Chapter One

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                                                        CHAPTER ONE

“I thought I was dying,” I said, swallowing hard.

        The confession didn’t seem to surprise the woman sitting across from me. 

        My therapist.

        I had a therapist now. The whole thing was insane, but then again I was beginning to think I might be, too.

         “Why don’t you tell me what happened, Brewster?” Dr. Gabby said to me kindly.

        Dr. Gabby.

        I wasn’t sure if Gabby was her first name or last, but it seemed appropriate, given that the woman didn’t look that much older than I was. And I was only 16, which meant Dr. Gabby had to be a prodigy or something.

        I had the Doogie Howser of therapists.

        My mom had probably taken that into account when she’d asked around for someone for me to talk to. “Someone young so she’s more likely to open up,” I could picture her saying. “You know teens. They don’t want to hear from people our age.”

        I swallowed again nervously, as I considered Dr. Gabby’s question. The last thing I wanted to do was recall the awful details of that night. Whenever I did, it brought it on all over again. The light-headedness. The panic as my throat began to close up. Gasping for breath. Knowing that my life was ending and not being able to do anything about it…

        “I couldn’t breathe,” I started, reluctantly. “My chest ached. I almost passed out. I felt like I was going to die.”

        “And what were you doing right before it happened?” Dr. Gabby asked. She wasn’t taking notes. Just sitting there across from me, cuddled up in her cushy chair with her legs tucked underneath her like we were two girlfriends having a heart-to-heart.

        But we weren’t.

        I was there because something was seriously wrong with me and I had no idea how to fix it.

       “It was the night before school was starting back up—we’re juniors this year—and my sisters and I were sitting around, discussing what we were going to wear the next day. It’s sort of a tradition for us. See, when we were younger, my mom used to buy us all the same clothes. Four sets of the same jeans. Four dresses. Everything matching,” I explained, feeling more comfortable now that I was talking about my siblings. “But as we got older, we didn’t want to match anymore. So we started getting together at night to decide who was wearing what.”

        I realized that I was rambling and tried to get back on track.

        “So we were talking about the first day of school, and Sawyer said she had a meeting for the paper afterwards and couldn’t leave right away.”

        “And Sawyer is the oldest of the four of you?” Dr. Gabby recalled.

        I nodded. “Right. She was born three minutes before Jackson. Then Harley was after her and I was last,” I said. “Mom likes to joke that I would follow my sisters anywhere.”

        “Do you think that’s true?” Dr. Gabby asked thoughtfully.

        I didn’t have to think before answering. “Of course,” I said. “We’re quads. We share the same DNA. There’s a bond between us…well, it’s hard to explain, but we’re closer than other people, I think.”

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