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"This is your house?" Ms. Gail asked as she pulled up, and parked her car behind my brother's. 

I nodded, unbuckling my seatbelt. I averted my eyes to look at the house, and saw Aaron through the lounge window. He kept walking around the house, holding a phone in his hand — and I could tell, he was panicking like a mad man at this point. 


"Who's that guy?" Ms. Gail asked again, pointing her finger to the window. When I didn't reply her question, she turned her eyes to me. "Ellie?"

"Um, he's my older brother," I answered, smiling bitterly. My stomach was tied in knots as I imagined how my brother would react when he see us. He must have been worried sick about us. 

"Oh, I see," she nodded, looking over to the window. She flicked her eyes to me. "I think I should meet your parents and explain everything. What do you think?" she suggested, and thought it'd help me. 

I shook my head almost instantly, excitedly. "No! —  Er, I mean, you shouldn't have to, Ms. Gail. It's fine. My brother would understand," I exclaimed, waving my hand. "I don't want to bother you." 

She sighed, smiling. "You're too kind sometimes, you know, Ellie. And remember this — " she pointed her finger towards me.  " —  You and Sophie would never bother me." Ms. Gail emphasized. 

I opened my mouth, before I closed it again. I didn't know what should I say to stop her. I knew Ms. Gail would still want to meet my parents no matter what I said. 

Well, the problem was actually  — I didn't have any parents

Only a brother. 

Should I tell her the truth?

I hesitated for a second, but then I agreed. "Okay, if you say so," I said, and she smiled happily. I went out of the car, and opened the door for Sophie. She was already half-asleep, and looked very tired. 

I guided both Sophie, and Ms.Gail towards my house. I gulped, praying hard that Aaron wouldn't be that mad, even though I realized — it was quite impossible. 

I took a deep breath before I knocked on the door, slowly. It only took about four seconds for Aaron to open the door. His eyes widened when he saw us, and his hair was sticking out at all angles  — like he was drunk or something

"Hi," I smiled innocently, putting my hands on Sophie's shoulders who was standing in front of me. 

Aaron's eyes widened even more, and his mouth fell open. "Hi? Really, Ellie?" He exclaimed, shocked. Before I could even add anything else, he pulled both of us into a tight hug — showing how grateful he was to see us again. 

I smiled a little, and felt slightly guilty. I should've called him from Riley's house. Why didn't I think about that? 

Sometimes, people could be really stupid, really. 

Or maybe it was just me. Yeah — me. 

"I'm so worried about you guys. God, where did you go? You should've called me, Ellie!" Aaron literally shouted in relief, and he was still hugging us tightly. 

"Aaron. I. Can't. Breath." I muttered slowly, trying my best to utter each word properly. I looked down to Sophie  — who was squeezed in between us. Her eyes were already wide open, and her face's squashed to his stomach. 

Aaron let us go. "Sorry," he mumbled, and turned his eyes to look at me, giving me a death stare. "You owe me an explanation, Ellie Burke."

"Aaron .... I"

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