The afternoon sun had just begun to set over Rathink Court. As the sky began to turn to a dull orange hue, the "Ed Mobile", driven by May had finally arrived at the cul-de-sac. As the bike pulled up in front of Double Dee's lawn, Double Dee turned to see Eddy and Lee sitting on his stoop as if they were waiting for him. Lee was grinning slyly, while Eddy had his head down towards the ground.
"What took ya so long?" yelled Lee as she stood up off of the stoop, walking towards May's position.
"We had to make a little stop, we're sorry," said May.
"Geez some little stop," said Lee, "What did ya have to do stop to make out with Ed?"
Lee chuckled as May began to blush.
"Shut up Lee!" yelled May, causing more laughter from her red-headed sister.
"I'm just jokin, loosen up Bucky!" yelled Lee as she walked over towards Double Dee.
"Ya ready to get your woman back Double Dee?" asked Lee as she grinned.
Double Dee sighed.
"As ready as I'll ever be I suppose." replied Double Dee.
In reality, Double Dee was not even close to being emotionally ready to face Marie, and he was sure that Marie was not quite at that point yet. Lee took notice that Double Dee was in distress and put her hand on his shoulder.
"Don't sweat it," said Lee, "She still loves ya, she just needs a good kick in the ass. And you talkin to her will be just the thing to do it!"
Lee laughed as she backed away from Double Dee. As Ed and May held their own side conversation, Lee looked over towards Eddy. Eddy was afraid to face Double Dee after all of the things he had done to hurt him and was looking towards the ground awkwardly.
"Yo Eddy," said Lee, "Isn't there something you'd like to say to Double Dee?"
Eddy looked up from the ground, and made eye contact with his friend, who was still standing at the edge of the lawn next to his bike. Eddy reluctantly began walking towards Double Dee as Lee, May and Ed looked on.
Eddy finally reached the edge of Double Dee's lawn, and found himself staring directly into the eyes of his best friends. Both boys glanced at each other for a good 10 seconds before Eddy began speaking.
"Double Dee," said Eddy, "I'm so sorry for ruining your relationship with Marie, and even more sorry for hurting Marie so bad. I was jealous of ya Double Dee, and the fact that you got a girlfriend and a real kiss before I did."
Eddy paused and caught his breath.
"I was wrong, I wasn't even thinking. I finally realized that I should have cared as much about your feelings as you did for mine. You were the first, and only person who was there for more last July, when my brother beat me up in front of everyone. You even put yourself in danger with him, with the mindset that you were defending me. Most of all, after it happened, you were the one who was there to reassure me that everything was going to be alright."
Eddy looked into his friends eyes.
"I feel awful Double Dee," said Eddy, "As much as you needed me to accept your relationship and be happy for you, I wasn't. I can't believe I ruined a great friendship over something so stupid."
Eddy looked down away from Double Dee. At this moment, Double Dee placed his hand on Eddy's shoulder, causing Eddy to glance back up into his eyes. Double Dee had only seen the particular facial expression that Eddy was demonstrating one other time in all of the years he had known him, and that was during Eddy's heartfelt speech in the "Mondo A-Go Go" amusement park last summer. Double Dee knew at this moment that Eddy's apology was true, and he smiled into his friends eyes.
"Eddy," said Double Dee, "After those words, I hardly believe that our friendship is ruined."
Eddy smiled as he reached his hand out to shake Double Dees hand. Double Dee reached his hand out and grabbed Eddy's hand in a tight grip as he looked into his friend's eyes. After around five seconds, Eddy opened up his arms and embraced his best friend, as Double Dee embraced him back. After two days of not speaking, the two boys had finally regained their brotherly bond.
"I suppose I am just as at fault Eddy," said Double Dee, "I spent the first week of my relationship lying to you and Ed about Marie, something I never thought that I could bring myself to do."
"Just shut up Double Dee," said Eddy, "Don't you even try to say any of this is your fault. I was the jerk in this situation. I got ya into this, and I'm gonna get you out. It's time that we got you your girl back."
Double Dee smiled at his best friend as he let him out of his embrace. At this moment, Ed rushed over and placed his two friends in a headlock.
"We are all the three musk rats once again!" yelled Ed.
"I believe you mean musketeers Ed!" yelled Double Dee as he smiled.
