Eight

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Lester spent the rest of the week looking into lawyers and speaking to legal aids about his situation. The entire process drained him both physically and emotionally. By Saturday he found himself unable to muster the energy to shower or prepare a decent meal. Saturday evening rolled around he found himself sitting on the couch mindlessly flipping through TV stations when someone knocked on his door. For a moment he considered not answering but he gave in when they knocked a second time. Languidly he got up opened the door. On the other side he found Lars.

"Hey man, I got your address from Jack. I hope you don't mind." Lars said with a dopey grin on his face.

"That's fine,what do you need?" Lester asked befuddled by his former co-workers appearance at his door.

Lars held up a case of beer. "I thought we could just hang out and have some beers.What do you think?"

Lester shrugged."Not like I have anything better to do. Come on in."

Lars stepped passed Lester into the living room. He looked around noting the neatness ofit all. "Nice place. A little small for my tastes, but nice."

"I like to live simply. Let's me save a lot of money for retirement. That's probably ruined now though." Lester said entering the room. "Have a seat."

Lars sat down in the center of the couch and set the beer on the coffee table. Lester sat in his easy chair to Lars' right. Lars cracked open the cardboard container and passed on to Lester. "So, how's it going?"

"Not great."

"No, I imagine not."

"How are thing sat the office?"

"Same ol' shit.You know how it is. The ladies love their gossip and rumors are starting to spread about you."

"I'm not surprised. Word gets around fast in that place." Lester threw back half of his bottle in a single chug.

"Not like this though. I caught someone saying you killed a guy and that you were already sent up the river."

"No shit? Killed a guy. They must think pretty highly of me." Lester couldn't fathom the sheer insanity of the notion.

"I know right? I don't know who started that one nut it's completely absurd. Anyway I've been reining in the crazier stories going around for what that's worth."

"What have you been telling people?" Lester asked between sips of beer.

"That it's none of their damn business mostly." Lars emptied his bottle and grabbed another. "Everyone knows I know the truth and I'm not talking."

"I appreciate that."

"No problem man,it's the least I can do for you in this situation."

Lester knocked back the rest of his beer and grabbed a second. "What's your plans for the rest of the weekend? Surely you have better things to do than hang out her with me."

"Nothing much. I really don't have anywhere better to be. That's why I'm here. I figured you could use some brews and company after all this madness up ended your life."

"You're not wrong on either count." Lester sank back into his chair.

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Jackie spent the rest of the week working and slowly acclimating to life in an empty apartment. By the time Saturday dawned she stopped going into Elijah's room in the morning to wake him up for school in a sleepy haze. Saturday morning she sat down to a proper meal for the first time since Elijah passed. Her plate lie before her heaped high with biscuits and gravy, eggs, and sausage.

When she finished breakfast she found herself with nothing to do for the rest of the day. An unfamiliar thing to have so much free time on her hands. For a moment she thought back on what she used to do before Elijah was born. Sex, she thought, Lots of sex. Something she had not done in a long time. Not since Elijah's father was killed in Afghanistan all those years ago. Also not something she could occupy herself with at the moment. It occurred to her then that she had gone a long time without updating her profile on the dating websites.

She chose then to pull out her laptop and log into her account. First thing she looked up were her photos which she discovered were at least years old and were in her opinion shameful representations of her fabulous self.This would not do at all. She went to her room and raided her closet looking for something that would catch a mans attention. Once she finished getting dressed she found a suitable wall to pose against and snapped some new selfies with her phone. After uploading those she went to work on updating her personal information.

The next time she looked at a clock she discovered she'd spent four hours browsing through men's profiles. Her stomach grumbled as it too realize the time had come for some sort of lunch. She stood up, stretched, and took a break from man hunting for a meal.

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Saturday marked Emma's first day off since the previous Saturday and she looked forward to a day of sitting around, and resting her tired feet. She knew too that Spoony would be out late working so she could genuinely relax and do whatever she wanted. A rare occurrence. In fact she had no idea what she was going to do with herself, but whatever she ended up doing it would be comfortably in her pajamas.

"I'm leaving."Spoony said as he put on his trench coat.

"When will you be home?" Emma asked, getting up to give him a kiss good bye.

He turned away from her forcing her to plant a kiss on his cheek. "Whenever the party stops or my supply runs dry. Whichever comes first." He opened the door and left without another word.

"Bye" Emma said to t he closed door.

She returned to the couch and picked up her tablet. She flicked through websites aimlessly for a while until she got bored and returned the device to the table. Her attention then turned to the TV where she quickly found her favorite show Deathwatch and watched intently.

The show played out like it normally did. Half an hour of explaining the history of the building followed by night-vision footage of them wandering around trying to contact ghosts then finally reviewing the recordings and breaking down their findings in a chat with the owner. In this case they were in an old farm house from the early nineteen hundreds.After some badly faked drama they sat down in the owners kitchen and revealed that all the things he experienced in the house was most likely caused by the magnetic field of the ancient outdated wiring therefore it was not in fact haunted. He didn't agree with their findings, as happens sometimes, and then the show wrapped up with a teaser of the next episode.

Emma yawned and stretched her arms. Her mind drifted back to the support group earlier in the week. Things got pretty raw in there.She thought. She still hadn't decided whether to go back or not. There would be no escaping the groups disdain for Spoony if she did. He's not bad.She told herself. He is a drug dealer sure, but that doesn't make him a terrible person. Not like my step father. He,unlike Spoony, was a genuine monster. He stands between me and my mother. Her mother. She missed her terribly. Tears began gathering in her eyes. No, she made her decision. She chose the beast over her own daughter. She wiped her eyes and picked up the TV remote so she could find something mindless to distract herself.

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