north buckled her seatbelt as kale started up the car.

"i'm sorry." he sighed.

she was expecting that but still, she refused. "no, kale, please don't be sorry."

"no, please. i have to say this. i have to when it was impossible an hour ago." tears began forming in his eyes as he inhaled a deep breath. "i failed you. i failed you when i was supposed to be the one on your side when no one else was; when you thought nathan died, when you stopped being friends with leo, when dad left for the military, when mom sunk herself into alcoholism, when rita began hanging out with those rotten rich kids. i was the only one you had left yet i left you too. i'm supposed to be protecting you from all the shit people threw at you everyday and the bullies--yet what do i do? i date the girl who fucking shot you." he gave a cold, bitter laugh that wasn't directed at her. it was directed at himself.

"i don't deserve your forgiveness but i just need to say... i need to say i'm sorry for it all."

the car was completely silent except for the soft humming coming from the engine and the semi-silent sobs coming from kale.

"kale, pull over." she ordered and he did.

"i deserve this." he mumbled and flinched when she moved her hand to brush her hair back.

"kale, i'm not gonna hit you. i'm not gonna shout at you. i just told you to pull over because you're crying and i don't want us to swerve into a tree or a ditch." she explained. "kale, please stop crying. please stop." she took his face into her hands and wiped away his tears with her thumb. she felt like his mother now, especially when they have been lacking motherly love for so long now.

"i love my big brother. aren't you him? i love you kale. this is what you do when someone you love hurts you. you forgive them because casting them out of your life just because of their mistake would be even more painful. so you have my forgiveness kale. you have it." she gave him a warm smile that made him cry harder and they pulled each other into a sibling hug.

it was a long while until kale was stable to drive again but his sister's love and forgiveness worked its way into his heart which led to him finally beginning to forgive himself.

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