Chapter 1: Paint It Black
“This way,” A guard directed the woman through a security scanner. The woman sucked her breath in and was relieved when the scanner was silent.
“Visiting hours end in ten minutes,” The guard said as he led her through some halls. The prison smelled awful and there were stains on the walls. They entered a small room where other prisoners and visitors were allowed to meet. Older men who had tattoos covering their faces were being watched closely by more guards. Teenagers who couldn’t possibly be twenty yet had parents crying over them wondering what they had done wrong raising them.
The visitor instantly spotted the blonde tangled hair sitting in the corner by herself. She looked back at the guard who had shown her to the room and realized he was gone. She walked quickly to the prisoner, gaining her attention.
“Audrey,” Wendy greeted her. Some might say that Wendy didn’t look like herself anymore. But that’s not what Audrey saw. Wendy saw the same person who hired them on the agency almost two years ago when they proved their worth by destroying the flash drive. The uptight lady who refused to admit her feelings. Only this Wendy had dark circles under her eyes and her hair was growing out again, showing her natural hair color on top. This Wendy was broken.
“Wendy,” Audrey nodded and sat down across from her, keeping her distance.
“How’s Morgan?” Wendy asked. She held her hands together in front of her on the table.
“She’s fine. She just completed another mission,” Audrey said but that was not the truth. The truth was that Morgan spent her nights drinking away her sorrows.
“I’m proud of her,” Wendy said and Audrey nodded.
Audrey paused for a minute before cutting to the chase, “You need to get out of here.”
Wendy pursed her lips. “My bail is set at a thousand dollars. Do you have that money laying around?”
“No, but I’ll figure it out,” Audrey promised her. “Listen, me bailing you out is private information between the two of us. Maybe Sebastian too. But not Morgan. As far as Morgan knows, I’m grocery shopping.”
Wendy opened her mouth to speak but Audrey beat her to it. While Wendy was in here, Audrey made it her job to take charge. Someone had to. The agency was already falling apart without her.
“How did you even get caught?” Audrey asked.
“I don’t know the details,” Wendy softly said. “All I know is the police got a search warrant for my house and they found the money on a flash drive I keep in a safe.”
Audrey didn’t know much about hiding money from the government but while she was ahead of Wendy, she wasn’t going to say anything. She nodded and stood up.
“I’ll be back next weekend with the money.”
Wendy looked down at the table, feeling defeated. This was all too much for even her. She needed to get out of there for her own sanity. She didn’t know how much longer she could take. The showers didn’t have hot water and the coffee was too bitter for her. The other inmates teased her like school kids. She was wondering who was feeding and walking Oscar. And the worst of all, she was losing every bit of hope she had.
“Thank you,” Wendy sighed.
Audrey looked her up and down.
“Just to be clear, I’m not bailing you out because we’re friends. I’m bailing you out because Morgan needs to get better. She won’t do that while you’re here,” Audrey stated harshly and walked off before Wendy could say another word. Let Wendy worry how Morgan was doing now.
Morgan was passed out on the couch when Audrey walked in. Audrey had stopped on the grocery store on the way home because that’s where she told her she was going. She picked up some yogurt, bananas, Morgan’s favorite chocolate and some ice cream for herself.
She put the groceries away quickly before grabbing her laptop and plopping on the couch next to Morgan. She typed in her password and pulled up Google.
AA meetings in LA.
She wasn’t surprised when a numerous amount of links popped up. Google even offered her phone numbers in case she chose to do more research. Morgan stirred slightly and Audrey immediately shut her computer so Morgan wouldn’t see what she was doing. This would be a conversation for another day.
“Hey, sleepyhead,” Audrey greeted Morgan as her eyes fluttered open.
“Hey,” Morgan said, sitting up and laying her head on Audrey’s shoulder. She had a pounding headache from drinking and knew she needed some water for her dry mouth as well, but instead, she stayed with Audrey. Audrey was the person who could always make her feel better no matter what the circumstances were.
“I love you,” Morgan mumbled into Audrey’s shoulder.
“I love you too,” Audrey said and then hesitated. “You know you need help, right?”
Morgan looked at the ground for a minute.
“I know,” She whispered and that’s all that Audrey needed to hear to make her smile a little. Things were going to get better. They just needed time.
Chapter 2: Fighter
Audrey asks someone from her past to help.
Audrey pulled her car up on the rocky road, her nerves finally setting in. She was convinced that everything would be fine and that she would simply ask for help. But now that she was in the driveway, she knew it wouldn’t be that simple. She climbed out of the car and slammed the door shut before trudging to the door.
She took a deep breath before knocking on the door so she couldn’t talk herself out of it. It took a minute and Audrey was about to give up but finally a familiar face was revealed asi’m just stressed because of the school thing. they want more work from me and they’ve barely given me information about the courses and stuff the door opened.
“Audrey?” The woman blinked.
“I need your help.”
Audrey took the sick boy’s hand in hers. It was cold, pale, and skinny but it was still her boyfriend’s hand. The touch felt the same even though he was unrecognizable.
“Michael, Audrey’s here to see you,” His mom, Linda, announced as she took a seat next to the hospital bed. Michael and his family chose to get a hospital bed for his house as they knew he was dying but didn’t want to spend the last of his days in the cold hospital. His family had money and it was pretty obvious, but they were always so kind to her and even offering unnecessary things. The twenty-five-year-old man was covered in blankets and was resting on pillows.
“Audrey, my favorite person,” Michael smiled softly even though his eyes were closed.
There wasn’t much to be said. But Audrey didn’t want to talk and Michael barely had the strength to do so. So they sat in silence and enjoyed each other’s company for the last time.
She was there for about an hour before Michael’s breathing slowed down and his heart stopped. Knowing she didn’t want to be there when the ambulance came, she said her goodbyes then.
“Thank you for making me the happiest girl in the world. You’ll always mean so much to me,” She whispered before giving him a kiss on the forehead and squeezing his hand one last time before exiting the room.
The casket was lowered slowly in the ground before each of the guests at the funeral threw some dirt on top.
“Audrey, can we speak to you for a moment?” Linda pulled her aside as everyone was leaving along with her husband. His mother instantly pulled her into a hug.
“Thanks to you, Michael spent the rest of his days happy,” She said softly and Audrey let a little smile slip on her face. “If there’s anything we can do for you in the future, please let us know.”
The house looked different since she was there last. There were no pictures on the walls anymore. The only picture that was there was a family portrait that occupied a small space of the wall. There were no cookies on a plate in the middle of the table anymore. Even the smell was different.
“So let me get this straight. You need twenty-five thousand dollars to bail someone out of jail because Morgan has a drinking problem.” They were sitting at the kitchen table and Audrey couldn’t help but look over to the spot in the living room that the hospital bed was once in.
Audrey hesitated, “Yes.”
“Okay, but I do want to let you know that Morgan isn’t going to get better because you’re bailing someone out of jail. She needs to get better on her own terms and for herself. Otherwise, she’ll slip back into her habits that she’s in now. My father was like her.” Linda said with a sad smile on her face.
