Survivor's Guilt - Page 7

“Then the voice . . .”

“The Raven,” she corrected.

“Yes, the Raven!” I snapped, put out that my display of bravado had been lost on her. “The Raven yelled for us to get up and run for the door opening to our left, and we realized we weren't on 'private property,' we were on a freaking Justice International remote base, and something major was going on!”

I sighed, and suddenly regretted using up my bravado earlier, because I sure could use some for the next part of the story. “Johnny wasn't laughing anymore, Jenny was crying, and I . . . I just couldn't move or breathe. I don't know if it was fear, or if whatever weapon had fired had burnt up the oxygen or what, but I just couldn't breathe.” I snuck a glance at her to see if she had an opinion.

She didn't.

Sighing some more, I continued. “So Mark scooped me up and made a run for this patch of darkness that the ground just slid aside to reveal, leaving Johnny and his sister behind, and . . .”

And that's when it struck me.

“Oh, God!” I exclaimed with a horror I felt in the bottom of my stomach. “He really did like me, didn't he?”

“I can not say for certain, of course,” she answered tonelessly. “But I find it telling that in a crisis, with everyone in need, he picked you to help even over his own sister.”

“Oh, God!” I wheezed, my happy mask crumbled, and I just could not stop crying.

She just waited patiently for me to finish. With no judgment of any kind, she just . . . waited.

Weirdly enough that helped me to bring myself back under control sooner, I think, because after about ten minutes or so I was able to continue.

Page 7

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