Never Never: Part Three
Page 14

 Colleen Hoover

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I let go of her shoulders and take a step back. She sits down on the curb and holds her head in her hands. There’s no way we would have done this to ourselves on purpose. “I don’t think that’s possible, Charlie,” I say, taking a seat next to her. “How could we do this? How do two people just simultaneously stop remembering at the same time? It has to be something bigger than what we’re capable of.”
“If it has to be bigger than us, then it also has to be bigger than my father. And Cora. And Cora’s mother. And my mom. And your parents. If we aren’t capable of causing this, then no one else should be capable of it either.”
I nod. “I know.”
She brings her thumb up to her mouth for a second. Then, “So if this isn’t happening to us because of other people…what could it be?”
I can feel the muscles in my neck tighten. I bring my hands up behind my head and look up at the sky. “Something bigger?”
“What’s bigger? The universe? God? Is this the beginning of the apocalypse?” She stands up and paces back and forth in front of me. “Do you think we even believed in God? Before this happened to us?”
“I have no idea. But I’ve prayed more in the last few days than I probably have in my entire life.” I stand up and grab her hand, pulling her in the direction of the car. “I want to know everything your father said. Let’s head back and you can write down everything he told you while I drive.”
She slides her fingers through mine and walks back to the car with me. When we return, Janette is leaning against the passenger door. She’s glaring at both of us. “So you seriously can’t remember anything? Either of you?” Her attention is focused solely on Charlie now.
I motion for her and Landon to sit in the backseat this time. I open the driver door as Charlie responds to her. “No. We can’t. And I swear I’m not making this up for kicks, Janette. I don’t know what kind of sister I’ve been to you, but I swear I wouldn’t make this up.”
Janette eyes Charlie for a moment and then says, “You’ve been a really shitty sister the last couple of years. But I guess if everything Landon just told me is true and you really can’t remember anything, then that explains why not a single one of you dick faces has told me happy birthday today.” She opens the door to the back seat, climbs inside, and then slams it.
“Ouch,” Charlie says.
“Yeah,” I agree. “You forgot your little sister’s birthday? That’s pretty selfish of you, Charlie.”
She slaps me playfully in the chest. I grab her hand, and I swear there’s a moment that passes between us. A single second where she looks at me like she can feel what she once felt for me.
But then she blinks, pulls her hand from mine, and climbs in the car.
It’s not really my fault that the universe is punishing me. Us.
Silas and me.
I keep forgetting that Silas is screwed too, which probably means I’m a narcissist. Great. I think about the sister in the car with me who is having a really shitty birthday. And the half-sister who lives in my old house with her psychotic mother, who, according to my journals, I’ve been torturing for a decade. I am a bad person, and an even worse sister.
Do I even want to get my memories back?
I stare out the window and watch as we pass all of the other stupid cars. I don’t have any memories, but I can at least make sure Janette has some of this day.
“Hey, Silas,” I say. “Can you put something into that fancy GPS for me?”
“Yeah,” he says. “Like what?”
I don’t know the girl in the back seat at all. She could be super into role-play video games for all I know. “An arcade,” I say.
I see Landon and Janette perk up in the backseat. Yes! I congratulate myself. All pubescent humans like video games. It’s a thing.
“Kind of a weird time to want to go play games,” Silas says. “Don’t you think we should—”
“I think we should play games,” I interrupt. “Because it’s Janette’s birthday.” I make my eyes really wide so he understands this isn’t up for discussion. He makes an “O” face and gives me a really lame thumbs up. Charlie hates thumbs up, I can tell by her body’s immediate reaction to it.
Silas finds an arcade not far from where we are. When we get there, he pulls out his wallet and digs around until he finds a credit card.
Janette makes eyes at me, like she’s embarrassed, but I shrug. I barely even know this guy. What does it matter that he’s spending his money on us? Besides, I don’t have any money. My father lost it all and Silas’s father still has some, so it’s fine. Not only am I a narcissist; I’m also good at justification.