“I’ve looked up AA meetings for her. I’m going to just offer to drive her there and see if she’s willing,” Audrey informed the sad lady.
“That’s a wonderful idea,” She nodded and stood up from the kitchen table to grab her checkbook. She wrote out a quick check and scrawled her signature in the bottom space quickly before handing it over.
“You don’t know how much this means to me.” Audrey looked at the check and nodded.
“Come and visit me again?” Linda asked hopefully and Audrey couldn’t help but quickly agree. Linda was a lovely lady who had just been dealt some bad cards in the past.
Morgan grimaced as she took another swig of tequila. It was her second bottle and it was four in the afternoon. She knew she needed to stop. She was killing herself slowly by the amount of alcohol she had in her system. But why should she stop? She deserved it. She wasn’t going to work. Her parents were very worried about her and Audrey was trying her best to soothe them but she could only do so much. They had visited once for two weeks last month but they didn’t want to put their whole lives on pause. And Morgan knew they shouldn’t have to. This was her problem.
They had sobered her up as much as possible with water, coffee, and even a cold shower but they knew she wouldn’t be completely sober until she got the alcohol out of her system.
Sebastian came over as soon as he could and helped Audrey out as much as possible. Audrey was super glad he did because Morgan was a mess. She was crying and screaming and even hitting herself. Being drunk was not a good thing to add to the mix. She finally fell asleep in her bed after Audrey tucked her in.
“What are we going to do?” She had asked, sitting next to Sebastian in the living room.
“They’ve hired a new boss for now. I’ve met her once before but she’s a complete bitch. No empathy.” Sebastian took a sip of his own beer. “Technically you guys are on vacation. Wendy finalized it before she was arrested so the new lady, Ruth, can’t do anything about it until the time is up. I’ll take care of everything else.”
That was a relief to Audrey. At least she didn’t have to go to work for a while. And Morgan was in no shape to go either, even though she had been skipping.
“Sebastian…thank you,” Audrey sincerely said, touched by his actions. She set her own beer down (she wasn’t really drinking it, just sipping) and pulled him into a hug. She owed him so much but knowing him, he wouldn’t ask anything of her.
Audrey looked at the check before putting it in her purse. Money can’t solve your problems, but it can help. Right?
is anyone actually reading this? haha
Chapter 3: That's What Friends Are For
Audrey bails Wendy out of jail.
Audrey learned that bailing someone out of jail was easy. What wasn’t easy was hiding the task from Morgan. Morgan wasn’t nosy but they had formed a habit where they shared everything with each other and when Morgan was sober, she could tell something was off.
The jail only accepted cash bonds so Audrey quickly cashed the check. The lady at the bank gave her a weird look and Audrey assumed it was because of how much the check was for. However, she didn’t say anything and so when the woman sent her on her way, she briskly walked away after saying goodbye.
The process wasn’t long because Wendy had already been through the system for getting fingerprints and pictures when she was first arrested. She was released upon payment and after the officer explained the rules that came with bail, they were allowed to leave.
Audrey unlocked the car for Wendy, “Now remember, you have to go to your court dates. That’s what was agreed upon.”
“I know, Audrey,” Wendy half snapped and Audrey’s mouth opened in shock.
She looked at her, “Wow okay. Go ahead and snap at the person who just bailed you out of jail. Let’s see how far that gets you.”
Wendy sighed realizing she was right. Audrey had bailed her out of jail and the very least she could do was be civil with Audrey and go to her court dates.
“Thank you,” Audrey nodded and put the keys in to start the car. “Now I’m hungry. Why don’t we get some food? I’m assuming you haven't eaten much these last few months.”
Audrey was right. Wendy hadn’t been eating much. She looked like she had lost at least ten pounds and while Audrey hated how she broke Morgan, she still cared about her.
Wendy smiled, grateful for the offer. They ended up at In-N-Out for burgers. Audrey had let Wendy pick the place and while normally Wendy would pick a fancier place, she couldn’t help but crave a burger. Besides, she already felt bad enough as it was.
“So how come this whole bailing me out of jail thing is a secret?” Wendy asked as they picked a spot outside to eat.
Audrey hesitated but figured that Wendy deserved the truth, “She made us promise not to talk to you.”
“Promise me you guys won’t talk to her? Don’t go and visit her. Don’t call her. Don’t do anything that’s related to her,” Morgan pleaded when she had finally sobered up the next day. Audrey and Sebastian hesitated to answer.
“Promise me,” She demanded when they didn’t answer right away. “We’re done with her.”
“Okay…” They answered, looking at each other.
“Now that that’s out of the way, do we have any beer left?”
Wendy looked down at her burger. She had only taken one bite out of it. Any guilt that she had before had been washed away with a new fear. The whole situation had been her fault.
Wendy spoke after a minute, “She’s not well, is she?”
Now it was Audrey’s turn to be silent. Her friend was slowly taking her own life from herself and Audrey didn’t know what else she could do.
“She’s usually drunk every night by nine,” Audrey sighed. “I’ve tried everything I can think of. I can’t make her go to counseling. I’ve offered to drive her and pick her up but she refused.”
“This is my fault. I know an apology means nothing, but I really am sorry. I don’t know how I’m going to make it up to both of you. And Sebastian.” Wendy looked down at her burger again. Audrey could tell that she meant every word she said.
“Hey, an apology can go a long way sometimes. And you can start by eating that burger I bought for you,” Audrey smiled and Wendy returned half a smile back.
They were on their way back to the car after finishing their meals and throwing the trash away. They got in the car and after they started the journey back to Wendy’s house when Wendy decided to speak up.
“Um, I lost my house.”
Audrey slammed on the brakes in the middle of an intersection, “What?!”
The street was now filled with angry honks and voices, but Audrey didn’t care. She began to slowly drive again but kept most of her attention of Wendy who was staring at her in shock.
“Are you trying to kill us?!”
“No, but I’m starting to wonder if you’re trying to kill me!” She shouted back. She changed the direction she was going in.
“I lost my house because I need to pay legal fees. All the money on the flash drive is with the police under investigation. I have a friend who’s watching Oscar.”
“And you couldn’t have told me that when I came to visit you?” Audrey asked, putting her turn signal on to switch lanes.
Wendy looked apologetic, “I’m sorry.”
Audrey ordered Wendy to call Sebastian and put him on speaker. The only thing they could really do is let her stay at their apartment. It wasn’t what she had wanted to do, but she also didn’t want to spend any more money on Wendy. They explained the situation to Sebastian and while he didn’t want to help much either, he did it for Audrey. Morgan was currently at home and Audrey was feeling uneasy about bringing Wendy to her home without Morgan’s permission. It was her home too.
“Hey Wendy,” Sebastian greeted her through the window that was rolled down. They had reached Audrey’s apartment.
