Always Room for One More

Emma stormed into the house, charged up the stairs to her room, and slammed her door. She never wanted to go back to church after what happened that morning. She grabbed her stuffed bear and rolled into a tight ball on her bed.

A few minutes later Gran knocked gently on the door and stuck her head.

“Emma, what is it, honey?”

“I'm never going back, Gran!” Tears were running over the bridge of her nose, making a big wet spot on her pillow.

Gran sat on the bed and smoothed Emma's hair away from her face. “What happened?”

Emma rolled over, still hugging her bear. “Stacey found a note she said was from me to Derek and she read it to everyone. I didn't write it; I would never write something so sappy. I've never been so embarrassed in my whole life, Gran. Derek was there and heard it.”

“Did you tell them you didn't write it?”

“Yeah, but Stacey waved the note and said it had my name on it. Gran, I can never face them again.” Tears trickled into her ears.

“You can and you will. If you fight this it will just make it worse, but if you go back with a smile and simply remind them that you didn't write it and move on, it will eventually be forgotten.”

Emma blinked fast, clearing her eyes. “You think so?” she asked hopefully.

“Do you think people will believe you or Stacey?

“Well, after her stunt last week, I don't think they trust her too much.” Emma sat up, her bear resting on her lap. “Why would she do that, Gran?”

Gran looked out the window before answering. “Think about her home life, Em. Since her dad left, her mom's had to work two jobs and she's not been around for Stacey. I think Stacey is trying to find attention and love, but she's going about it the wrong way. She doesn't realize she's driving away the people she wants and needs. What she did was wrong, but I think she just trying to get noticed.”

“I keep forgetting about her dad.” Emma hugged her bear tight. “She's not a mean person,” Emma said slowly and quietly, wrestling with her thoughts. “I think you're right. I think she needs friends and lots of love right now.” Taking a deep breath Emma looked at Gran. “She and I used to be friends, maybe we could be again. Do you think it would help her?”

“Can you forgive her for embarrassing you like she did?”

“If I'm gonna try to be her friend, I guess I better try, huh?”

That evening at church her friends were laughing and teasing her as they made her sit in the middle.

“Don't worry, Emma, we know you didn't write the note, you're not that sappy. After you ran out one of the girls grabbed the note and said it was Emma Landon's handwriting, not yours.”

Just then Derek sat down beside her and draped his arm around her. “I never knew you felt that way.” He winked and leaned close to whisper in her ear. “I wish you did, actually.”

Emma's eyes widened as she looked at him, then she quickly looked away as her face turned red.

Derek leaned close again, “Do you? Is that why you're blushing?”

Emma's face turned even redder and she turned away, hoping he wouldn't see it. She was saved by church starting. Later, as soon as the service ended, she jumped up to leave, but found her path blocked.

“Hey, Emma, a bunch of us are going for ice cream, wanna come with me?” Derek invited her.

Behind Derek, Emma saw Stacey duck her head and turn away, but not before Emma saw a sheen of tears in her eyes. Looking back at Derek she took a deep breath, “Sure, but can Stacey come with us?”

When Derek looked at her questioningly Emma smiled and quietly said, “She needs friends and love, Derek. Since her dad left she's been pretty much on her own and really needs us.”

A smile spread across Derek's face. “You're right. She was probably just trying to get attention this morning. C'mon, let's go get her and go out for ice cream. There's always room for one more, besides, without that note I wouldn't know you like me.”

Emma opened her mouth to protest but Derek laughed. “Don't worry, I've liked you for a long time, but never knew you liked me, too”

Today Sara is hosting Fiction Friday for us at Fiction Fusion. Be sure to join us there for links to more fiction!


  1. Oh man, this brings back a LOT of memories from high school years. (: We had an active youth group, too, and this story is so true-to-life of those groups!

  2. Yay for Emma!! The real, Emma, lol. Glad that Derek liked her too, ah, the drama of it all! Wonderful stuff!

  3. Great job Emma! I had a friend like Stacey...sometimes it made her hard to love. I think Emma could have taught me a lesson or two when I was still in school.

  4. I like the mc's attitude. Forgiving is hard work sometimes, but there are no good alternatives. Nice story!

  5. Oh young love...

    Your MC is so sweet, forgiving, and a good friend. (when her head is clearly thinking, that is) Thank God for Gran!


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