FIFTEEN

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I slammed the car door behind me, taking my place in the passenger seat. My heart was thumping rapidly in my chest as Derik violently hit the gas. Willi remained quiet in the backseat with the money we had just acquired.

I spun around to peer out of the back window, making sure no one was following us. "Holy shit," I mumbled. "Holy shit, I can't believe we got away with that! Did we really just get away with that?"

Derik was smirking in the seat next to me. "We got away with it alright. You sure you've never done this before, Lex?"

Willi chuckled in the backseat.

I leaned my back into the leather of the seat. Coming down from the high of completing my first bank score was something, but there was also a sickening guilt rising in my stomach. I was now officially a federal criminal.

"Hey," Derik nudged. "You're fine. You did great."

I shook my head. "Derik..."

Willi squeezed my shoulder in reassurance. "Look kid, no one got hurt. We didn't kill anyone. It was a clean job. Money's just that. Money. Paper. The only reason it means something is because we make it mean something."

I bowed my head and took in their words. It didn't matter to me. The stealing part. Okay, maybe it did deep down. But what really irked me was how I would explain this to mom or Anna. They would ask me where I had gotten the sixteen grand to pay off Anna's medical bills. How would I tell them?

I rubbed my temples, knowing that if mom wouldn't have lost her damn job and the health insurance benefits I wouldn't have needed a quick sum of cash.

"Lex look at me," Derik ordered. I forced myself to comply. "What's wrong?"

Should I tell him? If there was anyone on this earth that would be willing to listen and help, it would be Derik... But I didn't want to throw this burden on him.

Eventually his gaze broke me down. "Mom lost her job. And I know the money from the score will pay off the hospital bills but..."

"What?" he asked. "When did this happen?"

I shook my head. "She got fired a few weeks ago. Derik she was drunk at work. She has a problem..."

"Why didn't you tell me this sooner?" he pressed.

Because I didn't want to be a burden. "I... I don't know."

I silently wondered if it would've made a difference. Since mom lost her job the bills weren't gonna get paid, and the house note would wipe out any leftover money we had...

Derik looked over to me. "Have you ever thought about rehab?"

"You mean like, putting her in one of those programs?"

"It could help," he suggested.

"She won't go. She'll make some lame excuse like leaving Anna with me isn't appropriate. Or that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the bills by myself..." I answered. "She'll fight it."

"You'll talk to her. Make her listen to you."

"Even if I made her listen we won't have enough money left over."

Derik took in a deep breath. "We'll have some extra if we all pitch in."

I heard Willi agree in the backseat but I couldn't ask them to do that. They both needed all of their share. I wouldn't let them waste it on my alcoholic mother. "N-No, don't worry about it. I'll find more money-"

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