Wendy didn’t bother to look at him but she did mutter a hello. She grabbed her bag of belongings. She didn’t have much with her. A toothbrush, toothpaste, flip flops, and a hairbrush were the only things in the bag.
Audrey and Wendy climbed out of the car and walked the short journey to their apartment. Audrey turned to them before turning the lock.
“Here we go.”
comments make me write faster.
Chapter 4: Are You Happy Now?
Morgan finds out that Audrey bailed Wendy out of jail.
Audrey opened the door slowly and Sebastian and Wendy followed closely behind her. Wendy looked like she was about ready to duck out the door at any moment. What do they do now?
Their question was answered when Morgan’s bedroom door opened and she walked out, looking down. She was a mess. She was hungover with a headache and there were dark bags under her eyes and she had some pimples on her face from stress and lack of hygiene.
Her hair was longer now and more tangled. It looked greasy too. She was wearing shorts and a white t-shirt.
She looked up from the ground and it took a minute for her to register what was going on. But when she did, the other three’s breathing had stopped.
“What the hell?” Morgan squinted her eyes at Wendy. Was she hallucinating?
Audrey took a deep breath, “Listen, Morgan. I bailed her out. I’m sorry but I felt like I had to.”
Morgan wasn’t a violent person at all. She was great on missions, but besides that, she only ever killed flies that were annoying her. But she was impulsive. And that could be bad. So when Morgan lunged towards Audrey, they were all surprised.
“YOU MOTHERFUCKER!” She screamed out and Sebastian instantly grabbed her in her arms to stop her. Audrey stepped backward in case she escaped his grip.
“Morgan, calm down! You need to calm down. We’ll explain everything!” Sebastian said as he held her tightly. She thrashed against his hold and screamed. Audrey was officially scared. Out of all things that Audrey expected, this was not one of them. Wendy looked hurt as she watched the scene in front of her play out.
“I should leave,” She nods and begins walking towards the door.
Audrey grabbed her elbow to stop her, “You’re not going anywhere.”
Morgan was still fighting against Sabastian’s arms. Her face was red and Audrey was pretty sure Sebastian would have at least a couple bruises after the day’s events. Sebastian and Morgan were close friends as well so it hurt Audrey to know that the two people closest to her were fighting.
“You’re supposed to be my best friend! A best friend wouldn’t do this!” Morgan screamed. She had officially lost control. Tears were streaming down her face, angrily.
“Morgan, I’m so sorry,” Audrey sincerely told her.
Morgan eventually came down from her adrenaline that had spiked up with anger, “You promised. You promised me…”
Sebastian had carried a crying Morgan to her room while Audrey showed Wendy the ins and outs of their apartment. Audrey felt bad that she was still allowing her to stay while Morgan clearly didn’t want to see her at all. However, it seemed like the only option as Wendy didn’t have enough emergency money to stay in a hotel until she could get back on her feet. Sebastian could have let her stay with him, but there was a leak in his apartment in the ceiling that was being fixed.
Sebastian carefully dropped Morgan on the bed and sat down next to her as she curled into herself, still crying. He didn’t really know what to do, but he wanted to try since he considered Morgan a best friend.
“If it helps, Audrey was doing it to help you,” He said, watching her carefully in case she tried to run out of the room.
Morgan looked at the bed, “I don’t care. She’s a liar.”
“She did it because she wanted you to get better,” He continued. “She knew you wouldn’t get better if she was still locked up.”
Morgan knew that was true but she refused to admit it. She was mad and wasn’t in the mood to talk. But Sebastian could read people well and picked up on it.
“You should try to talk to her. You may think that Wendy deserved to be in there because she hurt you, but the reality is, you hurt her too.”
Once again, Sebastian was right and Morgan knew that. Sebastian was completely surprised when after a minute of silence, Morgan reached over and pulled him into a silent hug. She was hurting and in lots of emotional pain while dealing with an addiction, but she was thankful that Sebastian had taken the time to explain things to her. Even if she didn’t agree with them. But for now, she wanted to be alone in her room while being sad.
i promise that it is a happy ending.
Chapter 5: Stand By Me
Morgan starts going to AA meetings.
“How’s Oscar?” Wendy asked her friend, Sharon.
“He’s good. He’s a little anxious. I’m thinking it’s because he doesn’t know the place and he can’t find you, but I’m treating him well.”
Wendy frowned. Oscar was always anxious so if Sharon hadn’t noticed Oscar being anxious before he went with her, he must have been really nervous. She felt bad that she couldn’t be with him. Wendy knew she was already inconveniencing Audrey enough so she didn’t want to ask to see if there was even a possibility of Oscar staying with them. She just hoped they would be reunited soon.
“I’m taking care of things. Or at least trying to. Give me a few weeks and I should be able to get him.”
Sharon agreed, saying it’s no problem. Wendy didn’t dare tell anyone this, but she had a backup flash drive with more money on it that Sharon was also keeping safe. She wouldn’t use any money on it. The police were already suspicious enough. Wendy and Sharon talked a little longer before hanging up. Wendy was stressed to the max and she didn’t even know how to begin to fix it.
Morgan wanted to get better. She really really wanted to get better. She saw the way Audrey, Sebastian, and Wendy had all looked at her when she lost control a couple of days ago. They all looked scared, sad, and helpless. She wanted to be the fun, carefree Morgan that she had been only a few months ago. Not the depressed Morgan that relied on alcohol to forget about her problems.
If she was going to do this, she was going to do it right. She pulled out a piece of notebook paper from the little desk she keeps in her room and a pen. She jotted down a quick list.
Reasons to keep drinking:
Reasons to not keep drinking:
Makes me feel bad about myself
Morgan also realized that if she was going to quit her drinking, then she would need help in doing so. She knew she couldn’t go through something like this alone. She creeped out to the living room where Audrey, Wendy, and Sebastian were all chatting and laughing. Huh, she hadn’t realized Sebastian had come over. She cleared her throat, gaining their attention. They looked up at her, curiously.
“I’ve decided to quit drinking,” She announced and they all looked at her, surprised.
She continued, “I wrote a list of reasons why it’s best for me to quit instead of continuing.” She held up the paper for proof.
“You know Morgan,” Sebastian started. “An old friend of mine went through something like this. He started by going to AA meetings. I can pass along the group leader’s number.”
She nodded, “Okay.”
Morgan then turned around and began collecting all the alcohol they owned. She unscrewed the caps to them and began dumping them in the sink. She could feel everyone’s eyes on her.
“Morgan, maybe you should wait until you start AA and see what other people recommend before just-” Wendy started but Morgan cut her off.
“I know what I’m doing!”
“Do you?” Wendy arched an eyebrow.
“Yes!” Morgan snapped.
Morgan picked up on Audrey’s silence. She figured that Audrey would have been the first to say something. It hurt her knowing that Audrey hadn’t even said anything. Audrey was looking down at her lap the entire time and Morgan knew she was in deep thought. Morgan knew the last time they talked, she screamed at Audrey, but she thought Audrey would at least support her with something like this.
