''You did amazing, lovey!'' I say while I pick Emma up. She had her first judo tournament today and she was nervous about it, but she did so well.
''But I lost more matches then I won, Sammy!''
''That doesn't matter, Em. You tried your best and you didn't give up. So forget that you didn't won all your matches, I want to know if you had fun.''
Emma looks at me and I see tears well up in her eyes.
''What's wrong, Emma?''
''Mom always got so mad at you when you didn't win. I don't want her or you to get mad at me.''
I hug Emma tightly and I smile, but from the inside I'm fuming. I always thought that Emma never knew how bad things were between me and our mother. We never fought in her presence, I made sure of that. At least I thought I made sure of that.
''Lovey, nobody is mad at you. Mom is not mad at you and neither am I.''
''Mom is mad, Sammy. Why else wouldn't she call or visit, she didn't even call on my birthday!''
I put Emma on the bench and I kneel before her. According to our agreement mom was allowed to call Emma once a week, but she never did. She never called or responded to my messages and it made me not wanting to try anymore. I always knew that my mom didn't care about me, but I still had hope for Emma. But that hope was now crushed for good.
But I can't tell Emma that! I have to think of something that she could understand, even if that meant that I have to lie to her.
''Emma, do you remember that big fight mom and I had? Mom stayed away for a few days and after that we had a talk with that nice lady?''
I smile and nod.
''Yes, miss Eve. Miss Eve is a social worker and she spoke with me, but also with mom. Miss Eve said that mom had to work on herself, before she could take care of us. That's why we're living with aunt Laurel and uncle Thomas now. So I think mom didn't call because she is doing that.''
Emma wipes away her tears and she smiles back at me.
''I forgot about that! Yes, mom must be doing that. That's good, because it means she wants us back! Can I order chicken nuggets, Sammy?''
A half truth, but at least it would spare Emma a lot of pain.
''Of course, now hop on.''
I turn around and Emma climes on my back. I let Emma order for the two of us, before I bring her to the play corner. I keep an eye on her while I wait for our order. A lot of kids from the high school are here. Isabella waves at me and I smile.
That girl was a firecracker and then I remember that Isabella is also on the track team. Maybe Millie was here! I look for her through the crowd. Then I see Alexander. He seems to be here with some of his teammates, since they all are wearing the same sports jackets.
The black and white jacket looks good on him and then I see who Alexander is talking to. Trisha laughs at something that Alexander said and she takes a step toward him. Her hand is on his arm and she keeps batting her eyelashes at him.
''Miss, your order is ready.''
I sigh in relieve and I take the bag.
''Alexander! I didn't won all my matches today, but we're still having chicken nuggets!''
I look stunned at Emma, where did she came from? Emma has the biggest smile on her face, but her eyes are a bit red. Has she been crying?
''That's right, you had your first tournament today! So how did you do, Emma?''
Emma looks curiously at Trisha before she turns her attention back to me.
''I thought I could do better, but Sammy said that I did good and that's why were are having chicken nuggets!''
''Emma, let's go!'' I hear a familiar voice shout.
''Your sister is calling you, you better hurry before she leaves without you!'' Trisha says impatiently.
''Sammy would never do that!'' Emma snaps. ''She would never leave me!''
''Just hurry along now.'' Trisha says annoyed ans she tries to push Emma in the direction of the door. ''Alexander, we have to go now if we don't want to be late.''
''Don't touch me!''
People are glaring in our direction and then things are spinning out of control. Within an instant Samantha is there and she is towering over Trisha.
''Lay your hands on my sister again and I will make you regret it, you wicked witch!''
Samantha stares Trisha down in fury, before turning around en grabbing Emma's hand.
''Let's go, Emma! Don't want to miss the bus because of her!''
''Bye, Alexander! Bye wicked witch. There is a broom, so you won't be late at wherever you are going!''
Samantha starts laughing as she and Emma walk out of the door and she is not the only one. My teammates are rolling on the floor from laughter, but I just grab my stuff and leave.
''Where are you going?'' I hear Trisha shout, but I ignore her.
Outside I see Samantha and Emma sitting on the bench by the bus station.
''We missed the bus, Em. Now we have to wait fifteen minutes.'' I hear Samantha say.
''But do we have to wait fifteen minutes to eat our chicken nuggets?'' Emma counters.
''You could or I could give you two ladies a ride.''
Emma looks up and she chuckles.
''We won't fit!''
''In my car?'' I ask slightly confused.
''No, on her broom! That girl said you two had to go, so how will we all fit on her broom?''
''She can take the broom, we will take my car.''
Emma jumps up and she grabs Samantha's hand.
''No we don't have to wait for the bus, Sammy!''
Samantha smiles, but she still doesn't look at me.
We walk to the car and I cal tell she is pissed off. Samantha puts Emma in the backseat and she hands her the bag.
''Don't eat them all, Em.''
Emma nods and Samantha closes the door.
''Home?'' I ask.
''In a minute,'' Samantha grumbles as she looks at something on her phone.
''You do know that there is nothing going on between me and Trisha, right?''
Samantha arches an eyebrow and she shrugs her shoulders, while she puts the phone away.
''You don't need to explain yourself to me. You are free to do whatever you want with whoever you want. We are just friends remember? Can we go now?''
''Just a moment.'' I say and before Samantha can say anything else, I pull her into a hug.
''I'm glad that you are back. I missed you, Jones.''
''Why, was Trisha not good company?''
''So it is bothering you!''
''That witch bothers me! I don't care if she talks bad about me or that she gives me dirty looks. I don't care if she thinks that I don't belong here and that she pours her drink on me at parties. But if she comes after Emma, she is dead!''
''She did what?''
I'm trying not to let my anger get the better part of me. Yes, I knew Trisha had a crush on me. I knew that she and Samantha didn't get along, but this?
''Why didn't you tell me about any of this?''
Samantha shrugs her shoulders and she lets out a deep sigh.
''It was just petty mean girl stuff and I get it. She really likes you and then this new girl comes along. Besides I can't say that I was very nice to her when we were introduced at the movies.''
I pull Samantha back to me and I shake my head.
''That doesn't make it okay and something else, I don't want you to think that I'm seeing other people.''
Samantha looks up at me and finally I see a real smile on her face.
''You're not even tempted, I mean shouldn't dating be fun and easy?''
''I never dated before, not counting those horrible double dates Tyler made me go on. With you it felt right from the beginning, like we known each other for a long time. That's why I was not ready to just give up on us. That feeling is still there, just like it is now. So no, I'm not tempted.''
Samantha buries her face in my chest and I chuckle.
''Are you blushing, Jones?''
''Yes,'' Samantha groans.
''Should I take you home now?''
''That would be wise, because my self control is crumbling.''
''Join the club, but we really should go. We have an audience and Emma is still eating those chicken nuggets.''
Samantha looks over her shoulder and she sees my teammates smirking in our direction. Without any hesitation she turns back to me and she kisses me. Her arms wrap around my neck as she pulls me closer and I answer her kiss eagerly.
''Samantha, now we really have to go!''
''Shit, is Emma throwing up?''
''I don't know. All I know is that I'm not the only one that is really glad that you are back.''