Copyright © 2012 Kirsty Moseley

                                                                  Chapter 24

“It’s okay, everything’s okay,” I whispered, stroking the back of his head. He’d been crying for a couple of minutes, finally letting the grief and guilt out of his system. He’d been carrying it around for so long, I had a feeling that he’d never really dealt with it properly before. He was so young to cope with something like that, and he had no one to help him before - but he did now. He had me and he always would.

He’d stilled now, his body no longer shaking but he was still clinging to me as if he was frightened to let go. “It was my fault. She was killed because of me,” he mumbled, holding me tighter.

“No!” I said fiercely, pulling back so that I could look at him. “No, Jamie. It wasn’t your fault; none of it was your fault.”

He nodded, wiping his face with the back of his hand. “Yeah, if I hadn’t spent too long at the warehouse drooling over that fucking car, if I had just told a teacher or someone what was happening, or maybe if we’d left earlier instead of me stupidly deciding to wait until I was sixteen. She would have been here now. She didn’t deserve that, Ellie, she didn’t deserve to die,” he said softly, looking at his hands in his lap, a heartbroken expression on his face.

“Jamie, you’re not to blame. She was lucky to have a brother like you who looked out for her all the time. You can’t blame yourself for something that someone else did, it wasn’t your fault,” I countered, shaking my head as I stroked the side of his face, wiping one of the tears away. That was the thing that affected me the most, that he was always so strong but right now he looked so broken that it actually hurt to look at him.

“My mom blames me,” he whispered.

If I didn’t hate her before, I certainly hated her in that moment. What the hell kind of person wrongly blames a child for the death of their sister like that? It was sick! “Why?” I asked disbelievingly.

He licked his lips and gulped. “She said that I started the fight, that Sophie got in the middle of something that I started and that’s why she got killed.”

My teeth ground together and I fought the urge to go and find this woman that I’d never met, and smack her in her sorry face for putting Jamie through that guilt. “Jamie, she sat there and let him hurt her, yet blames you for killing her? She’s the one that did wrong! She’s the one that didn’t protect either of her children from a sicko! She’s the one that deserved to go to jail, not you!” I ranted angrily.

Jamie smiled weakly. “She didn’t kill anyone though, I did.”

I didn’t know what to say to that. Anger was still surging through my system making my hands shake as my jaw started to ache where I was clenching my teeth together so tightly. “You went to jail for killing Ralf?” I clarified. Jamie nodded. “But why though? If he killed your sister then surely it was self-defence,” I countered, confused.

Jamie laughed humourlessly. “Wasn’t self-defence, Ellie. They had to have a closed casket at his funeral apparently because of the mess I’d made of him. Brett told me that the only way the coroner could identify him was from his fingerprints because his face and dental records were unrecognisable,” he stated casually.

I cringed, thinking about Jamie doing all that to another human being, but to be honest I didn’t think badly of him for it like he was probably expecting. He killed a sick person who had probably hurt hundreds of people in his life - I wasn’t going to condemn Jamie for taking a paedophile off of the streets, even in that brutal manner.