Sebastian drove Morgan to the meeting a day later. The meeting was open to anyone so it wasn’t hard at all to get Morgan a spot. Morgan was very grateful for this small act of kindness.
Morgan knew it would be hard, but not this hard. She was sweating and shaking and had a severe headache. She hadn’t slept at all, especially since she had stopped cold turkey. Her anxiety was through the roof. What if they got into an accident on the way to the group? What if she dies? The worst thoughts were coming to her mind. Along with the anxiety came an increased heart rate which scared her even more. She didn’t even want to think about the cravings she was having.
“Do you want me to come in with you?” Sebastian asked as they pulled up to the destination.
Sebastian nodded and waited for her to get out. It took her longer as she was shaking and couldn't quite undo her seatbelt right away. It also took her a minute to get over her anxiety about going but she wanted to get better and she knew this is what she would have to do. Nobody could do this for her.
She stepped out of the car. She was wearing a black sweatshirt with leggings and Uggs. Her hair was in a bun. It was July and boiling outside, but the clothes on her body made her feel safe. Sebastian gently led Morgan in by the small of her back and she had to admit that it made her feel safe.
“Hey!” A guy sitting on the table called out, making them look over. “Are you Morgan?”
Morgan gave a tiny nod while looking at the ground. She balled her hands into fists and kept them by her face; another way to keep her feeling safe.
“I’m Ray,” The guy said. He looked to be in his late thirties and wore a button-up shirt with jeans and tennis shoes. “We’re about to get started. The snacks and drinks on the table over there are for anyone, grab what you want and you can sit anywhere.”
Morgan looked hesitant to leave Sebastian’s side. Sebastian gave her a comforting nod and smile and she shuffled towards the snack bar, grabbing water.
“She decided to quit cold turkey, just so you know,” Sebastian told Ray.
Ray nodded, “Got it. A lot of people do that. I did it too. But it’s all good. Don’t worry. We’ll take good care of her.”
The meeting lasted about two hours and Morgan decided that she liked it. She realized that everyone’s stories were different but they were all deeply hurt. Ray had given Morgan a journal at the beginning of the session and he suggested making daily entries. Sometimes they would get homework to do each week as well. Sebastian picked her up at the end. He did some errands while she was at the meeting.
While she was still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, she was relieved to hear that the symptoms get better within a few days. She just hoped the cravings would die down as well.
After a minute of struggling, Morgan got the key to unlock the door to her apartment. As she walked in, the smell of spaghetti welcomed her.
“Audrey?” She asked, hesitantly.
Wendy was the one to reply back, “She’s not here right now. She had to go to the bank.”
Morgan internally groaned at the thought of being home alone with Wendy. She could have turned around and walked back out, but she knew she was in no shape to navigate Los Angeles alone, especially with her anxiety having skyrocketed.
“Need some water?” Asked Wendy. It wasn’t until then she realized that her mouth felt like a desert. Morgan nodded, wearily.
“How was the meeting?” Wendy asked, setting a glass of water in front of her. And Morgan hated what she was doing. She was talking like nothing had happened between them. She was ignoring the elephant in the room.
Wendy checked the spaghetti and once she knew that it was done, she turned the stove off and leaned against the counter, looking at Morgan.
“Morgan, I’m really sorry about what happened. It was my fault this whole thing happened. I could have just brushed off what happened at the restaurant and instead I let our whole relationship blow up.”
Morgan sat down at the kitchen counter, suddenly interested. Wendy took a seat next to her. She had grabbed water for herself as well.
“I got a call from my aunt that morning. My mother passed away.”
Morgan looked at the lady, surprised. She knew Wendy’s mother wasn’t much older than she was so the ultimate question Morgan had was how it happened.
“You hate your mom,” Morgan spoke softly.
“She died of a heroin overdose and I have no sympathy for her at all.” Wendy nodded in agreement.
“Did you go to her funeral?” Morgan asked, studying the older woman.
“No.” Wendy took a sip of her water. “I haven’t cared about my mother since she left.”
“I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have said those things at the restaurant. I didn’t know they would hurt your feelings that much,” Morgan said, surprising herself. She really wanted to be mad at Wendy longer.
Wendy shrugged, “It’s okay. Maybe I am a little boring.”
Morgan immediately shook her head, which didn’t help her head at all.
“I shouldn’t have said that.” Morgan looked down.
“And I shouldn’t have said that you were too much. I used your insecurity against you and that was awful of me,” Wendy half-smiled.
Maybe, just maybe, they would be okay.
Chapter 6: On The Road Again
Audrey and Morgan are needed for a mission.
Morgan jolted awake at her iPhone blaring her ringtone, telling her she had a call. It was already half past noon and she hoped the person on the other end of the call hadn’t been calling her all morning. The ringing stopped.
She grimaced when she realized that had been the case and there were calls that came through every half hour. Shit. She called the person back, putting the phone to her ear. It only had to ring twice for it to answer.
“Morgan Freeman?” The voice answered.
“I’m returning your call...you’ve been calling me since God knows what hour?” She responded, a bit annoyed. The person hadn’t even left a voicemail. What could possibly be so urgent?
“I’m Rita, I’m taking over Wendy’s position for the time being? We have a mission we need to ask you and Audrey to take part in.” Rita explains and Morgan shook her head, confused. She was really tired.
The effects of the alcohol withdrawal had been going on still but she had noticed that they hadn’t been as intense, but she was still experiencing some. She barely slept and she still had hand tremors, headaches, and anxiety.
“We’re on vacation. Wendy confirmed it. Besides, I’m not really well enough to be doing any sort of missions at the moment,” she replied, starting to bite her nails.
“Your vacation will be over by the time you get to Russia, which is where you need to be,” She replied. “And it doesn’t matter if you’re a little under the weather. This is your job. We need you in Moscow in two days.”
Morgan pinched the bridge of her nose, “Does Audrey know?”
“You can tell her,” Rita says.
Morgan didn’t know why Rita didn’t call Audrey since she wasn’t picking up her phone, but she wasn’t going to argue. Rita had been right. This was her job. She had already taken a lot of days off. The last thing she wanted was to be fired.
It was awkward, to say the least when Audrey and Morgan drove to the airport, went through security and boarded the plane. They had only spoken when they needed to. Morgan had done everything she could to make interactions with Audrey as little as possible. It only hurt Audrey more.
They boarded first-class and they gave their drink orders to a stewardess as she walked by. Morgan had been on several planes before but she was still nervous about having to fly. She brought a small pillow and her favorite blanket along with her on her carry-on.
She knew the flight would be about twenty hours and it wouldn’t hurt to get comfy now. She put the pillow behind her head and covered her legs up with the fuzzy blanket. Although she still was anxious. Even the stuff at home that made her feel safe wasn’t cutting it. What if the plane had crashed? What if someone attacks them on the plane?
