40 - Reunited: Day Thirty-Four (Continued)

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 "Are we just sitting down for this one?" Mel asked as she, Emma, Geri, and Victoria were herded into a small conference room which had been set up with a backdrop, lights, cameras, a sofa, and a few bean bag chairs.

"They have a few activities planned, but nothing strenuous," Simon replied as he followed the girls into the room. "It should only take about an hour and then you have another interview with a game segment after this."

The host, Chester, introduced himself to the girls, shaking each of their hands and guiding them over to the set to get comfortable. He sat in his chair and looked over the cue card the producer had given him.

"I'm just going to ask a few questions I'm sure you've already been asked a thousand times before," said Chester. "We want to know about the tour, the accident, everything that's been going on with you girls, and a bit about the future of the tour."

"Melanie woke up a few minutes ago," Simon announced to the girls. "Karin is just touching her up a bit then AJ's going to bring her here."

"She's comfortable enough to hang out with the crew?" Chester asked. "From what I've heard, that's a big improvement."

"No, she's going to do the interview with us," Victoria replied.

"I don't know if she'll say anything though," Mel added. "You can try asking some questions if you'd like and we'll see how she makes out."

"Really?" Chester exclaimed. "I was under the impression she wasn't going to be joining us."

"She seems to be ready," Victoria replied. "It's just the last few days she's really started to relax around everyone. Today's the first day we've all been able to get a few words out of her."

Their conversation was interrupted as the door opened and AJ and Melanie entered the room. Melanie seemed to be much more steady on her feet than earlier, but was still gripping AJ's hand tightly and looked half asleep as she walked slowly into the room.

"Hi, babes!" Emma exclaimed excitedly. She gripped her mic pack as she stood to make sure it wouldn't fall, then rushed over to Melanie, hugging her tightly. "How are you feeling?" Melanie shrugged and timidly returned Emma's embrace.

"You still want to join us for the interview?" Emma asked, leaning back and rubbing Melanie's arms in an attempt to keep her relaxed. "You don't have to if you don't want to." Melanie looked over at the other girls and nodded, not looking completely comfortable with the idea.

"Come sit with me," Emma stated, wrapping her arm around Melanie and leading her over to the bean bags. "They're just going to set you up with a mic so everyone can hear you, all right?" Melanie looked over at Chester and flinched as one of the audio guys approached her.

"I'll do that!" said Geri, getting up and taking the mic from the audio guy. She showed Melanie the mic and had Melanie drop the cord down her shirt and clip it to her collar as Geri fastened the pack to the back of Melanie's jeans. "See, we've all got them," said Geri as Melanie looked at her uncomfortably. "You get used to it."

Melanie sat quietly, looking at the floor and not wanting to acknowledge anyone. Emma looked at her with concern and gently hugged her close. "You ok?" she asked, her smile fading. Melanie nodded, still looking at the floor. "Did something happen? What is she not wanting to tell us?" She looked over at AJ worriedly.

"Hey, remember what I said?" AJ said with sympathy as he approached the set and knelt in front of Melanie. "No one's going to be upset with you. What happened wasn't bad."

"What happened?" Victoria asked with concern. She sat on the couch behind the beanbags and ran her fingers through Melanie's hair. Melanie looked up at AJ tearfully, silently pleading with him not to say any more.

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