Open your eyes

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In a small house in Kangaroo street, Charlie was starting to think he was going crazy. He could swear there had been more pills in the little container marked Xenazine® in front of him, but somehow there were only a few. He looked inside the container again, wondering where the rest of his medication was.

With his elbows on the table in front of him, he placed his head in his hands and sighed. He knew where the rest of the small white tablets were. He'd been researching jobs on the internet when the incident happened. The open container was sitting on his lap. His hand involuntarily moved, causing the container to fall to the ground and some of its contents to spill. Angry at himself, he'd stepped on the tablets on the floor.

Only a few tablets were left now. He had half a mind to toss the rest when the main door suddenly opened. Ariel stumbled in carrying her books.

She walked over to Charlie and kissed him on the cheek, putting her books on the table.

"Hey. How was your day?" she asked.

"Fine", Charlie replied quietly.

"Good", Ariel said and emptied her bag of her other books. "I'll see you later", she said and speedily walked towards the door.

"You just got here. Where are you going?" Charlie asked.

Ariel turned slightly. "I got a job at the bait shop. It's small but it'll help", she said quickly. It wasn't something she wanted to tell her brother and knew he wouldn't approve.

"What about hockey and homework?" he asked.

"I quit the team. I'll do homework later", Ariel replied and took a few steps towards the door again. She needed to get out of there then if she was going to be on time.

"What do you mean you quit the team? You love hockey. You are good at it!" Charlie said.

"I don't really like it that much", Ariel shrugged.

"You are lying", Charlie said.

"Okay I'm lying, but some things are just more important", Ariel said and finally walked out, closing the door harshly.

Charlie sighed. This was not how he imagined his sister's life to be like. He didn't imagine she'd need to get a job so young, let alone selling smelly bait. He'd hoped for better. He'd hoped she'd never have to worry about money as long as he was alive. How could she not though? He wasn't working and their savings were dwindling. Soon there'd be nothing left.

He stood up. He couldn't let Ariel work. She had school and she needed to excel. She had hockey and she was exceptionally good at it. He was going to quit pitying himself and find a job to raise enough money for Ariel, even if that meant working himself to the ground. He was going to take whichever job he could get, however many he could manage on a daily basis.

Before Charlie could take a step forward, he heard the sound of footsteps outside the door. Had Ariel changed her mind?

There was a knock, a sign that it wasn't Ariel.

"Come in", Charlie shouted and regretted himself as soon as the door opened.

Patrick was the last person he wanted to see. For the past week Patrick had been pestering him, wanting to know about the recording. He said he wanted to explain himself, but Charlie wasn't buying it. He would not fall into the same trap again. He'd learned his lesson.

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