“I brought your anxiety prescription,” Audrey said and searched through her bag to get it out. Since having quit alcohol, she visited her local doctor and was prescribed anxiety medication. She wasn’t surprised that she had forgotten it though. Part of the symptoms from the withdrawal included confusion and fogginess. She was grateful Audrey remembered.
Audrey hands her the orange bottle, “I’m really proud of you. I just thought you should know. And I know I should have said something sooner.”
“Then why didn’t you?” Morgan looked at her.
“I didn’t think it would matter. You were so mad at me. Which it was right of you to be.” Audrey explained and Morgan noticed that she began shaking her leg.
“Audrey, listen to me,” Morgan started. “You’re my best friend and you always will be. I always care about what you’re thinking even when we’re mad at each other. I was mad at you before, yes, but now that Wendy and I are on okay terms, I can see why you chose to do what you did. Sebastian told me that you were only trying to help me get better. And while maybe it wasn’t the best way to do it, I now see why you did.”
“Yeah?” Audrey looked unsure.
Morgan laid her head on Audrey’s shoulder. “Yeah, we’re okay.”
Morgan and Audrey stayed in the positions they were in for a while. A huge weight had been lifted off Morgan’s shoulders. Even though their fight had only lasted a few days, to them it felt like an eternity.
“You know, not many people can do what you did?” Audrey spoke up.
Morgan exhaled, “Yeah?”
“Yeah, Morgan,” Audrey continued, “You knew you needed help and you were strong enough to get it. But the difference between most people is that you did it on your own. And it’s a huge relief knowing that you haven’t had a seizure yet or hallucinations.”
Morgan smiled. “I guess I am pretty lucky.”
Sebastian had also been called to the mission. Morgan figured that Rita must have known that they worked better as a team. Once they had gotten checked into the hotel in Moscow, Sebastian met them at the apartment.
“So the mission. Moscow is making a Tsar Bomba. Apparently, we know too much about their plans. If we don’t stop them, millions of people will be killed. The only reason we know about this now is that we had a spy already in Moscow about a week ago who overheard their plans.”
Well, that certainly didn’t help Morgan’s anxiety. If she didn’t have anxiety before, she sure did now. Audrey must have picked up on this because she rubbed her shoulder soothingly.
“We’re gonna go in a building tomorrow,” He pulls a map out of his pocket and pointed, “This one. And we’re gonna put a stop to it.”
At this point in the game, everyone knew it was code for ‘killing’. It was always a last resort but it was something that came up often. Audrey and Morgan hated it when it came down to ending people’s lives, but they also knew sometimes they didn’t have a choice. They both just hoped everything would be done quick enough so they could go home.
They all had strapped guns to themselves as all went to their assigned positions. Morgan went inside. Sebastian was in one car while Audrey was in another. Of course, they weren’t the only three from the spy agency going. There were at least fifty other people in their places as well, ready to take charge.
Morgan’s job was to go into the building with the other spies and destroy the bomb. Audrey and Sebastian’s job was to watch what was about to happen and go in as backups if needed. They expected they would be needed and prepared themselves to fight. They knew it wouldn’t be that simple though. They had to work out the coding to the bomb and deactivate it for good while not getting caught. It wasn’t a simple task at all. Surely there would be guards as well.
And everything did go according to plan. At first. But things went south right away once they stepped foot into the building. While others managed to escape and begin figuring out the coding issues, Morgan was held back.
She surprised herself with how good of a fighter she was, even in her condition. While her illness had slowed her down some, she managed to duck away. And that’s when all Hell broke loose.
Audrey was sitting nervously watching a map on a tablet as she saw more and more little car icons getting closer to the building. It was not looking good for them at all. But what should they have expected? They should have been ready for this.
“Audrey?” Sebastian’s voice came through the little earpiece she was wearing.
“Yeah?” She answered, looking at the car he was in.
Audrey heard him sigh, “I have bad news and you have to promise not to do anything stupid when I tell you this.”
“I can’t promise that. Just tell me,” She said, getting more nervous by the second.
“There are bombs wired together throughout the building. One’s been activated. We have about ten seconds before the building explodes.” He says.
“What? No! Morgan’s still in there!” She shouted, unbuckling her seatbelt and throwing the door open.
“I know, Audrey but-”
Audrey wasn’t listening. She couldn’t even tell Morgan to get out of the building. Their headpieces weren’t connected. She ran towards the building, not thinking. Morgan had to get out. She had to get out. Audrey felt Sebastian’s arms wrap around her waist and pick her up. She wrestled him to get out of his grip because she had to save Morgan. There was no other choice.
But then her heart shattered just like the windows of the building did when it went up in flames.
Chapter 7: I'll Be There For You
Audrey and Sebastian deal with the aftermath of the blown up building.
With the force of the explosion, Audrey and Sebastian were thrown backward off their feet. They covered their heads with their hands immediately, something they both learned when they went through training to become a spy. As the blast happened, their ears lost their hearing as well. They had to yell to hear and even then, it was very hard. Audrey hoped that it would come back soon.
But the thing Audrey was worried about most was Morgan. Poor Morgan who had been in the building as it exploded and her body being blown to bits. And there was nothing she could do to save her best friend. Morgan deserved so much more than the cards she was dealt.
Her parents would be devastated. They loved her more than they loved themselves. And they didn’t even get to say goodbye. They couldn’t even bury her because she certainly wasn’t in one piece anymore. She probably was burning into ash now. Sebastian would be hurt by this too. They had created a special bond between the two of them as they went on more missions together. And how would Wendy react? Would she choose to cope in a healthy way or would she decide to do more illegal things even worse than before? The woman was very unpredictable.
But Audrey couldn’t move. She was sobbing into Sebastian’s arms. It wasn’t a kicking and screaming cry like Morgan did when she was mad. This was a sob where she was shaking and couldn’t catch her breath as she cried in despair. Sebastian wrapped his arms around her and tried to stay strong. Missions went wrong all the time. People died on missions all the time. But missions didn’t go wrong for them until now. Morgan would no longer be there. Her best friend who helped her through her own depression, who made her laugh like no other, who she shared all her secrets with.
Audrey continued to shake and Sebastian held her closely so she knew she wasn’t alone. Sebastian hoped that help would be coming soon. He had been in the agency for six years now and even he didn’t know what to do. He assumed it would be best to clear out, but he knew it wasn’t an option in Audrey’s state.
Audrey felt someone tap her shoulder and she finally let out a scream. She shakily grabbed her gun that was hidden in her coat pocket and turned around, ready to shoot the person who had disrupted her.
But there was Morgan standing and clutching her arm. She looked frightened and worn out. Audrey was surprised that she wasn’t even crying. It was obvious that she needed medical attention immediately but she was alive and that’s all that mattered at the moment. Audrey dropped the gun.
“Holy Hell,” Sebastian muttered.
“Morgan! What the fuck?” Audrey screamed, bursting into a new set of tears, “You’re supposed to be dead!”
