Thunderstorm

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Chapter 16

Emily was looking out of her window again. There was something about the sound of cars racing by amidst the sunset that filled the metropolis that calmed her.

She was thinking about Sara. She already knew she was pregnant. Jake had gone to Sara's office the day before. She assumed she had told him then.

Emily sighed. Why was everything changing so fast? Why couldn't things be the way they were 5 years ago? Or before her parents died? She wished they were still alive. They would know what to do about Jennifer, about Operation 77. Everything was so much easier back then.

She heard the door open, snapping her back to reality. It was Jake again. He was probably going to tell her that Sara was pregnant. Or maybe it was about Jennifer. No, definitely the former.

"Emily. I need to talk to you about something." Jake said.

"I know." Unfortunately.

He walked over to her. They sat down on the chairs next to the window that Emily just remembered were there.

"Sara's pregnant." Jake said. Emily, of course, already knew that. It seemed as though he said it more as a statement to himself, trying to believe it.

Emily simply nodded in response.

"Look, just because she's pregnant now doesn't mean that I'm not still your brother."

Emily smiled, knowing where he was getting this from.

"This was the same thing Mom and Dad told you when Mom was pregnant with me, wasn't it?"

"How did you know?"

"The way you were saying it, like you were trying to remember the specific way they said it, the words they said. Like you were rehearsing it in your head this whole time."

"You're very smart, you know that?"

Jake always said that to her.

"Only because you keep reminding me." Emily said.

"Anyway, I know you've been under a lot of stress lately, with Jennifer and everything."

"I'm fine."

"You don't have to lie to me, Emily."

"I'm just not used to it, that's all."

"Were you thinking about Vivian? Because this isn't like that, Sara and I are in love."

"I wasn't."

"I'm still sorry about that."

"It's fine. I don't hold that against you. You were 20 years old."

"And you were 15. I shouldn't have exposed that to you that young."

"It wasn't your fault."

Emily looked out the window again. She could feel Jake's eyes on her, watching her every move, like she was going to start to flip out randomly or something.

"Emily."

He said that quietly, unlike her parents' irritable tone when she started to look out the window. Emily, stop daydreaming. Emily, stop muttering about cell molecules and how electrons are made. She could always act like herself when she was around Jake.

She turned towards him again.

"I don't want our relationship to be different because of this," Jake continued. "You can still act the same way around me."

"I know."

After a long silence, Emily asked:

"You're in love with her?"

Jake nodded.

Emily sighed. "Oh."

They stood up, and Jake hugged her.

"I still love you." he said.

They stood there in silence.

"Are you okay?" Jake asked after a few minutes.

No. Emily thought. "I'm fine." she said out loud.

Jake let go of her, and left the room.

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