The Plea

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"You have to go!"

"Ariel please!"

"Charlie you nearly crashed the car! It's getting worse. They can help you with...the movements," Ariel yelled at her brother.

She wasn't so much yelling as she was pleading. She was scared. She was so damn scared Charlie had to understand. She knew it was a one-way street but she had to cling onto something. She couldn't go through this again.

It was only a few years ago, but sometimes it felt like just yesterday she watched their mother move wildly every day. Like Charlie, it started off mild. No one noticed. Soon she couldn't control her own body. She couldn't remember Charlie. She couldn't remember Ariel. She yelled at them. It was hard not to hate her when she called them filth or rodents.

It was going to happen again. Only this time, she would have no one to hold her when she cried herself to sleep.

"Chorea," Charlie said quietly from his seat on the kitchen table.

Chorea...a fancy term for uncontrollable movements. She'd heard it before. She'd been only 11 years old when the doctor told them. She'd joked that it sounded like the name of a choir. The doctor's face had fallen at her joke. It was only then that she understood how serious the situation was. Her mom had an incurable disease that was only going to get worse.

It didn't take long for Lisa Roberts to get worse. What started off as a few movements became so debilitating that she couldn't walk properly. Her personality changed too. She yelled, cursed and threatened violence on her kids.

"Charlie please just go to the doctor," Ariel pleaded one last time.

Charlie had become both her mom and dad in the years that followed her mom's diagnosis. He became the provider and the protector. She could remember the one time he had to restrain their mom because she threatened to beat Ariel to within an inch of her life. Their mom had slapped him so hard, Ariel cried as if she herself had been hit.

"Okay, I'll go," Charlie said quietly.

*

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