“This is a series of audio recordings that were uncovered by the FBI while investigating the scene of a crime at Emmie’s house. They subsequently listened to them when they were supposed to be looking for evidence.”
This is a series of audio recordings that were uncovered by the FBI while investigating the scene of a crime at Emmie’s house. They subsequently listened to them when they were supposed to be looking for evidence.
Audio recording I
DAD: So, since little Emmie is only three and really wanted to keep a diary like her big sister Rachel, we decided to record this conversation as her diary!
EMMIE: I’m not wittle! I’m big!
DAD: My mistake, Em! Now, start recording your diary!
EMMIE: So, so, so… I don’t know what to say, Dada!
DAD: Maybe you want to start off with what you did today!
EMMIE: Well, I woke up, and Wobby was playing woud music.
DAD: Just for the record, Robert, called Robby by Emmie, is Rachel’s twin and Em’s teenage brother.
EMMIE: Stop talking, Dada. I am talking now! Anyway the music was wots of scweaming. I couldn’t sleep! Then I ate ceweal. Then I went to kidagarten!
DAD: Emmie, you don’t go to kindergarten just yet. You go to Carol Day Care!
EMMIE: I go to KIDAGARTEN!
DAD: Carol Day Care is really fun! You have lots of friends, like Ashley!
EMMIE: WHAAA! KIDAGARTEN!
Audio Recording II
MOM: Well, since Martin has completely shied away from this task, I took on the job of supervising Emmie while she does her audio recording diary. So, Emmie, mic to you.
EMMIE: What’s mic to you?
MOM: (sighs) Emmie, me saying mic to you is a way of letting you talk.
MOM: (exasperatedly) So, mic to you.
EMMIE: What’s mic to you?
MOM: (largest sigh yet) Just talk!
MOM: (sighs larger than the boundaries of the universe) I am losing it right now! Emmie, we are recording your diary, as I hope you remember! Although, if you keep pushing my patience, we won’t be recording for much longer!
MOM: OH MY GOD, I AM LEAVING.
EMMIE: I’m Cookie Monster! Cookie Monster wants cookies!
(running footsteps fade, then a long period of silence)
ROBERT: Why is this dumb thing blinking green at me? Does that mean it’s on? This is like medieval technology. I dunno how to work this stuff. Why is it here?
ROBERT: Oh yeah, didn’t Mom mention something about Em doing her diary as an audio recording? Must have not gone very well if both Mom and Em left the room, not bothering to turn off this odd contraption. Anyway, I should probably quit this recording… maybe I should turn this switch to “off” instead of “on”? So confusing, this pathetic excuse for tech…
Audio Recording III
RACHEL: Look, I’m only in this for the money. Mom said she would give me five bucks if I did this. (smacks gum) So, like, do your thing, Em.
EMMIE: Wachie, what should I say!
RACHEL: Do whatever you want. Sing your ABC’s if you want to. But make it snappy. I’m due at Allie’s in fifteen minutes. (smacks gum)
EMMIE: A, B, C, E, E, F, E. A, A, A… What comes next, Wachie?
RACHEL: Where are you in the alphabet? You got like five letters wrong.
EMMIE: I don’t know my ABC’s.
RACHEL: Then sing freaking “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Or whatever you want! I don’t have time for this. (smacks gum)
EMMIE: Wachie, you don’t like me!
RACHEL: Yeah, nope. I really don’t.
EMMIE: But, but, but you are not a pwetty, pwetty pwincess anymore!
RACHEL: I do not care whether I am a pretty, pretty princess or the Devil. All I know is that this is dragging on longer than I wanted it to. (smacks gum) I’d better phone Allie to tell her I’ll be late.
EMMIE: (suddenly happy) Could I come to Allie’s?
RACHEL: You know Allie hates you, right?
EMMIE: (sniffles) She does?
RACHEL: (smacks gum) Yup, she does. (tone softens) But, come along anyway.
EMMIE: What? You are so mean to me, like Cora at kidagarten.
RACHEL: (sighs) I’m not going to say anything. (pause) Who is Cora?
EMMIE: Cora always says she has the best Wegos. I only have Duplex Wegos. She has regular Wegos! I want Mommy to get me regular Wegos, but she says no.
RACHEL: She’s right, only Duplo is safe for kids three years old and under. There’s a choking hazard. I wonder if Cora’s mom knows about that?
