Chapter 19

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“So, tell me again what happened last night,” Mr Robles asked me sternly.

I shifted nervously in my chair as I peered into the eyes of my kind yet strict councillor. My mom had called him and he had asked to see me immediately.

He had said that the sooner we tackled the problem, the easier I would get better.

I really hoped so.

“Well,” I began, searching my brain and trying to think of where to begin, again. This was the third time we’d been through it all.

“And,” he interrupted softy. “This time, I want to hear your thoughts, opinions and emotions. Not just the generic storyline. Do you understand me this time?”

I nodded as I finally figured out what to say.

In a desperate panic, I attempted to restart the car as the oncoming headlights grew ever bigger.

“Charlotte?” Josh whispered as I ignored him, trying to restart the engine.

Again, he whispered, “Charlotte?” but I still said nothing. I was trying to concentrate.

Apparently clear that the car wouldn’t start, I began to look around – I don’t know why – and try to decide what I could do.

I realised then that we were going to have to get out of the car. The oncoming vehicle didn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.

“Josh, I think we’re going to have to get out” I shouted as I reached from the door, opening it and stepping out.

My brother did the same, just as it became apparent that the car had seen us. It swerved around us, forcing me to quickly slam my door closed again.

I exhaled deeply, before my entire breathing pattern grew laboured. I looked over to Josh. He was freezing, and evidently in shock - is pallor drained of all colour.

“This may seem stupid, but are you-”

“I’m fine” he interjected, answering my question hastily before I could even finish my sentence.

I tried to start the car again, but it wouldn’t work.

“Okay,” Mr Robles interjected suddenly. “So, why did you eventually decide to take your brother?”

“I don’t know” I shrugged. “I wanted him to feel better.”

“And are you sure this wasn’t for yourself also?” he asked me gently, clearly keeping my emotions in mind.

I quickly shook my head, avoiding the thought as I continued with the story.

“We ran out of gas,” Joshua informed me, tapping the dashboard with his hand. How could I have been so stupid?

I hadn’t used this car for ages, and I should have checked. I could have gotten us killed.

“And, does that give you some sort of guilty feeling?” he asked me.

I nodded slowly. “It does. I could have gotten him killed because of my own personal anger. If I hadn’t been enraged last night I would have remembered to check the gas meter.”

He exhaled and scribbled something down in his notebook.

“Continue” he bluntly ordered.

“It’s not going to work,” my brother answered, drawing attention to the fact that I was still trying to restart the car.

“What are we going to do?” I asked rhetorically, not expecting him to answer.

“We can call mom and-”

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