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As I stepped over all the rubble I heard fire fighters calling out for me to get away from the burnt down, ruined house, but it was almost like I was in a trance. I pictured Jason and I, sitting in his living room, now burnt to pieces, while we played on his play station.
“Camilla, what are you doing here?” Jason’s voice came up behind me.
I turned to look at him, a small smile on my face. When I saw his eyes, my smile disappeared as he burrowed his head into my chest and held me tightly.
“Jason, oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. It’ll be ok, it can all be fixed, you’re insurance will pay for it” I gushed. He didn’t say anything and I heard him sobbing into my clothes.
I don’t know how long I stood there holding onto him, before he pulled away from me. He looked like a stranger right now; I’d seen him upset before, but never like this.
“She’s gone, she’s gone,” he continued crying and I held onto his hand tightly.
I waited for him to continue, but when he just continued crying I interrupted him, “c’mon Jason, crying isn’t going to help. It will be ok, I promise,” I said softly.
This only made him worse; he yelled and threw something from his hand across the burnt room. I watched a gold chain fly through the air and then saw Jason collapse onto the dirty floor.
“Whoa, up you get” I kneeled down beside him as he kept crying. He was out of control and I didn’t know what to do.
Then a woman came into the room and knelt down with us both. She put her arm around Jason’s shoulders as he choked on his tears. I looked at the woman cautiously and then at Jason.
“My name’s Julie, I’m Jason’s aunty,” she said, holding out her hand.
I shook her hand while we continued kneeling, “I’m Camilla, and I live nearby”.
“Yes, I know. I’ve heard a lot about you Camilla” Julie said. Her voice sounded strange, she spoke different to how someone would usually talk to a stranger.
I kept my eyes on Jason and as tears streamed down his face, he looked at me and sighed. “What am I going to do Cam?” he gasped.
He could hardly talk through his tears and I frowned, not understanding completely.
“Come, I need to talk to you” Julie said, standing up. I didn’t want to leave Jason here by himself, but this woman clearly showed she wanted me to follow her.
We walked into the next room, even though the walls had half fallen down.
She touched my arm as she spoke, “Jason has told me quite a lot about you. You two seem like very close friends,” she said. I nodded, but didn’t say anything.
“Jason’s mother, Karen. She spoke very highly of you. She said you were like a part of the family”. She sniffed, and I could tell she was trying to hold back tears.
“Karen was killed in the fire, Camilla,” she whispered. I looked at her, frowning.
“What did you say?” I asked. She had said it so quietly, I was sure I heard wrong, but when Julie repeated herself I knew it was true. I looked at her blankly, before walking away from her. I found Jason where we left him and knelt down to put my arms underneath his. I heaved him up from the ground, finding strength inside me I didn’t know existed.
I held onto Jason for a long time until Julie came back into the room with tearstains on her cheeks. “I promised you it would be ok, Jason. I meant it,” I whispered.
“C’mon, we need to go with the police to tell them what happened” Julie said. She took hold of Jason’s arm and pulled him away from me.