Sam doesn't cry.
But she does feel the floor drop out from under her when she sees that tiny pink plus sign, she feels like her stomach is going to eat itself and her head will explode. She shoves the test into her cargo pocket and decides she needs to get out. Her mother's banging around in the kitchen, acting like she's helping, dictating to Melanie what still needs to be done. She can hear random relatives outside, making their way inside, laden with food and more alcohol. Once Sam makes it past the kitchen she'll be out, but Melanie stops her before she gets there.
"Sam, where are you going?"
"You can't leave, Sam - Christmas is for family."
Their mom chooses that moment to pass by, drinking eggnog, "Melanie, make sure everyone's comfortable and can see that new sweater you made Sam."
"Okay, Mom!" Melanie turns, smiling, back to her sister, "Why do you want to leave?"
"C'mon. It's past noon, Christmas is half over. I've had enough family time."
Melanie turns around to greet an aunt and uncle who just walked in, and Sam forces a smile and a hello as they pass her. Her sister's still blocking the exit, and Sam knows she won't move, so she takes out her phone to text for help. Instead, she sees she has two new texts from Spencer, the first says Merry Christmas! <3 and the second says This gallery is AMAZING & people actually like my stuff! love ya. <3
It takes a few seconds for her mind to process both of these, but then she remembers the last minute career plans Spencer put together, having Carly go to their Grandad's alone. She puts her phone away and tries to hide behind perfect-host-Melanie long enough to escape her aunt's smoke cloud, but Melanie turns on her, "Here, go take some wine into the living room – and try to have a good time! Please?"
Sam doesn’t cry.
But the floor is gone beneath her, the room is spinning, and her head is pounding. She looks at the bottle of wine and then back to her twin, "I can't." Still, the bottle is pushed into her hands and she's pushed forward into the living room, pulled onward through the wine bottle, finding herself wedged between two of her overgrown cousins. Unconsciously, she laughs at jokes and feigns interest through parole officer stories. She vaguely notices that her bedroom has a mountain of coats in it now, and her mom in the corner has moved on from eggnog to shots.
Sam isn't crying.
But her insides feel like lead and she can't quite see clearly. Slowly, narrowly avoiding an airborne glass, she makes her way to the sink where her sister is alone, washing dishes. She doesn't think, but plunges her hands into the warm soapy water. "I'm glad you didn't leave,” Melanie chirps. Sam doesn’t reply and she goes on, “It got really nasty out.” Sam doesn't look up, scrubbing a burnt casserole dish, “I think everybody's going to have to stay the night!" Sam can’t tell if her sister knows, or suspects, but she thinks her voice is over-bright for telling her all of their relatives will be sleeping in their house. "I've got it Sam, you don't have to try." Melanie says, reaching over to take the sponge from her hand.
Sam lets her hair drape down in front of her, scrubbing the dish harder. She knows what her sister means, but she still focuses everything she has on scraping and scrubbing until her sister turns to dry the rest of the dishes.
Sam doesn’t cry.
Everyone does stay the night, and it's almost more than Sam's nose can take. She doesn't sleep, not that there would have been room. Instead, she sits on their countertop all night waiting for the clock to move. No one notices when she moves out the door, catching the earliest bus, and no one calls her after she gets into Bushwell Plaza.
She climbs into Spencer's bed and he wakes up, smiling, "Hey."
Sam doesn't feel, but knows intuitively that he's wrapped his arms around her; her head is spinning, all of her limbs feel detached, there's a heavy weight in her gut, and she cries.