None of us said anything on the way back to my house.
Chris had put his jacket around Jenny's shoulders as if it would help somehow.
Jenny's crying hadn't slowed. Chris let her bury her face in his shirt and sob. Chris put his arms around her and stared ahead with a sad look on his face the whole time we walked.
When we got to my house, I opened the front door just as Mom came out of the kitchen.
"Hi... Kids..." She said cheerily, but her smile faded when she saw Jenny.
Mom gave me a concerned look and said, "Kids, what happened?"
"Mom, this is Jenny." I said, "She's a friend from school. She was at the party at Leo's house, so you might have met her when you picked us up from there."
Mom nodded and pulled a chair out from the table, "Oh, okay. Here, Sweetie, sit down. I'll get you some water."
Mom didn't even need to ask why Jenny was crying. All she cared about was Jenny feeling better. I guess you can probably tell where Chris gets his tender heart. If Mom passed by an injured baby bird, she would most likely pick it up and bring it to the nearest Humane Society whether it was by car or on foot.
Jenny nodded and sniffled, "Thank you, Mrs. Harper."
Mom came back with a cup of water and set it down on the table. She nodded to us and said, "Well.... Good luck with your problem-solving. I'll be downstairs switching the laundry."
"Thanks, Mom." Chris said.
Jenny sat down at the table; Chris and I took a seat across from her.
Jenny took a sip of water and sighed. She looked between Chris and I and said quietly, "Thank you both so much... You're very kind."
"You're our friend, Jenny." Chris said softly, smiling, "Do you want to tell us what's wrong?"
Ah, therapist Chris. I thought, I missed you.
Jenny sighed again and set her glass of water back on the table.
"Yeah..." Jenny said quietly, "Um... Remember when Kathy got in a fight with Stephanie at lunch today?"
Chris and I both nodded.
"Well... Ms. Nelson usually sends the cheerleaders to give the students their mail," Jenny explained, "So, right after centers*, I brought a letter to Kathy... She asked what it was about and I told her she had been suspended for the rest of the week."
Chris and I exchanged a look and Jenny sniffed.
"So... She grabbed my wrist... And pulled me into the hallway, pretty forcefully for her." Jenny said, "Then, she said it was all my fault."
"That what was all your fault?" Chris asked gently.
Jenny blinked back tears and sniffed, "Everything. She said I'm prettier than her and I got her kicked off the cheerleading squad because Stephanie liked me better than her, but I swear that's not true!"
"Or course not, Honey." Chris said, patting her hand sympathetically, "It's not your fault at all."
"A-and th-then," Jenny said, covering her face with her hands, "Sh-sh-she called me a..."
Jenny started crying hard.
I reached across the table and put my hand on her shoulder.
"Kathy... Said..." Jenny said, trying to pull herself together, "'Get out of my life... You... S-stupid lesbian.'"
Jenny buried her head in her hands and cried.
Chris and I looked at each other again. Chris whispered to me, "What do we do?"
"I don't know." I whispered back, "Comfort her."
We both looked at Jenny and Chris put his hand on her arm.
"Jen," Chris said.
Jenny sniffed and looked up.
"I want you to know," Chris said quietly, looking Jenny in the eyes, "That I know Kathy didn't mean that. I have known her for years and I know that she said that out of anger."
Jenny hiccuped from crying so much.
"Jenny," Chris said, gently taking her hand, "Angie and I are here for you, keep that in mind next time something goes wrong."
Jenny sniffed again and shifted her gaze to me.
I smiled at her and put my hand over her other hand, nodding.
Jenny nodded and smiled weakly, "Thank you... That's really good to hear."
Chris beamed and walked around the table to Jenny, "Come here."
Chris hugged Jenny and I joined them.
Jenny laughed a little and I said, "Don't worry about Kathy.
"I know she'll come around sooner or later."
*Centers - Last classes of the school day.