EMMIE: Could I go to Allie’s house with you, could I? Could I? Could I?
RACHEL: Sure, whatever. Are we done recording this dumb diary thing?
EMMIE: Yay! We’re done! Let’s go!
RACHEL: Now if I can just figure out how to turn this off…
Audio Recording IV
ROBERT: Dad doesn’t want to do it, Mom doesn’t want to do it, Rachel’s at Allie’s house again, so who gets the job? Me, of course!
EMMIE: Hmph. Wachie was nice at least. She took me to Allie’s house.
ROBERT: She should have taken you this time, too.
EMMIE: Wobby! Tell me what to talk about!
ROBERT: Talk about what you did today at Carol Day Care.
EMMIE: No! Kidagarten!
ROBERT: Fine, talk about that.
EMMIE: Say it.
ROBERT: Say what?
EMMIE: Say “talk about what you did today at kidagarten.”
ROBERT: No, that’s ridiculous. You’re not even in kindergarten!
EMMIE: SAY IT!
DAD: (calling from upstairs) What’s all the fuss about?
ROBERT: She wants me to acknowledge that she’s in kindergarten, but she’s not!
DAD: Just say she is if you want to avoid a ton of drama.
ROBERT: Absolutely not. I refuse, goodbye.
EMMIE: But Wobby, we didn’t get to finish my diary!
EMMIE: Don’t go!
EMMIE: (calling out) Dada, will you do it?
DAD: (replying from upstairs) No, no, no, absolutely not, and if you didn’t catch the hint, over my dead body!
EMMIE: (whining) But, but, but I want to finish my diary!
DAD: (frantically, still from upstairs) Shh, shh, don’t cry. We’ll call Aunt Jojo and have her come visit from her home in California to help you finish your diary, okay?
EMMIE: Yay! Auntie Jojo!
DAD: Wait, are we still being recorded? Let me come downstairs to turn off the audio recording.
(footsteps growing louder as they come down a set of stairs and approach)
Audio Recording V
AUNT JOJO: I can’t believe this is so easy! It’s a perfect excuse to pull off my evil schemes – sorry, I meant spend time with my lovely niece.
EMMIE: What is skeems?
AUNT JOJO: (in a sickeningly sweet tone) Nothing, honeypie, nothing at all. Now why don’t you talk about, let’s see here, your friends at Carol Day Care? Last time I was here, I met Ashley, a sweet child but much too interested in princesses. Anyway, start talking, Emmie, okay?
EMMIE: (incredulously, or as incredulous as a three-year-old can be) I not go to day care! I go to kidagarten! Everybody make that mistake!
AUNT JOJO: Whatever, kindergarten. Now, honeypie, you keep talking. Auntie Jojo is going to go do some work.
EMMIE: Ashley is friends with Cora now. She doesn’t like me now. They’re cwiquey. Ashley’s mommy is gonna buy her regular Wegos for her birthday. Ashley won’t share with me, and Miss Marsha says sharing is caring!
AUNT JOJO: Isn’t it sad your friend won’t share with you? How about I take you to a nice place where everybody knows about sharing?
EMMIE: Okay, Auntie Jojo. But can I do my diary there?
AUNT JOJO: (sighing) Fine. Now all you have to do is let me throw this sack over your head and carry you to my stolen car.
(rustling of sack)
EMMIE: (muffled) It’s dark in here. What if there are monsters?
AUNT JOJO: (sighing again) Honeypie, monsters don’t exist. Now let me just turn off this audio recording, and we’ll be off to sunny California!
After hearing these audio recordings, new FBI recruit Stanley Harding was very confused. He thought that they were funny sometimes, but were completely unrelated to the kidnapping crime he was solving. He went back to looking for evidence.
At five PM, he went back to the FBI base with bad news. “Sorry, guys. No evidence today,” he sighed. “I listened to some funny audio recordings I found in the basement though.”
“That could be evidence!” Laura Raskin shouted.
Laura Raskin was a very high-level member of the FBI who had been on the team for much longer than Stanley.
“Nah, I don’t think so,” Stanley said. “All they featured was a little girl doing her diary as an audio recording because she couldn’t write yet. She kept changing supervisors until they finally brought in her Californian aunt. It was hilarious. The end was a bit confusing because the aunt took the girl on a vacation to California without asking the girl’s parents.”
