Those three words - they resonated through my whole body.

I love you.

Those words could either make or break a relationship. His words felt sincere, not fake or over used. Snuggling close I felt peace something I hadn't felt in a long, long time. I felt content with my life.

Dreading to bring up the subject, but I wanted to know. "What are we going to do now? Tell mom and dad the truth?" I called them mom and dad now, which finally felt normal. He stiffened slightly as I brought up the question Shirley asked us all those weeks ago. Zach was quiet for a while, I knew he wasn't a sleep or pretending to be, he was just carefully thinking things over. "Yeah I guess about now would be a good time to tell them. I mean unless you want more time to think about it."

There he goes again, asking me if I am ready for this. Is he being considerate or is he trying to hide the fact that he himself isn't too sure about us?

"Boys? Are you home? Please come downstairs I have bad news." We looked at each other; I saw the same question in his eyes as the one going around in my head; what could be the bad news? Filled with dread we head downstairs, headed to the living room where mom and dad surely would be. When we entered both their eyes rested on our laces fingers, mom looked relieved and dad a tad bit unsure about this new development.

Sitting down on the couch we wait for their news, dad is the one to speak up. "It's about Emily, she has been charged with accessory to attempted murder." I felt Zach go rigid; my jaw dropped "Accessory to attempted murder? How is that possible? She couldn't have known that Kev would be shot." Zach bit out. Dad just sighed, "I know but in her testimony she says she knew that the guy was carrying a gun. And afterwards she fled with the rest of them, which makes the police and the prosecution think that she knows more then she is letting on."

I felt a bit ashamed that I didn't think about her situation at all. She just kind of slipped my mind, which is pretty bad considering she's family.

You were preoccupied with your own trouble for once, that's not a bad thing. With all things considered, It doesn't make you a bad person.

"So what is going to happen to her now?" Mom answered Zach's question, "We don't know for sure, but they are going to have a hearing about whether or not all of them will be facing trail as an adult, for is the only one in the group that is under eighteen. We are planning to go, and wondering if you two wanted to come along."

"I guess we should go, form a family front on this." Zach looked at me so did mom and dad. Why not? What have you got to lose? Nothing! So go, and stand by your family. "I think so, when is the hearing?" Moms' shoulders sagged in relief, "Thank you honey! I am sure her parents will be thrilled you two show up, for the both of you got along very well with Emily. The poor girl could use a friendly face."

To say Emily looked awful was an understatement of the year; her long glossy hair was greasy and limp, she had dark circles under her eyes, very pale skin and dull lifeless eyes. Her parents looked even worse; wrinkled clothing, like Emily dark circles under their eyes and frantic wide eyes. They both sagged with relieve when they saw us, Emily smiled a little grim when she saw us, "Hi cousins, thanks for coming."

She looked so sad, rejected and alone I just had to hug her, I rocked her gently back and forth humming the nursery song that always calmed me. Emily started sobbing loudly, "I am so sorry" she hiccupped, "I never thought that he would go that far. I wanted to visit Kevin but didn't know what to say to his parents." Zach rubbed her shoulders, "I think they would appreciate you coming to visit, they are here you know." That startled her and she tried to hide from them. "You shouldn't hide from these people Emily, you should tell them your side of the story and afterwards they might hate you or might thank you for your honesty."

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