Amazing Kids! Magazine

Sacrifice

By Qirrat Ahmad

 

Emily sighed for the umpteenth time. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t shake off her disappointment. She and her best friend, Zatanna, had been planning a shopping day for weeks now. They had been so busy for their final exams that they barely had time to text each other. Emily glanced at her empty desk and was reminded of how she had exhausted herself to the breaking point to get ahead in her classes, so that she could spend the whole day with Zatanna. It seemed as if their time together wasn’t as important to Zatanna considering the fact that she had called her a few minutes prior to inform her that she wouldn’t be able to make. Apparently, her other friends dragged her away for a weekend in LA.

Emily tried to take a deep breath even though there was an invisible heavy weight around her heart. She hated to act like some leech who was desperate for attention, so she just laughed off their plans in front of Zatanna and made a feeble, half-hearted attempt to reschedule them. He sat down heavily in her chair and opened her books.

Might as well get some studying done, she thought, resigned.

For the next couple of days, she didn’t get any texts or calls from Zatanna. Her calls went straight to voicemail and her texts were unread. She started to get worried. Zatanna never ignored her calls. Even if she was busy, she still responded, albeit a bit hastily. Emily didn’t think much of this and reasoned that she must be busy with her new friends.

After a few more days of no contact with Zatanna, she felt anxious and thought of the worst case scenario. She shook her head as if she could physically will those dark thoughts away. I’ll go visit her professors, she thought with a determined shake of her head. After the bell rang, signifying the end of her last class, she sprinted down to the bus stop. After waiting for the right bus, she got on and travelled two kilometers before she got to her stop. She got off and searched the unfamiliar building for the right class number. She knocked on the door and tapped her foot impatiently.

“Come in,” a masculine voice said.

Emily walked in and closed the door behind her as she said, “Hello. My name is Emily Baker. I’m looking for Zatanna Patterson. Have you by any chance seen her?”

“Well…..,” The professor trailed off as he squinted his eyes in concentration. “I believe she works part time in the cafe on the other side of campus.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Emily in shock. She forced on a smile and said,

“Thank you for your time.”

“Anytime,” He said and returned back to his work.

Emily ran to the cafe as soon as she could and saw Zatanna in a uniform serving coffee, pastries, and smoothies. She stalked to the counter and glared at Zatanna as she bustled around preparing orders. “How many I help you?” Zatanna said without looking up.

“Zatanna,” Emily said, harshly.

Zatanna looked up, and her eyes widened. “W-What are you doing here?” She stuttered out.

“I’ve been worried sick about you! You haven’t been returning my calls or texts, and here you are working in a cafe without a care in the world,” Emily yelled, letting all of her frustrations out.

“Let’s talk in the back,” Zatanna said, pleading with her eyes.

Emily gave a brisk nod and followed her to the break room. She forced her to sit down with her and commanded, “Talk to me. What’s going on?

“My dad’s in the hospital, and my mom can’t support us financially, so I decided to take this job to help her out a bit,” Zatanna whispered with tears trailing down her face.

Zatanna braced herself for the yelling that was about to follow when she saw Emily stand up abruptly. Emily walked to one of the lockers and pulled out a uniform.
“Think they got room for one more?” Emily asked, and Zatanna’s smile was all the answer she needed.

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