“Stanley, don’t you see?” Laura asked. “The little girl is the one that was kidnapped! Her aunt took her to California! I’m starting to seriously doubt whether you should even be on the FBI with the way you dismiss evidence right in front of your face!”
Stanley Harding was even more confused, but he understood that Laura thought the audio recordings were evidence. So, he took her to Emmie’s house two blocks away, although he got lost on the way, which delayed the process.
Finally, they arrived. Laura quickly said, “Okay, which audio recording is it?”
Stanley counted on his fingers. “Five?” he said questioningly.
Laura listened to the fifth audio recording. Once she finished, she jumped up, sighing at Stanley.
“How did you not get that this was evidence?” Laura said. “Well, no harm done. We just have to fly to California and find Emmeline.”
(Emmeline was Emmie’s full name.)
But when they asked permission from their FBI base leader, Kingsley Maxwell, he said, “Which one of you found this evidence? You see, I am getting old and ready to retire. I’ll promote the person who solves this case to base leader.”
Stanley Harding was not an intelligent man, as you have probably already seen. How he got on the FBI in the first place will forever remain a mystery. But he knew that if he took credit, he would get promoted to base leader.
“I found the evidence,” he said, not exactly lying.
“Okay, then. Stanley. If you solve this case, I’ll promote you,” Kingsley said, a little nervously.
This new recruit hadn’t proven himself very well in the past. He seemed to have difficulty solving even the simplest of cases. But if Stanley had found the
evidence… he must not be as hopeless as Kingsley had thought.
It was nearly night, so Stanley, Laura, and Kingsley retired to their tents. They had set up a temporary camp near Emmie’s house. Stanley and Kingsley went to sleep immediately, but Laura tossed and turned in the women’s tent. Was Stanley even competent enough to help her search for Emmeline in California? When an FBI partnership is working together, each partner has to completely trust the other. Laura knew that Stanley would want to help her, but she didn’t know if he would be able to. She thought she might end up doing all the work, and he would just be a useless tag-along. That would be through no fault of his own, just because of the painful fact that Laura was simply better at investigating, and connecting the dots without any numbers. Stanley wasn’t even aware of that fact, and suddenly Laura felt bad for him.
There was so much going on in Laura’s brain that it tired her out. Suddenly, her eyelids felt heavy, and she soon fell asleep.
The next morning, Kingsley was shouting, “HARDING! RASKIN! You’re going to California today! Wake up!”
Laura jumped out of bed. Despite her lack of sleep overnight, she was energized and ready for the day. On previous cases, she had had to deal with little sleep (even all-nighters) and still stay focused on her case during the day. She was used to it. She showered, dressed, brushed her teeth, and appeared from behind the tent flap, her naturally frizzy red hair slicked back into a ponytail. Not one hair escaped. A few minutes later, Stanley Harding emerged from the men’s tent in a stained bathrobe, clutching a cup of lukewarm coffee. He rubbed his eyes and mumbled a few curses.
“Get dressed, Harding. Your flight is in three hours!” Kingsley barked.
Stanley disappeared back into the tent, still mumbling curses. Laura drummed her nails on her thigh, then winced. She had forgotten that she had just had an acrylic manicure done. Nail treatments were her one vice. She’d never told anyone about it because it wasn’t very professional for a high-level FBI member.
Kingsley and Laura waited for Stanley, and they waited, and they waited. They waited for a very long time. Finally Kingsley rose.
“I’m going to see what is going on in that tent,” he said, a little angrily.
After all, Stanley was holding up the solving of a case. But Kingsley didn’t need to check in on him, because at that moment, Stanley came out of the tent, dressed but still red-eyed.
“It took you long enough,” Laura called out.
“No matter,” Kingsley said. “Walk five blocks away and call an Uber to JFK from there.”
Laura nodded sharply.
“Why?” Stanley whined. “We can call an Uber from here, you know!”
“To maintain your cover. Just in case.”
Kingsley sent them off. The walk was mostly uneventful. Stanley plodded along, complaining. Laura briskly walked ahead. The Uber was cramped, with ripped seat covers that sent yellow stuffing spilling out and broken seat belts. Laura was anxious to get out. Stanley didn’t seem to notice the poor condition of the car. He was too busy falling asleep on Laura’s shoulder and waking up with a jolt whenever the car went over a bump.
A long time later, they got on the plane. Describing the airport ordeal would be meaningless and time-consuming. You have gone through meaningless, time-consuming processes before. I do not need to describe another one for you.
