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      The girls, including Archie, were all sat in Veronica's room, rubbing Cheryl's back and making her feel as comfortable as one could. The tears that streamed down her face were absolutely heartbreaking. She was falling apart after just rebuilding herself from the destruction of her family. It was as if all that healing was for nothing.

      Max sat cuddled up to Betty. It was nice to be by her side again. The comfort that was Betty Cooper went unmatched when it came to friendships that Max had built. The two were like sisters, and no matter how far they grew apart, their souls were still connected as one.

     Cheryl stared at the floor, empty. She had already shouted her resentment for Nick St. Clair, loud and clear. Charges would be pressed and Nick's preppy, angelic reputation would die along side Cheryl's soul. At least, that's what they all wanted to happen.

      Max held onto her phone, silently checking the time, realizing she should probably get going. It was a quarter past nine and she technically promised Toni that she would make an appearance before turning in for the night. Finally standing up, she pushed a piece of hair back to it's place and stared at the bombshell.

      "You're going to be okay." Everyone lifted their heads, waiting for Max to elaborate. "Nick is nothing more than a roach compared to a queen like you, understand?"

       Tears began to brim Cheryl's coffee orbs. It was encouraging to hear that, instead of everyone giving her puppy dog eyes and constantly saying the word 'sorry'.

       Glancing down, Max snickered. "I don't bust these pretty hands up for just anyone. So take it one day at a time." The smile that graced her Blossom friend's lip was relieving. It gave everyone hope. Hope that everything would be okay.

      Max turned to Archie, "Want to give me a ride real quick?"

       Assuming she was going home, he agreed. The two walked out of the Pembrooke, and climbed into his truck.

      "Drop me off at Sunnyside." Max stated nonchalantly while buckling up. She simply forgot that the Southside was a normal thing to her now, yet still seen as forbidden ground to others.

       "Sunnyside?! Like where Jug stays?"

       She nodded and waited for Archie to put the truck into drive, which he did, after letting out a shaky breath first. If he had it his way, going to Southside at this time of night would be a big fat N.O. But once Max slipped a twenty into the cup holder, he found it much easier to cross the tracks.

~

      "Thanks, Arch. See you round." She gave him a forced smile and shut the old door, watching him drive off into the night with a wave.

      Max was still dressed in her gala outfit. With all the commotion before, there really was just no time to go home and change. And if she had done it before coming to the trailer park, her father would have just fallen back into his usual prejudiced persona and bombarded her with a million questions. Drowning in exhaustion, Max attempted to fulfill her promise. She noticed the light on in Jug's trailer and glided over to it. Except, when she pulled on the door, it was locked.

      Even after a few knocks, no one came to the rescue. So alone Max was. Again. She didn't like to be alone. Not anymore, at least. Her mind was a torture chamber when it wasn't preoccupied by anything else. And right now, standing in the middle of a dark trailer park that was barely illuminated by one street lamp, it seemed her demons wanted to come out to play. Sure, she could have simply gone to her mother's trailer IF she had remembered to grab the keys from the shelf on her closet.

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