“I know, but I heard the ticking of a bomb beside me! It was really scary but I knew I had to get out! I jumped off the second floor at the last minute! I think I broke my arm!” Morgan shouted back.
Audrey got up slowly, she was still shaking and processing what had happened. She wrapped her arms around the smaller girl as tight as she could. She was trembling and didn’t want to hurt Morgan even more.
“Why are you crying?” Morgan asked and Audrey was sad to hear those words leave Morgan’s mouth. She genuinely didn’t know why Audrey was crying. Audrey guessed that she was in shock because she was sure that if the roles were reversed, Morgan would be crying hysterically as well. Their hearing had started to come back and was replaced by ringing.
“Morgan. You’ve been my best friend for fourteen years now! I just watched a building blow up that I thought you were in,” Audrey didn’t know when the sobbing would stop, “I thought you were gone forever.”
Morgan returned the hug with her good arm and rubbed Audrey’s back a little. “Don’t cry. I’m okay, I’m okay. I think the explosion was a little much. Even more than I am. But yeah, as you said. We’ve been best friends for more than a decade. No explosion will wipe me out.”
Morgan didn’t know what to do when Audrey just cried harder. At that moment, emergency helicopters flew over the building along with ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars. They were going to be safe.
Sebastian, Audrey, and Morgan all were checked out by doctors. They all were suffering from ear damage and Morgan had guessed right, she had broken her arm. She had been lucky that the break was fairly clean and the cast would only have to be worn for about a month and a half. They sat in a hospital room waiting for a doctor to come back. Audrey and Sebastian had been cleared so they joined her. They were making casual conversation when the door opened. A nurse led Wendy in the room.
“You have a very stubborn friend,” The nurse said and walked out, shutting the door behind her. Wendy sat down in the chair Audrey was in. She had gotten up and sat down on the bed Morgan was in.
“Are you feeling all right?” She asked, giving Morgan her full attention.
Morgan grinned, “Dandy.”
Morgan was tired and emotional from the day, but she didn’t wanna talk about that at the moment.
“Are you sure?” Wendy asked.
“Wendy, I’m fine. Everyone can stop obsessing over me now.” Morgan waved a hand.
Audrey made a noise, “Morgan! Let us! We thought you were dead. Please just let us care for you.” Audrey forced herself not to cry. The poor girl was already feeling a migraine coming on.
“How did you even get here so fast? We’re not exactly in Los Angeles.” Morgan turned her attention back to Wendy.
“I was in the area. You guys aren’t the only spies,” Wendy teased. “The bomb was destroyed when the building blew up.”
The three younger spies listened carefully. They hadn’t even thought about what was going to happen to the mission now. There were other things to worry about.
“Are they suicide bombers?”
“No. That doesn’t make any sense. Why would they blow their own work up?” Audrey asked, interested in what Wendy’s answer would be.
Wendy gave a small amused smile, “No. The bombs that were released were Rita’s doing. Other people planted them before you guys showed up.”
They were surprised by this answer. Rita wasn’t the person who they thought she was. She had almost killed the team she was on. The occupants of the room were silent as they tried to take in the information. It was the last thing they were expecting.
“Well, that just means that you need to take her spot back. She’s technically not even the boss. She’s just a fill-in. We’ll help you get your spot back,” Morgan told her, confident.
“That’s another thing I wanted to talk to you about,” Wendy sighs, “I’ve been keeping more money on a different flash drive with a friend. The same one who’s watching Oscar. Everyone’s already suspicious about me enough. It’s best to just lay low. I need to move. Out of the country.”
Sebastian had suspected that this conversation would happen eventually. He knew Wendy never lived in one spot for too long. And now with her money getting out, it was the perfect opportunity to escape. He had always kept in contact with her though for the job.
“You can’t do that though,” Morgan pointed out, “The police still have your stuff as evidence. Surely they’ll figure out that you’ve gone missing.”
Wendy pulls the flash drive out of her purse as evidence that she had received it back. Morgan stared ahead at the wall. She had just made up with Wendy and now she was leaving? This wasn’t fair to her it seemed like.
“I should get going. I just wanted to make sure you were okay and tell you what I needed to.” Wendy stood up.
Sebastian stood up too, “I’ll walk you out.”
They quickly left, leaving Audrey and Morgan alone.
“What are you thinking?” Audrey asked, still sitting on the bed. Morgan stared at the wall while she spoke.
“In life, we’re trained for so much. When you’re a kid, your parents train you on what’s right and what’s wrong. When you go to school, teachers train you on how to do math and English. When you become a spy, you get trained on how to protect yourself.” Morgan finally looks at Audrey. “But no one trains you on how to deal with a broken heart.”
Audrey takes Morgan’s hand in her own. It was always a calming technique that always calmed Morgan down. Except for Morgan was scarily calm.
“Morgan, honey. That’s what life is. You know and I know that there’s no book that teaches you how to live your life. Everyone’s different. When life throws you a bomb, you have to get back up after it knocks you down. Or else it’ll catch up again and you’ll never get up. I’ve seen you do it with my own eyes. You’re by far the strongest person I know.”
Audrey took a shaky breath before continuing, “Besides, you aren’t the only one who’s had a rough few months.”
Morgan knew that was true and she still held so much guilt for making her friends care for her. It was something she was talking about with her therapist.
“There were times when I didn’t think you were going to get better. When you were drunk for days on end,” Audrey bowed her head. “You scared the crap out of me. I was so worried that you would get alcohol poisoning or kill yourself. I don’t know what I would have done if I came home and you weren’t breathing or something.”
Audrey’s shoulders shook as she finally broke down for the first time in months. Morgan scooted closer to her on the bed, wrapping her in the biggest hug possible. She promised herself then and there that she would spend the rest of her life making it up to her best friend if she had to.
Chapter 8: Vienna
Wendy and Morgan say goodbye.
The least the trio could do was drop Wendy off at the airport. The woman had no car and since they could offer a free ride, they were willing to do it. Morgan had originally declined to come with but Audrey told her she might regret it. So she sighed and agreed to come along.
Since she was picked up from jail, she didn’t have many other belongings. She used some of her emergency money to buy some clothes. So that morning Audrey had given her an old suitcase of hers and she packed up her little belongings in there.
“Morgan! We have to go!” Audrey called out and Morgan walked into the living room with a huge mug of coffee.
“I’m coming, I’m coming, we are in no rush,” Morgan says, shoving her converse on.
“Morgan we are in a rush! Wendy’s flight takes off in two hours! We are definitely in a rush,” Audrey said, cleaning up a little while she was waiting on Morgan. “Let’s go!”
Morgan rushed to the door and Audrey relaxed. Sebastian, who had come over earlier was dragging Wendy’s suitcase. Taking one car to the airport was the best idea and they piled in Sebastian’s car. Sebastian drove while Wendy was in the passenger seat and Audrey and Morgan took up the backseat. They loaded up Wendy’s suitcase in the trunk.
