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“I told you- I’m not going to do it, and that’s final!” Gillian yelled at me. “What’s gotten into you, Channon Davis? I’m the one that’s going to get blamed if we get in trouble, and you’ll get off scot-free! It’s not fair that you lie so well!”
Gillian is my stepsister. Both of us are fifteen. I was trying to persuade her to drive the car I was promised for my upcoming sixteenth birthday. But being Gillian, she refused.
“Come on! Please?” I asked, not denying the fact that Gillian was right- that I could get away with anything and everything. She was also right about the fact that she was the one that would be blamed. What she hadn’t mentioned was the fact that I didn’t care- and I really didn’t.
“No, Channon. Mom and Dad said not to. Just listen to them for once in your life.”
“Mom and Dad said not to,” I mimicked. “Gillian, are you stupid? You can’t always listen to what people tell you. If I told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?”
“No, but that’s because you’re Channon. I can’t trust what you say. But parents-”
“I don’t care, Gillian!”
“I know you don’t. Just don’t do it, okay?”
I opened my mouth to argue, then changed my mind and clamped it shut. Finally, I spat out, “Fine. Be that way.” I left the room and went to my bedroom instead, pretending to take a nap.
About fifteen minutes later, Gillian came to my room and knocked. “Channon, do you want to go to the mall with Arlene and me? Her mom’s going to drive us to the mall!”
I almost accepted the invitation but stopped myself, forming a plan in my mind. I remained silent. Finally, I heard Gillian leave, then beeping when she opened the door to leave. As soon as I heard the car pull away, I grabbed the phone.
It only took a short moment before I was on the phone with my best friend, Angel Mei. If Gillian didn’t want me to come, fine. Angel, despite her name, would, and that was all that really mattered.
“Hello?” Angel was the one that answered.
“Hey, Channon. What’s up?”
“Are your parents home?”
“Nope, they went to the same conference your parents did. Why?”
“I feel like driving.”
She quickly deciphered my devious plan. “Now that you mention it, I feel like taking a car for a spin.” Angel is fourteen- she skipped the first grade, so she’s a little young. But she’s so mature that you would never guess.
“On your way over?”
Angel is an only child. But her parents trust her- something else that was on my side today. I grinned to myself wryly as I got the keys out. Almost instantaneously, the bell rang, and I let Angel in.
Angel is Asian and entirely looks the part. She is also short and has an aura of a sweet personality enveloping her. In contrast, I am tall, brown-haired and green0eyed, and with blatant rebellion. I flaunt it to people my age- not my parents as much, but I don’t try to hide the facts. I get away with a lot of things, but not things like that.
“You’re driving, right?”
“Well, it’s your car and your responsibility.”
“Don’t I know it,” I muttered under my breath. She started to head to the garage. I caught her arm quickly and looked into her eyes.
“Angel, you can’t let my parents or Gillian find out about this. Promise me.”
“I promise,” she solemnly told me. Angel may not live up to her name, but she always keeps her promises. I knew this, and I was grateful for it.
I slid into the driver’s seat and opened the garage. I looked over at Angel, seated innocently in the passenger’s seat. The car was nose out, saving me the trouble of trying to reverse. We grinned at each other in anticipation.
“Drive four, brakes, park, too many controls,” I complained, staring at the dashboard.
“Just get on it already!” Her sudden movement made my foot press the accelerator, and the car shot forward. I yelped in surprise and clutched the wheel, holding on for dear life.
“Channon- the fence!”
“Shizz!” I exclaimed, but far too late. The car crashed before the words had completely left my lips.
I opened my eyes to find myself in the emergency room. My whole body ached like physical pain I had never endured before. I groaned and saw a doctor’s face and Angel’s worried one.
“What happened?” I asked Angel. Her dark eyes were fearful, and she didn’t reply.
“That is what I would like to ask you. What is your name?”
I winced, trying to flex my arms. “Tried to drive a car… and I crashed it into a fence. I didn’t have my seatbelt on… the window was open… and I think I flew out of it…”
“You’re lucky you landed where you did.”
I touched my face, which was cut and streaked with dirt. Angel seemed unscathed.
“How bad is it?” I barely managed to ask the question. I winced once again as more pain came.
“If you take it easy and stay in bed for about a month or so, you should be fine. Can you stand up?”
I grabbed the doctor’s hand, latching onto it as he hauled me to my feet. I felt my legs collapse as I fell, unable to support my own weight. The doctor caught me. “I don’t think so!” I gasped, the pain lapsing.
“Just take care. You’re going to be sore for a while.” The doctor abruptly left, and I collapsed back on the bed.
“Angel, I have to cover this- my parents can never find out.”
“How are you going to pull that off, Channon? You can barely stand!”
I groaned softly and grabbed her hand. With all the strength I could muster and difficulty, I propped myself up in a standing position and supported myself with the bed.
“This is better than them finding out,” I whispered.
Angel didn’t argue.
I hauled the car back to where it had been (since I was unable to drive it) and recovered it. It took forever, and my whole body hurt. I took a real nap when I went to my room this time. When I woke up, I heard Gillian knocking on the door.
“Channon, dinner’s ready!”
I groaned, my joints crying out in pain as I got up. I opened the door. “I’m coming!”
Gillian scrutinized me. “Channon, are you okay?”
“Yeah. Completely and totally fine,” I smoothly lied.
She didn’t believe me- I could read that in her brown eyes. But she didn’t press for the truth.
“Gillian, Channon, help carry the groceries in!”
I inwardly complained. How could I do that? I was having enough trouble being on two feet. How was I ever going to walk?
But I imagined my parents finding out about the accident and changed my mind. I had to do this. It was either do it or be found out.
A week later, it was evident that it was just even worse. Going to school didn’t help. Walking didn’t help. Doing chores didn’t help. And most of all, going to gym didn’t help.
I flopped on my bed, utterly exhausted and filled with pain. I couldn’t fool myself anymore- or the rest of the ignorant world. There was no way I could keep this charade up. It was selfish of me to not say anything and when my parents looked at the car, they would put two and two together.
It was only getting harder- standing, sitting, walking, moving, everything. The physical and emotional strain was taking its toll. I knew what Gillian would say: Get it over with. It’s better than the parents finding it out themselves.
But how could I tell them?
Truthfully, I was proud of myself for getting away with everything. There is an art that allows this, one that not everyone can learn but that I had completely managed to master. I hate belittling myself and my pride.
But I could no longer take it.
I stumbled down the stairs and into the living room to find that my whole family was there. I saw something in Gillian’s eyes that struck fear into my heart.
Gillian had put two and two together and figured out that I had crashed the car. But she hadn’t told Mom and Dad. In some ways, it was both easier and harder. However, I knew that I would have to tell the story myself- both admitting that I had done wrong and not lying would be very, very difficult. But there was no turning back here.
“Mom, Dad…” I choked out. They looked up when the saw me, and I blatantly clutched the table for support. “I disobeyed you… Gillian tried to stop me… don’t blame her… I took the car… and I drove it… and I crashed it…”
I heard no response. I saw no faces. I felt nothing. I just was aware of my body thudding to the floor as my grip loosened and my spirit broke. With grim satisfaction, I allowed the pain to overwhelm me.