Both Laura and Stanley fell asleep on the plane. Laura woke briefly only to blurrily see a perky blonde flight attendant whose pin said “Hello! My name is Stefanie!”
Stefanie was holding a basket full of packets of beet chips and almond cookies. Laura fell asleep again while Stefanie was talking to the people across from them.
Laura woke again about forty-five minutes before touchdown, well rested now, and woke Stanley too. Once he had rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, he was awake.
When they got off the plane, Stefanie said goodbye to them.
Laura and Stanley got their luggage from the baggage claim. You might think that they wouldn’t have much luggage, but both of them had packed for two weeks. If this case took longer, they could go to a laundromat and wash their clothes.
“Where are we staying?” asked Stanley.
“At the Marriott Inn. Kingsley has arranged it all for us,” Laura replied.
There was a little confusion in the taxi because the driver thought that they were going to the Maltese Inn, which was a spa, salon, and boarding facility for small dogs. But, eventually, Laura straightened it out.
Their room at the Marriott Inn had only one double bed. Laura phoned the front desk and asked for a rollaway bed for herself. She knew that if Stanley had the rollaway, he would complain all night about the bad springs. They unpacked, and didn’t leave their hotel room for the rest of the day.
The next morning, Laura and Stanley got up, got dressed, and went to start investigating the case.
“On the recording, Emmeline’s father said that the aunt lived in California, so I’ll call the family to ask where the aunt lives,” Laura said.
“Okay,” Stanley said.
Laura phoned the house. “Hello, where does Emmeline’s aunt live?” she asked.
“Who is this?” replied Martin, Emmie’s dad.
“Laura Raskin, FBI, investigating your daughter’s kidnapping.”
“1 Peachy Beachy Road, Sunnytown, California.”
“Okay, thank you,” Laura said sarcastically.
She slammed the phone down with more force than necessary. Peachy Beachy Road? Sunnytown? Martin was either an idiot about where his sister lived or a bad liar, and Laura couldn’t find any reason for him to lie. Didn’t he want to find his daughter faster?
“Stanley, bad news. Emmeline’s father is no help at all. According to him, the aunt lives on 1 Peachy Beachy Road, Sunnytown, California. Seriously?” Laura fumed.
“Well then, let’s go, and look for Peachy Beachy Road in Sunnytown!” Stanley said excitedly. “We have a lead on our case!”
“Stanley. Harding. Do you really think anyone in the world would be lucky enough to have their house number 1, to live in a place called Sunnytown, in California, and to have their road be named Peachy Beachy Road? That sounds like something Emmeline, the three-year-old, would make up. Honestly, Stanley. Wake up.”
“Well, I’m going to look up 1 Peachy Beachy Road on the computer. See if you can stop me,” Stanley replied. “It’s possible. Anything is possible!”
“Fine,” Laura replied. “But I promise you, nothing is going to come out of it.”
A few minutes later, Stanley shouted, “Look!” He turned the computer to face Laura. The Google Maps result read, “1 Peachy Beachy Road, Sunnytown, California.” Most of the results below were Reddit links to users making fun of the road’s name.
Laura sighed. “Okay, let’s go.”
She knew that Emmeline probably wouldn’t be there, but they could search the house for clues as to where she and her aunt were.
They went out of the hotel. On the way, Laura had to pull Stanley away from three separate people who he was about to blow their cover to – the front desk receptionist with too much hairspray and too much makeup, the tall French waiter with a gelled mustache, and the random brown haired, brown eyed, freckled short woman they passed who looked slightly intimidated by Stanley. But Laura was getting used to Stanley’s mindless, unprofessional slip-ups, and how to deal with them.
Laura caught another Uber to a location five blocks away from 1 Peachy Beachy Road, another walk that Stanley complained about. Emmeline’s aunt’s house was small and nondescript. It looked just like all the others on the block. Laura took a deep breath and raised her hand to knock on the door, but Stanley snatched her hand away.
“I want to do it!” he whined, like a two-year-old.
“Okay, Stanley,” Laura sighed. “You can do it.”
“Yay!” Stanley knocked on the door.
The door opened, and a woman came out. She had a toothpaste-commercial smile, bright blue eyes, and perfectly applied makeup.
“What could this be?” the woman asked kindly.
“Hello. We are FBI members. We have reason to believe that you are hiding a three-year-old child in this house,” Laura said.