"Yeah, what he said," said Eddy, "And even though my nose is being filled with the funk of your pits, I couldn't be happier right now!"
Lee and May smiled as the boys reconciled. Lee glanced over at May and gave her a quick wink, at which pointed she began walking over towards the boys.
"Alright boys!" yelled Lee, "Break it up, turtle doves. We gotta talk about what you're gonna say to Marie tonight."
"Certainly Lee," said Double Dee, "But there is one more thing I really need to clear up. As you have already pointed out, Ed, May and myself were late to this little rendezvous that you had planned. I will now explain the reason for our tardiness."
Double Dee turned to Eddy,
"Eddy as my best friend, I believe that it is time for me to share one of my most requited secrets with you." said Double Dee.
Lee sensed that Double Dee was about to speak about something that obviously meant a lot to him. She grabbed Mays hand and began leading May out of earshot, to give the boys privacy. Double Dee took notice.
"Lee," said Double Dee, "I have already told May what I am about to tell Eddy. I would certainly love for you to hear the story as well."
Lee stopped where she was and walked over towards Double Dee.
Double Dee sighed.
"Now, as you know Eddy, I wear this ski hat to cover up those hideous scars that are distributed irregularly across the left side of my scalp."
Eddy and Lee stood wide eyed as Double Dee once again told the entire story of how he lost his only brother in that terrible blaze, while at the same time revealing his scars to Eddy and Lee. Eddy had seen the scars before, so he was prepared for what he saw. Lee however had just seen the scars for the first time. Lee had been battling tears throughout the whole story, and seeing the burns on Double Dees head had managed to really hit home with her. The group as a whole stood in silence after Double Dee had finished speaking. Eddy decided to break the silence.
"Wow," said Eddy, "Double Dee, I'm sorry man. I feel so bad for callin ya Sock Head all of the time."
"I'm sorry for not telling you before," said Double Dee, "It's just that it's so hard to talk about it. We did everything together, and to this day I still feel as though he should be here with me."
The group of teenager stood in silence for a few seconds. After a while, Double Dee glanced around his yard. He turned to see May and Ed standing together with rather somber facial expressions, but was really surprised when he laid his eyes on Lee. Lee was standing in the middle of his lawn, trying to hold back tears. May glanced over at her sister at which point she walked over to towards her.
"Lee, are you alright?" asked May.
"Yeah, of course," snapped Lee, "I just got allergies."
May looked into her sisters eyes and couldn't help but grin.
"What," yelled Lee, "Don't look at me like that May, or I'll give ya the back hand again."
May continued looking at Lee, and after a few minutes Lee could no longer control her tears. May reached out and embraced her sister, as she showed her emotions after hearing Double Dee's tragic story. The Eds looked on shocked at what they were seeing. Double Dee had known before now that the Kanker sisters were ordinary girls on the inside, with feelings just like everyone else. However, seeing the girls display emotion was something entirely new to Ed and Eddy. Eddy in particular was shocked that the proud Lee Kanker would be standing directly in front of him crying. He couldn't help but crack a joyous smile at seeing the girls he had previously thought were animals showing who they truly were.
"Alright," yelled Lee, "Enough watching me stand over here crying like a freakin baby."
Lee wiped her eyes off as she walked over towards the Eds.
"Come on boys, it's time to set things right," yelled Lee as she pointed towards the trailer park, "Let's go get Double Dee his woman!"
Lee began walking across the street towards the construction site. May walked over to Ed and motioned for him to walk her home, after which they began following Lee's lead.
"Alright, you heard queen loudmouth," said Eddy, "It's time, let's go get you Marie!"
Eddy began walking after the rest of his peers, but quickly turned around to see that Double Dee had not budged an inch.
"Hey," said Eddy as he walked over to his friend, "You okay?"
"I am not sure if this is a good idea Eddy," said Double Dee, "After all, Marie did state that she did not want to ever speak to me again."
"Relax Double Dee," said Eddy, "From what I heard, this girl really loves ya. Now come on, ya gotta girl to sweep off her feet."
Double Dee smiled at his friends encouraging words.
"Let's go." said Eddy as he motioned for Double Dee to walk with him, "Besides, if ya stick by me, you can have any girl ya want."
