Brooke Davis walked into the county jail, pulling her jacket tight around her. She checked her watch: 3:30 a.m. It had been exactly 28 minutes since her phone had rang.
"Hello?" Brooke said, barely awake.
"Miss Davis?" the man on the other line questioned.
"Yes, this is me."
"This is Officer Lewis at the Charleston County Jail." It wasn't until this moment that Brooke realized something was wrong. She sat up in bed, wide awake.
"Is everything alright?" Fear was evident in her words.
"Well, we have your foster daughter, Samantha." At those words, Brooke had jumped out of bed, dressed, and rushed to the jail.
"Can I help you?" A short man sitting behind a desk asked.
"Yes, my dau—foster daughter is here, Samantha Walker." The man picked up the phone and informed the person on the other end that Brooke Davis was here.
"Officer Lewis will be out in a sec. You can have a seat while you wait."
"Thank you." Brooke sat tapping her foot. Officer Lewis hadn't said much on the phone, and she had no idea why she was here, other than Sam needed to be picked up.
"Miss Davis?" A young man entered the waiting room. Brooke stood up and followed him into a small room with a desk and a couple of chairs. Sam sat in the chair farthest from the door. Her first instinct was to grab Sam and hug her, but Sam quickly stared at the floor when Brooke entered. Brooke stared at the teenager who seemed completely different than she had three months ago. She was skinnier, her clothes were dirty, and her hair looked like it hadn't been washed in weeks.
"What do you think I should do?" Sam questioned. Brooke held the tears back. She didn't know how to answer this question. Truthfully, she wanted to scream 'Don't go! Stay with me!', and lock Sam up and never let her leave, but she also wanted Sam to be happy.
"Honey, I don't think I can answer that question. It's completely your decision, but whatever you choose I will support and no matter what I am always here for you. This will always be your home." The second the words left her mouth she wished she could take them back. The next day Sam had packed her belongings and left to go live with her biological mom. Besides the occasional phone call Brooke hadn't spoken or seen her since.
"You can have a seat." Officer Lewis sat on top of his desk as Brooke sat in the chair next to Sam. The tension in the room was thick, but Officer Lewis was used to it. He figured this was another case of a rebellious teen who'd snuck out. "We caught Sam vandalizing—"
"How many times do I have to tell you? I didn't fucking do it!"
"Samantha!" Brooke's voice was a mix between confusion and disapproval. For the first time, Sam looked at Brooke, but tears quickly filled her eyes and she looked back down at the ground. Brooke continued to stare at her, but Sam refused to look up. She could feel Brooke's eyes burning into her, waiting for an explanation, but she continued to stare at her feet.
Officer Lewis decided he should just continue, "So anyways, we found Sam with a few other kids. They were spray painting graffiti down at the park. The others got away, but we caught her. We're letting her go tonight, but she'll have to appear in court in a few weeks." He explained. After a few more standard procedures Brooke and Sam were free to go.
The early morning air was cold as the two left the jail. Brooke headed towards her car, while Sam started off in the opposite direction. "Hey," Brooke turned towards Sam, but she kept walking. Brooke walked towards the teen, and gently grabbed her elbow, turning her so they faced each other. Brooke's eyes focused on the girl. "And, where do you think you're going?"
"Look Brooke," it was the first words Sam had spoken to her, but she still managed to avoid eye contact. "I just needed someone to get me out. They wouldn't release me without a parent. That's it."
"Uh uh," Brooke shook her head, "you're not getting off that easy. Get in the car. Let's go." Sam stood defiantly. "Now." Brooke said sharply. Reluctantly Sam obeyed.
They drove in silence. It wasn't until they came upon a 24 hour diner till Brooke spoke. "You hungry?" Sam nodded as Brooke pulled in. The waitress sat them in a booth in the back. Besides a few lonely truckers they were the only two customers.
"I don't have much money." Sam's voice was quiet, but sincere.
Brooke looked up from the menu. She was shocked and a little hurt Sam was acting as though they were complete strangers, "Get whatever you want. It's on me." She said quietly. After they had placed their order (The Hungry Man's Breakfast for Sam and a side of toast for Brooke), the awkward silence kicked in. "Sam," Brooke stirred her coffee, waiting for Sam to look up, "I need to know what's going on."
Sam shrugged as tears began to fill her eyes. "It's nothing. I just needed someone to pick me up." Sam stared into her coke. "I wasn't spray painting anything I was just hanging out with those guys, and then the cops came, and they all left, and I tried to run, but I couldn't, and" Sam broke down at this moment. Brooke immediately left her seat, and went to sit next to Sam.
She held her as she cried, and tried to calm her down. "It's okay, sweetheart. Everything is going to be alright." Brooke rubbed her back. "Breathe, just breathe." Slowly, Sam calmed down enough to lift her head up.
"Please, Brooke just don't," she rubbed her eyes, "don't be nice to me. I don't deserve it."
The waitress arrived with their food. "Everything alright?" She asked eyeing Brooke.
"Yes, thank you." Brooke said sliding Sam's food over to her.
Sam quickly began shoving the food into her mouth. It was evident she hadn't eaten for awhile. Brooke watched the young girl, wondering what had happened in the past three months.