The ride to the airport was too short. Morgan was hoping there would at least be some traffic but was displeased when there wasn’t. The car ride was silent and Morgan could see out of the corner of her eye that Audrey was looking at her every couple of minutes. Morgan suspected that Audrey was afraid that she might break at any time.
Morgan reached over and grabbed Audrey’s hand, she gave it a squeeze to let her know she was okay. It was hard to find a parking spot but they eventually found one at the back of the lot. Sebastian popped the trunk open and lugged out the suitcase.
They weren’t allowed past security check so everything that had to be said needed to be said at the beginning of the processes for getting checked in. Sebastian went first. He passed Wendy the suitcase.
“You’ve been an incredible boss, Wendy,” He says. His voice didn’t sound sad. It was sincere. Audrey wonders if he suspected this or if maybe even he knew before them.
“Thank you, Sebastian. You’ve been an amazing friend when you didn’t have to be.” She nodded. Sebastian gave her a quick hug and stepped back to let the others have their turn.
“Audrey,” Wendy began. “I can’t thank you enough. You’ve helped me so much when I didn’t deserve any of it. Morgan is very lucky to have you as a friend.”
“I’m just as lucky as she is,” Audrey said firmly. “Don’t worry about it. Worry about being safe.” They hugged.
“Take care of her,” Wendy whispered.
“I always will,” Audrey whispered back.
Morgan stood to the back. She looked at the ground, memorizing the patterned tile in the airport.
“Hey, want to go grab a coffee?” Sebastian asked Audrey. All three of them knew what he was doing but Morgan was especially grateful for the privacy.
“Yeah, I think I saw a shop as we walked in,” Audrey told him and Sebastian wrapped an arm around Audrey’s waist and led her to the shop.
Morgan wasn’t ready for this moment. But who would be? She didn’t even know if she was going to ever see Wendy again. But Wendy didn’t look sad so she was determined to do the same.
“Why Spain?” Morgan asked.
Wendy shrugged, “It’s hot there. It seems really pretty.”
Morgan had never been to Spain, but she had seen pictures of the country before. If she had the opportunity to move anywhere on the globe, Spain would be pretty far up on her list.
“You’ve taught me so much, Morgan. There’s not a moment I won’t remember. You were always fun and never boring.”
“What about this one?” Morgan pointed up to a large rollercoaster.
Wendy looked unamused, “Very funny.”
The screams of the occupants in the moving car did the opposite of convincing Wendy to ride the rollercoaster. It was clear that this wasn’t her thing.
“I’m serious,” Morgan said stubbornly.
“I’m serious too,” Wendy firmly said.
Wendy clenched her eyes shut as she felt the coaster stop at the top of the hill. This was it. This was how she was going to die. She should have just let Morgan go by herself.
“Don’t close your eyes! You’re taking the fun out of this!” Morgan shouted beside her.
“This is not my definition of fun!” Wendy screamed back.
The rollercoaster dropped and Wendy felt her stomach do the same. The wind in her hair, screaming, and the clank of the wheels on the tracks all contributed to her anxiety. She was thankful when she realized the coaster had stopped after that hill and the ride was over. Never was she doing that again.
Morgan and Wendy climbed out and Morgan held onto Wendy’s hand, noticing that she was a bit dizzy looking.
“You did great! Wanna do it again?”
Morgan looked at the tile again. It was hard sometimes for her to take compliments. Even more so, she didn’t realize that she had taught anything to Wendy. Up until the end, she was convinced that she was just an annoyance to the older lady.
“You’ve given me a chance at something,” Morgan said. “You made me believe that I can succeed at things whether it’s a mission or just cooking dinner.”
“This is frustrating!” Morgan said with a heavy sigh. “How do you balance everything out? The measurements, the time…”
Both she and Wendy were in Wendy’s kitchen making coconut crusted tilapia with pomegranate salsa. It was one of their first dates and Wendy was showing her how to cook.
“It comes with practice, my love.” Wendy kissed Morgan’s head and took over.
“I don’t know how to do it. You were in college making this and meanwhile, I was in college living off of crackers and Ramen Noodles,” Morgan grumbled.
“Babe! You can’t judge yourself based on what others do!” Wendy sat beside her after making sure the food was going to be okay for a minute, “The only reason why I learned how to cook was that my roommate was some sort of a secret chef.”
Morgan looked unconvinced.
“You’ll learn soon enough if you continue to practice,” Wendy finished. “I’ll help you. You’re very smart so you’ll learn in no time.”
Morgan smiled happily at her and Wendy smiled back.
“Is Oscar coming back?” Morgan wondered.
Wendy smiled, “Yeah, he is. My friend is going to fly out to drop him off and some other stuff.” It was clear she was talking about the backup flash drive.
“I bet he misses his mom.”
“I think he does.”
Morgan took the opportunity to wrap her arms around Wendy. Wendy wrapped her arms around Morgan as well. They were about the same height so it was easier for Morgan to hold onto her.
“If you ever find yourself in Spain, make sure to drop by for a visit,” Wendy told her.
“Yeah,” Morgan nodded. She wouldn’t allow herself to cry until she was out of sight. “Do you have to go?”
“Morgan, you know I do. Besides the money, it’s better for us to be apart.”
Morgan didn’t agree with that but she nodded. How did she being sad mean she was better off?
“Keep making the world a better place, Morgan,” Wendy told her and with that, she wandered off towards security check.
Morgan didn’t dare to watch her until the end. So instead she turned around, heading towards the coffee shop that Audrey and Sebastian were in. The spy eventually found them sitting in a corner talking with cups of coffee in their hands. Morgan noticed a third cup sitting by them.
“Hey!” Audrey greeted her and handed her the third coffee, “You okay?”
It was then that Morgan couldn’t hold in the tears anymore. She nodded to answer Audrey’s question but the tears falling from Morgan’s eyes stated otherwise. She balled a fist up put it on her lips to keep herself from letting out an ugly noise. Audrey stood up from the table. Sebastian looked away, feeling like he was intruding in on a moment.
“I’m so proud of you,” Audrey whispered and wrapped her best friend in a hug, which Morgan returned, thankful she didn’t have to go through this alone.
Don't hate me
Chapter 9: Walking On Sunshine (Epilogue)
this is it
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“What time do we have to be there again?” Morgan breathed out heavily. She was in the middle of having sex and she had suddenly remembered that she needed to be somewhere important.
“One thirty…shit, it’s one fifteen,” Her girlfriend of nine months said. They were in Morgan’s car which was parked in an alley.
Since they said goodbye at the airport to Wendy, a lot had happened over the course of a year. Morgan eventually found a new girlfriend who was a veterinarian. Her name was Yazmin and she had recently moved to LA for a job opportunity. After a few months of dating, she introduced her to Audrey and Sebastian. They instantly loved her and welcomed her to the friend group. Morgan’s parents already met her because Morgan had been so excited to meet someone that she introduced them to each other right away.
