroom, “Ok…”
“Sarah’s real mother died a long time ago. Sarah’s father murdered her, and they didn’t find the body till years after. Her father is in jail now. He treated Sarah so badly and obviously couldn’t take care of her. So one day he dropped her off on this floor. And I found her crying behind a potted plant. Dave and I took her out to lunch; which she obviously hadn’t had in awhile. And when we called security Dave talked them into letting him take care of Sarah till they found her dad. She and Dave were inseparable. They drank from the same black cup of coffee, and that’s even when she drew her WNYX logo. Then came the day when they found Sarah’s dad. Dave ran into his office with Sarah and didn’t come out for a while. Sarah had been crying hard that day and Her father said he was gonna put her up for adoption and Dave adopted her.” Lisa finished the story.
“I knew it…” Michael said under his breath.
“How come Sarah doesn’t know?”
“She doesn’t remember. And so why bother telling her”
Michael saw where she was coming from.
“Have you noticed anything different about Sarah today?” Lisa changed the subject after a period of awkward silence.
“She looks different. Something new. She looks older, more grown up. You don’t see it?”
“N-no…” Michael’s paranoia was at an eleven on a scale from 1-10.
“Huh. I wonder if I’m the only one. Hey, Beth!” Lisa called. Beth came in wearing a directive hat.
“Did you notice anything different about Sarah today?”
“Yeah, yeah, she looked older in some way.”
“I’m not the only one. Michael doesn’t see it.
“How could you not? It's really noticeable.”
“N-n-n-n-no, It’s not noticeable! There’s nothing new with Sarah, she doesn’t look different, There’s nothing going on!” Michael ran out of the breakroom
“…Ok, what’s he on today?” Beth remarked sarcastically.
“S-S-Sarah!” Michael pulled her aside and whispered, “Lisa knows, and Beth too.”
“They were saying how you look different, more grown up, meaning more mature and experienced looking!” Where’s Matthew’s paranoid gnome song when ya need it?
“Michael, stop being so paranoid.” She tapped his hand
“I can’t. What if they know?! They'll tell Dave and I won't see you ever again.”
He was really worried. He took one of the bags she was carrying and set it on the table with the other bags. After the food was set out and everybody grabbed a plate of food, Michael and Sarah took off and sat on the floor next to the snack machine.
“Dave, do you think Sarah looks different today?” Lisa asked Dave.
“She looks different in some way, yes. But I don’t know what it is.”
“Us either. Me and Beth can’t quite put our finger on it. Michael doesn’t notice.” Lisa licked her fork. “Oh, and Dave?”
“Why did you split this morning?”
“W-w-w-well. There’s a perfectly good explanation for that, in my office.” Dave walked into his office.
“So, ya wanna go back to my place maybe my mom will be at work.” Michael said.
“Sure. Only if she’s gone.”
“She will be at work tonight. And my sister is at her boyfriends all the time. We might be there alone, I can finally show you my bedroom, it’s rearranged.” Michael smiled.
“Dad!” Sarah slid onto Dave’s desk. “Can I go to Michael’s tonight? His mom isn’t gonna be there.”
“Uh, sure. Just be sure to be home by 10. When ya gonna leave?”
“Like around 8.”
“Ok.” Dave was busy with his laptop.
Sarah hopped out of his office.
Sarah looked around the room. Michael’s walls were covers with papers that were stapled on, his song lyrics, and every one he ever wrote, the original ones, the ones he wrote for the first time. His bed was very big and he had black sheets and pillow cases,and a red blanket. He had a desk in the corner next to the closet where it was dark. Beside his bed there was a bedside table with a red hanging lamp above it. There was a stereo on the floor next to the table. His room look so odd, and yet amazing and all these different things.
“Nice,…”Sarah sat on his bed.
After an awkward silence, Michael offered her a drink. He'd brought a can of Coke and a bottle of water for him. He sat on his bed and opened his water, he looked at his walls, then Sarah. “There’s the one about us.” He pointed to a song lyric on the wall that was next to the bed. She smiled and sipped her Coke. She began to read it and she knew how he felt. In the song he expressed his feelings about Sarah and them. Sarah felt the same way. She had never felt so strong about some one, never so close.
Dave looked at Lisa, “We gonna take another shot at this? The other times it didn’t work. What makes you think it will work this time?”
“We can try can’t we?” Lisa looked up with those big brown eyes. Dave smiled and kissed her.
Michael ran his fingers down Sarah’s back and listened to the music on the stereo. They were under the covers together and Sarah had fallen asleep. It was 9:38, as it grew closer to ten the more he didn’t want to wake Sarah. He moved his hands over her bare back and sighed. He didn’t want to get up, wake her up, or let her leave his side. But he’d get in real trouble so he had to. So he enjoyed what little time he had, and whispered, “I love you” into her ear.
“Have fun?” Dave asked when he picked Sarah up.
“…Uh, yeah,” She was a little confused and a little bit paranoid herself. But not enough to freak out.
“Great, Michael, uh, tomorrow would you like to come over? I’m gonna go out to dinner with Lisa and you can keep Sarah company.” Dave said.
“Oh you can come over anytime, just need to stay over till like eleven.”
“Dad it’s not like he’s babysitting me.” Actually it kind a was.
“Ok.” Michael smiled.
“Bye, Michael!” Dave walked out of the apartment.
“Bye.” Sarah said shyly. She kissed him and didn’t want to go. She wanted to stay with him forever, but nothing lasted that long.
“Bye.” Michael waved them goodbye.