“Go away!” the woman said fiercely, her kind demeanor gone.
Laura and Stanley shoved themselves into the house and began searching for Emmeline. It didn’t take long. There was a girl that looked exactly like the photos Emmeline’s parents had given them sitting on a shag rug in the living room, happily sucking on a lollipop and playing a fantasy football video game.
“Hello, Emmeline,” Laura said quietly. “We have come to take you from this horrible house and back to your parents, who love you and miss you very much.”
Emmeline stubbornly popped the lollipop out of her mouth. “But Auntie Jojo gives me wollipops!” she whined. “And I’ve discovered a new passion – funzee football!”
“Fantasy football, dear,” the woman said, looking lovingly at Emmeline.
Laura was dumbstruck. She had never been in a kidnapping situation before where the child being kidnapped was being treated better with the kidnapper than in the child’s normal home. This wasn’t a case crime more than it was a moral dilemma.
“Well?” the woman asked, looking utterly sad and broken. “Go on. Take her away back to her family, whom she hates. She would rather be with me.”
“Laura,” Stanley said seriously. “It doesn’t seem right to take this child away. She seems happier here. From the information we got for this case, and from how she’s being treated here, I think this is a better upbringing environment.”
“I want to stay with Auntie Jojo!” Emmeline cried out.
Laura felt like she was overwhelmed. She had to solve this case because she was an FBI member, but she also had moral difficulties with doing this to Emmeline. And, also, WHEN THE HECK DID STANLEY START TALKING LIKE THAT?!
Laura took a deep breath and left the room.
When she was in the other room, she thought about everything. Being a member of the FBI was about collecting all the knowledge you know and using it to fill in the things you don’t know. So she thought and thought.
Finally, a metaphorical light bulb turned on inside her head, and she had a plan.
“Okay.” Laura came back into the room. “Josefina, you love Emmeline and want to keep her. That’s why you kidnapped her. Correct?”
“Correct,” the woman replied.
“And you seriously doubt the legitimacy of her parents’ guardianship of her. Correct?” Laura waited expectantly.
“Correct,” the woman repeated.
“Did you get to see her all that much before the kidnapping?” Laura asked.
“No, actually, the audio recording session was the first time I’d seen her in about two years,” the woman replied. “Actually, that’s one of the reasons I… you know.”
“Okay, then. Why not move a little closer to the area Emmeline lives in? And have a schedule or something, like her parents have primary guardianship but you get her on weekends, if her parents agree to it. Does that work for you?” Laura asked.
“Actually, yes. Perfect,” The woman brightened.
“You will have to work this all out with a lawyer of course, and if you kidnap any of the children again, you will not be allowed to see them, you know…”
“Yes. I know. If it’s possible, could I also see the older children, Rachel and Robert from time to time?” Emmeline’s aunt asked.
“You’re going to need to work that out with their parents and a lawyer. I’m not the person to ask on this one. And you know that this is all conditional, and it’s only if Emmeline’s parents agree.”
But Laura could see that Josefina’s hopes were up. Boy, she hoped the parents would agree.
Laura, Stanley, Emmeline and her aunt arrived at the door of Emmeline’s immediate family’s house. Laura rang the doorbell. A woman opened it, and immediately embraced Emmeline.
“Emmie,” the woman cried, sobbing from joy. “Martin! Robert! Rachel! Emmie’s home!”
A man and a teenage girl ran down the stairs. A teenage boy reluctantly followed behind. The man and the teenage girl, who Laura knew as Martin and Rachel respectively, both sobbed over Emmeline. Even the teenage boy, Robert, tousled Emmeline’s wispy blonde hair and admitted, “I’ve missed you, squirt.”
It was a precious moment, and Laura hated to break it up, but professionalism had almost completely replaced her sentimentality. “Excuse me,” she said. “Josefina here, Emmeline’s aunt, has been found as the culprit of your daughter’s kidnapping.”
“You…” Emmeline’s mother, Abigail, straightened up, then turned to Laura. “Look, I know all in-laws suck, but this is the worst case I have ever heard of!”
“Hear me out,” Laura said. “Josefina loves Emmeline. She truly does. She never gets to see her. She just wants to be able to love her. She wants to move closer to you and your family so she can see Emmeline more often. She would really appreciate it if you would allow her to see Emmeline as a part of a schedule. I know this might take time, and you would need to work it out with a lawyer, but -”
“No.” The word from Abigail was sharp.