Double Dee looked into Eddy's face and smiled. The boys shared a laugh at Eddy's joke as they walked toward the trailer park, on their way to execute their plan to reunite Double Dee and Marie.
It didn't take long for the teenagers to reach the Park n' Flush trailer park, and although the walk was short, every step felt like it had taken a lifetime for Double Dee. His heart was racing a mile a minute, and he was once again sweating. He did not want to blow his chance to win back Marie's trust.
Double Dee was too in tune to his thoughts to realize that he was currently standing around ten feet away from the front door of the Kanker sister's trailer, along with the rest of his peers.
"Alright, here's the deal," said Lee, "I'm gonna go in first and talk to her. I think she's gonna need to be prepared for all of this before we go rushing in there."
"And when we do go in there, make sure you be quiet cause our mom's home sleeping for work tomorrow."
Lee leaned into Eddy's face.
"I trust you can keep your big mouth shut for a few minutes while we do this" said Lee as she chuckled under her breath.
Eddy and Ed were quite frightened at the prospect of going into the Kanker's trailer while their mother was home. They could only imagine the kind of person that produced three overly aggressive antisocial daughters.
"Don't worry shrimp," said Lee, "She ain't gonna hurt ya, unless ya wake her up that is!"
Lee laughed at Eddy's fear as she began walking towards the door to the trailer.
"Alright, wait here," said Lee as she stepped up onto the single metal step leading up to the door, "I'll be right out."
Lee slowly opened the door to the trailer and entered, leaving the door slightly cracked. The kids who remained outside listened to the conversation that was taking place within the trailer.
"Marie," said Lee, "Someone is here to see you."
Eddy and Ed were shocked to hear Lee's voice sounding calm and motherly for once, rather than gritty and demanding.
There was silence within the trailer.
"Marie, please," said Lee, "It's Double Dee."
"I don't wanna talk," said Marie.
Double Dee's feelings were slightly hurt when he heard Marie's voice utter those words.
"Please Marie, just talk to him alone and listen to what he has to say." said Lee.
There was silence within the trailer once again, after which the sounds of footsteps were heard walking towards the door. Lee reemerged from the door and walked down the stairs onto the soil that lined the trailer park grounds.
After a few seconds, an emotionally distraught Marie appeared at the doorway. She was wearing the oversized t-shirt that she had usually worn to bed; it was in fact so large that the neck hole was wide enough to expose at least one of her shoulders. In addition to her t-shirt, she wore her plaid pajama bottoms; her feet were bare. Marie was not wearing any makeup, and her hair was unkempt; she had not cared about her physical appearance during the emotional turmoil she had suffered over the past two days.
Double Dees heart was broken when he caught sight of Marie in a state of such emotional despair. Although Double Dee stared directly into her eyes, Marie stared off into the distance as if she was in a trance.
Eddy had finally decided to do what he had to do, and stepped towards the door to the trailer.
"Marie," said Eddy, "I just want to tell you that everything that happened yesterday was my fault. Double Dee had nothing to do with it. I turned an intimate gift from you to Double Dee into something horrible, and I should have never done that. I did it cause I was jealous of you and Double Dees relationship."
Eddy took a breath.
"I don't expect you to forgive me, but I only ask that you give Double Dee a chance to talk to you and straighten things out. Double Dees a great guy, and he'll always be there for ya no matter what. You two deserve each other, and I was stupid to get in the way."
Eddy stepped back away from the trailer, and motioned Double Dee to begin walking towards Marie. Marie had absolutely no reaction to Eddy's statement and continued staring into the distance.
"So what do ya say Marie?" asked Lee, "Will ya give Double Dee a chance to talk to ya alone inside?"
Silence filled the air after that important question. After around ten seconds, Marie finally spoke.
"I can't." said Marie softly, "I'm sorry…I just can't"
Marie's lower lip trembled and tears began flowing down her face as she slowly closed the door to the trailer. Lee and May glanced at each other sorrowfully after which Lee walked toward the door to try to reason with Marie once again. After grabbing the doorknob and jiggling it, she discovered that Marie had locked the door.
"What the hell." said Lee quietly, "The bitch locked us out."
Lee jiggled the handle, after which she knocked on the door softly.
"Marie!" yelled Lee, "Open this damn door!"
As Lee attempted to get Marie to unlock the door, May walked over to Double Dee, who was attempting to hold back tears. Marie's words had just re hurt his feelings all over again.