Audrey and Morgan had also quit the spy agency. It didn’t feel right with Wendy not being their boss anymore and they wanted to seek other job opportunities. Sebastian still went on missions here and there but even he was looking at new jobs. Audrey was currently going back to school to become a teacher for little ones and Morgan had taken up acting again, claiming it was her passion. However, in her free time, She had also written a book about her experiences. She was working with a publisher to get it in stores in the next year or so. She just needed a title for the book.
“Don’t stop! Just go faster!” Morgan told Yazmin and they continued until both of them were satisfied.
“Audrey texted me,” Morgan said. “We are officially late. Why did we agree to this again?”
Yazmin smacked her arm gently as she climbed off her, “Because you’re her maid of honor!”
And the biggest news of all was that Sebastian had proposed to Audrey shortly after saying goodbye to Wendy. They were on vacation in The Bahamas with just the two of them. Sebastian talked to Morgan about it first as she and Audrey were best friends and Morgan was so happy for them she nearly spilled the beans herself.
“Right, we should probably go then,” Morgan decided and Yazmin agreed. They switched places before Morgan began to drive.
“Well look who decided to show up,” Audrey greeted them. She looked stunning in her white flowy dress that had a blue floral print. Morgan had chosen a fancy hotel to do the shower at and even though they were late, they were still the first to arrive.
“Audrey, the hotel was nice enough to let me set this up last night. You worry too much.” Morgan waved a hand but brought Audrey in for a hug, lifting her off the ground a little.
“You’ve really outdone yourself, Morgan,” Audrey smiled.
There was everything you could expect to see at a bridal shower and more. Flowers, a cake, and party favors for the guests occupied all the tables. Balloons hung from the ceiling and there was a tray of tiny sandwiches and glasses of champagne for the guests as well.
“Yazmin, thank you for coming!” Audrey pulled the taller girl into a hug. Yazmin was a good four inches taller than Morgan and had three inches on Audrey, but Morgan absolutely loved her height.
“Sorry we’re late,” Yazmin replied.
“We got busy,” Morgan tried to help her girlfriend out but it ended up digging a bigger hole. Audrey scrunched her face up.
“The guests are starting to arrive, I’m going to thank them for coming.” Audrey walked off.
“Oh! We forgot her gift in the car! I’ll grab it!” Morgan’s eyes widened as she realized the mistake. She ran off after her girlfriend smiled. Morgan and Yazmine had both bought her a french press coffee maker together since Audrey had been drinking coffee left and right. Morgan had also bought her a pair of earrings by herself to add to the side from her.
She hadn’t added them to a separate bag yet so while a small unused bag was in the back with the coffee machine, Morgan shoved the earrings in the glove box. She was in a rush already before they decided to have sex so she didn’t notice the lipstick that had almost rolled out.
It was Wendy’s lipstick. She never wore that shade of lipstick before and she briefly remembers Wendy wearing it a couple of times. She must have put it in there in a date. As the year passed, Morgan thought about Wendy less and less. She still had the memories that they shared together in her mind, but she had come to an understanding that Wendy wasn’t meant to be in her life forever. And she had grown to be okay with that with the help of therapy. Sometimes she couldn’t help but think of her touch, her voice, or the tattoo on the back of her neck.
She hadn’t heard from Wendy at all. And perhaps it was for the best. They had each started a new life that they were happy with. Last she had heard about her, Wendy had taken an opportunity to become a journalist for a magazine. Morgan had read her work a couple of times but had decided to stop when she realized it probably wasn’t the healthiest.
She shoved the lipstick in her pocket and neatly put the earrings in the gift bag. As she walked in, she threw the makeup in a nearby trash can. She set the two gifts on the table where others had set theirs. She passed the champagne table and almost grabbed a glass to sip on.
She had come so far with her drinking addiction. The last time she had a drink was when Wendy had been bailed out of jail and she refused to pick up a drink again, afraid that she would slip back into her old habits. She continued to go to AA meetings once a month to keep her on track. It had taken her a while to open up to Yazmin about the issues she had with drinking but Yazmin hugged her and kissed her, telling her that she had been happy for her recovery and was always willing to help her if she needed.
Staying strong, she opted for a bottle of water that was amongst a few others. She had been smart to add a few water bottles to the inventory list. If she hadn’t, it would have been harder for her to say no.
The bridal shower continued with a couple of games and opening presents. Audrey had moved in with Sebastian after getting engaged but they were planning on buying a house. After opening gifts, Morgan could tell how relieved Audrey looked. She had received many gifts that could go in her house on a daily basis. Hand towels, silverware, and a slow cooker had all been among the gifts. After the gifts, the guests started going home. Morgan and Yazmin had stayed behind to help clean up the mess.
“Thank you for this, Morgan. It was a blast.” Audrey came up and helped scoop up trash that had been left behind.
“You liked it?” Morgan said, unsure about the event.
Audrey rolled her eyes, “Morgan, I loved it!”
They continued cleaning up the trash, dumping it in a big plastic trash bag that they could throw away after. It wasn’t too messy but the hotel was nice enough to allow them to have the party there so it was the least they could do. Audrey spoke up after a minute.
“Hey, you’re doing okay, right? Are you happy?” She stopped collecting the trash to give Morgan her full attention.
“Yeah. Yeah, I am.”
And that’s all Audrey could ever ask for.
“Where’s Sebastian? I realize it’s not really his party but I thought he’d be here to help with everything after.” Morgan moved to gather all the gifts up.
“Oh, his new mission got delayed. He had to do something at the office.” Audrey tied the trash up and put it by the door.
“Audrey, you’re a fucking genius,” Morgan planted a smooch on Audrey’s cheek and ran out the door without any explanation.
“I guess I’ll see you later. Thank you for letting me come,” Yazmin said, watching Morgan run.
Audrey wasn’t surprised to see Morgan dip out without saying why. The girl had so much energy balled up inside her.
“Yazmin, you’ve become one of our best friends, there’s no need to say thanks. Now go, because I’m certain she will accidentally drive off without you.”
Yazmin blushed but ran off, not wanting to be left. Morgan drove home at a speed that the law definitely didn’t agree with and Yazmin was surprised when they somehow managed to not get pulled over and not get into any accidents. Morgan ran inside after throwing the gear into park, leaving Yazmin outside. Her girlfriend wasn’t mad but she was confused about what was so urgent for Morgan.
Morgan grabbed her laptop from the couch and clicked a few times before typing an email.
What about Mission Delayed for a title?
She sent the email to her literary agent and sat back on the couch contently. She was finally happy with her life and no one could change that.
This is really bittersweet for me omg.
I'm sorry if anyone wanted Morgan and Wendy to stay together. It didn't seem right for the story at all. Also pretty proud of myself though for making this Morgan's book haha.
I wanted to take a quick second to thank the people who read this and gave this a chance. I hope I did okay for you. Will there be a spin off? Maybe. I feel like I can't give these characters up just yet.
To @GoosewithaNuke for always giving this love and believing in this when I didn't.
I love you.