“What?” Laura was not used to being interrupted. “Just hear me out!”
“I don’t need to hear you out. I know what you want to say.” Abigail crossed her arms. “You’re going to play the whole repentant-sinner shtick, and you expect me to give in. Well, I wasn’t born yesterday. This is my daughter, and I’m not about to willingly place her into the hands of a known kidnapper.”
“Oh.” Laura was speechless.
“Please,” Josefina choked out, teary.
“Oh, Jojo!” Abigail dropped her stern demeanor and ran into Josefina’s arms, which sounded a lot like giving into the repentant-sinner shtick to Laura.
But she didn’t say anything, because she didn’t want to do away with one of the rare times Abigail showed her humanity.
“You are going to have to work this out with a lawyer, so it’s not final…” Laura warned.
But she knew, somehow, that it would turn out right. She usually had a feeling of satisfaction when she solved a case, but this feeling was different. The feeling she had now was that she’d done the right thing.
A few weeks later, everything was resolved. Josefina, Abigail, and Martin had worked out everything with a lawyer. Josefina had found a house for sale near Emmeline’s family’s house and was planning to move there soon. And Stanley – sigh – was replacing Kingsley Maxwell as FBI base leader.
Laura had forgotten this particular aspect of their case agreement, so it came as a surprise. She had been walking around the FBI base with Stanley, totally content and happy. Then Stanley grinned and said, “Do you remember how Kingsley said I could be base leader if we solved the case? Well, we did!”
Oh, boy, Laura thought automatically. This is not going to be good. Then she reconsidered. Stanley had been acting so much more mature since the day that they had found Emmie. He was more confident, and thought ahead more. Like, when Stanley wanted to invite his college buddies over to the FBI base for beer, an action Laura would not have put past him in the past, he decided not to because he knew they should probably stay inconspicuous. He then excitedly described the whole thought process in detail to Laura, even using the word “inconspicuous,” which was really the game changer for Laura. Small, she knew, but small things like that really prove a person’s maturity. She thought, Maybe he’s ready for this. He’s matured considerably since this case. I think he’s ready.
He was ready. Kingsley thought so, Laura thought so, even Emmeline, who had taken to calling him “Uncle Stanee” thought so. Laura was “Auntie Lauwa.” Well, actually, she was “Scawy Auntie Lauwa,” because of her stern demeanor. But even that was going away. It wasn’t only Stanley who had changed since the case. Laura was more playful and imaginative, and she adored Emmeline. Stanley did too.
Stanley and Laura started out as polar opposites. But through the process of the case, they had grown closer together in personality. Laura and Stanley both had a thing for each other, but it was unsaid until one groundbreaking moment…
It happened on a case. A very important case, one that Stanley and Laura were working on together. A Brazilian cruise company was smuggling endangered animals from the Amazon rainforest, and selling them to Americans for millions. Stanley and Laura were hiding out in a crate on the cruise ship with the extremely rare tulip macaw, who was perched on Laura’s arm and was dirty, wet, and scared. Laura was trying to soothe it.
They were hunched over in this tiny crate, and Stanley whispered, “Laura.”
“Shhh!” Laura hissed angrily.
“Laura,” Stanley repeated.
“Shhh! Do you want us to get caught?” Laura whispered furiously.
“Laura!” Stanley was loud, and Laura’s heart thumped wildly in her chest.
We’re going to get caught, we’re going to get caught, was all she could think. Nothing happened, and her heart rate slowed to normal.
“Will you marry me?” Stanley said.
“Oh. Um. Sure.”
And Stanley kissed Laura. Laura was shocked, but Stanley kept on. Eventually, he released her, both of them embarrassed. There was a moment of silence, and then Laura kissed him back.
“Whuh?” Stanley said.
“I just thought, what the heck,” Laura replied.
They eventually left the FBI and got married. They settled in the same neighborhood as Josefina, Martin, Abigail, Rachel, Robert, and Emmie. They got to watch Emmie grow up, and Josefina, Abigail, and Laura became best friends. Laura and Stanley eventually had two children, Kaia and Ezekiel, but that’s another story.
And they all lived happily ever after.
P.S.: If you want to know, Ashley, Emmie’s former best friend, and Cora, the girl whose mother bought her Legos, never became friends with Emmie again. However, Emmie eventually came to her senses, and became best friends with Kaia, Laura’s daughter.