Chapter Twenty-Six

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Chapter Twenty-Six

Abriana

I woke up to Alexa sitting on the edge of my bed.

“Hey, Lex,” I said as I rubbed my eyes.

“How are you feeling?” she asked as she rubbed my back.

My mind wandered back to the incident at Target. My life is never going to be the same again. Maybe I need to move away? Far enough so no one would recognize me… Yeah right, like that would happen! My face had been all over the news and Nancy Grace had even done a segment on me.

“Ummm… Hello? Earth to Bri,” said Alexa.

“Sorry,” I apologized. “I was just thinking about what happened at Target.”

Alexa grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze. “I know it doesn’t seem like it, Bri. But it’s going to be okay.”

My eyes welled up with tears. “No, no it’s not!”

Shifting her weight, Alexa reached over and grabbed a box of tissues. She handed me one and set the box back on the nightstand. “Listen, it’s going to take time. Eventually, people will forget. But until then, jerks are going to pop up and say stupid things to you.”

I dabbed my eyes. “I just want everyone to leave me alone.”

Alexa shook her head. “It’s not going to happen.”

Sitting up, I looked into my sister’s eyes. “How am I ever going to get through the trial?”

“Maybe Easton will die?” said Alexa.

Unable to hold back the tears any longer, I started to sob. “I don’t want that either.”

Alexa frowned. “How about this,” she said. “How about we still go camping this weekend, just you and me. We’ll pretend like nothing ever happened. We can talk about whatever you want to talk about, listen to music, and lay outside near the lake.”

I sniffled. “I don’t know, Lex.”

“Come on,” she said with a smile. “We’ll have so much fun!”

Biting my lip, I asked, “What about the nightmares?”

Alexa smiled. “We can stay up all night!”

A giggle escaped. “Maybe…”

“That’s a YES,” exclaimed Alexa. She pulled me up out of bed and jumped up and down. “Now come on! Let’s pack,” she squealed.

***

The next morning, the alarm went off at eight o’clock.

“Time to go!” shouted Alexa from down the hall.

She sure is excited to go.

A moment later, she came bounding into my room. “Are you ready? Our suitcases are in the car and I packed a bag full of snacks and drinks! Eek! I’m so excited!”

Forcing myself out of bed, my feet brushed against the carpeted floor. “Okay, but first, let’s check on Mamá y Papá.”

She flipped her expertly braided hair over her shoulder. “They are doing much better. They both slept through the night without any…Um, any interruptions, if you know what I mean.” Reaching down, she inspected her perfectly polished toenails. “Plus, I’ve already brought them their morning dose of medicine, made sure they drank a glass of Gatorade, and gave them each a bowl full of crackers.”

A smile crossed my face. “You’re the best, Lex!”

“I know,” she said returning the smile. “Now come on! Get dressed!”

***

After saying goodbye to our parents, Lex and I loaded in the car and got on the road.

“Only three and a half hours till a stress free girl’s weekend,” squealed Alexa. “We’re going to have so much fun!”

A smile tugged on the corners of my lips. My sister’s enthusiasm was contagious. “Yeah, yeah we are.” Rolling down the windows and turning up the stereo, I let the warm summer air blow across my face. This vacation is just what I need…

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