"Double Dee, I'm sorry." said May in a somber tone.
At this point Lee had quit trying to reason with Marie and joined her sister by Double Dee and the other Ed's
"Sorry Double Dee," said Lee, "This wasn't supposed to happen. We'll get her to come around."
Lee turned towards Eddy.
"Why don't you take Double Dee home and play your games or something, to take his mind off of all of this," said Lee rather gently, "We'll try again later. But for now I gotta figure out a way to get into my own house."
Eddy shook his head as he rounded up Ed and Double Dee. The three boys walked away from the trailer park in silence.
It didn't take long for Lee to get the idea to use a small clothes hanger that she found in the dumpster to pick the lock. Lee twisted the hanger into a wire, and spent around five minutes working on the lock before she finally heard the deadbolt unlatch.
Lee pushed the door open and entered the trailers dark living room with May following closely after her. The two girls laid eyes on their sister, sitting on the couch with her face buried in her hands. Marie was sobbing rather heavily and her eyes were filled with tears. Although Lee was aggravated that she just had to break into her own house, she decided to put that behind her and attempt comfort and reason with her sister.
"Marie," said Lee calmly while she took a seat on the couch next to Marie. May followed Lee's lead and took a seat on the other side of her sister.
"Marie, Double Dee really wants to talk to you," said Lee.
"He loves you Marie, and he wants things to work out." said May.
"Well I don't love him." snapped Marie.
Lee had now decided to execute her ace in the hole. She knew that if Marie thought about things, she would realize that Double Dee would have never told her his secret about James if he was just using her to spy on the sisters.
"Marie," said Lee, "Do you think that Double Dee would have told you about his brother James, if he really didn't trust you and love you."
Marie instantly perked up at the sound of the name James. Lee was right, Double Dee would have never thought told her a story as serious as his tragic loss if his feelings for her weren't genuine.
"He told you?" asked Marie.
"Yeah," said May, "It was so sad, he really cared about his brother."
The three girls sat in silence for a few minutes.
"So," said Lee, "Do ya think we should go over Double Dees house and let ya talk to him about all of this."
Lee and May sat on the couch, waiting for an answer from their sister.
"No," said Marie, "I don't want to be hurt again. I can never trust him after he let Eddy give out those pictures of me!"
Marie was obviously just being stubborn, although she was truly hurt after having to relive her bullying she experienced as a child.
At this point, Lee stood up off of the couch and stared into Marie's face. Lee was fed up with her sister's stubborn ways and began yelling. Her yelling began to make May quite nervous.
"You know what Marie, you have got to be the stupidest person on two feet right now! You have a great man that loves you trying desperately to win you back! And you know what just takes the cake, you are still mad at him even though he didn't do anything to ya. Do you know much I would want a man like Double Dee to love me? Do ya! You don't know what you have Marie, and you are a freakin fool for not even wanting to talk to him. If ya ask me he deserves better than yo…."
All three girls froze where they were. In the midst of Lee's anger, her voice had climbed higher and higher in volume. The door to the bedroom upstairs had opened with an audible creek that seemed to resonate through the entire trailer. The girls could hear their mother slowly making her way to the edge of the stairs.
"Damn it," said Lee under her breath.
Tabby began descending the stairs and stopped when she was around halfway down. She glanced over at her three daughters with a rather somber facial expression as she leaned on the railing.
"Sorry mom," said Lee, "I didn't mean to wake you up."
Tabby stared at her daughters for a few more seconds before finally breaking the silence.
"You didn't wake me Annalee," said Tabby, after which she glanced down at Marie, making eye contact with her second born daughter.
"Annemarie," said Tabby, "Please come up to the bedroom, I really need to talk to you."
With those words, Tabby climbed the staircase and reentered the bedroom. Back on the couch, all three girls were completely confused. Their mother had never asked any of them to "talk" before, and Marie had no idea what her mother had to say. All of her life, she had never had any kind of intimate conversation with her mother. With a quick look at her sisters, Marie reluctantly rose off of the couch, and began ascending the stairs towards the bedroom. Lee and May took their seats on the couch, and flipped the television on. The two girls remained in silence as Marie began opening the door to the upstairs bedroom; she had no idea what her mother had in store for her.