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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 52)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(52) by Samantha Young
  • Andie was quiet for a while, scrutinizing me in that inner psychiatrist way of hers. She was so quiet, I was afraid I’d mucked up the explanation.

    But then she said, “I stopped being mad at you pretty quickly during my recovery. I went back to worrying like I had been for the months we didn’t talk. Especially after Rick and Mom and Dad told me you were by my side more than anyone when I was in the coma. It hurt that you didn’t come around for my recovery or after, but I forgive you for that, Charley. I forgave you months ago.”

    Once the little niggle of resentment I’d been feeling over Andie’s confession was swamped by the relief that she’d forgiven me, I asked calmly, “If you forgave me, why didn’t you come to see me?”

    Andie gave me her I’m smarter than you look that always drove me crazy. “Because of who you are. Everything you just told me, with the exception of your pact with God, I already guessed. Mom and Dad told me about law school and I knew that this whole thing had to be impacted by that. I know you better than anyone, maybe even better than you know yourself. And I knew that if I made the first move, you’d hold on to your guilt until your fingers bled. You needed to be the one to push past it, to be brave like always, and come to me first. It was the only way you’d feel okay about yourself.”

    I shook my head. “You say you forgive me, but we both know I still should’ve been here.”

    “How could you have been? You were in another country.”

    “I wasn’t even here emotionally, though,” I insisted, a part of me needing her to be mad at me to substantiate my own self-reproach.

    “Charley, why do you always need to save people? Who you are is going to crush you unless you learn to ease up on yourself. You can’t control fate. You can’t save everyone.”

    “But I shouldn’t have put Jake before you. I shouldn’t have treated you like that. Surely you agree I’m to blame for that?”

    “No, I don’t.” Andie shook her head stubbornly. “About two weeks after that telephone conversation, Rick and I got into a big argument about it. I’d been snapping at him for every little thing because I was pissed at you. Finally he’d had enough and told me that I was partly to blame for my argument with you.” She laughed softly. “And you know that pissed me off even more because I knew he was right.” Andie leaned forward, her expression sincere. “Charley, I should never have put you in that position. I was living in the past. I was scared Jake was going to hurt you like he did before. When he left last time, I came back to this kid who wasn’t my sister and it scared me shitless. And not just for you but selfishly for me, too. I’ve always needed you to be strong and brave, and when Jake left you, I suddenly realized you were mortal, just like the rest of us.”

    Stunned, my voice was husky with emotion. “I never knew you felt that way.”

    “Because it sounds silly. I’m a grown-up. We’re supposed to stop hero-worshipping and putting people up on pedestals after the age of ten. But you bounced back from Jake, and yeah, you were different, but you were strong still and you were my sister again. I just didn’t want to lose that. So I pushed my opinion on you and I let Dad’s overprotectiveness about the whole thing fuel my opinion and somewhere along the line, I forgot to trust you. Our argument was my fault. You shouldn’t have handled it the way you did but I shouldn’t have tried to make you choose between the people you love. It put you in an impossible position, Charley. I told Dad that too.” She smiled. “I think he may even have listened. So if Jake is the guy for you, I promise I’ll support you on it. I promise I’ll trust you.”

    I blinked rapidly against the tears. “It doesn’t matter now.”

    “Of course it matters. You just told me how you treated the guy these last few months and still he was there for you—he helped get you here. For that alone, I’m willing to give this kid another shot.”

    “Didn’t you hear me earlier? I promised God I wouldn’t be with Jake if He saved you.”

    Andie reached for my hand and I squeezed hers in return, so grateful for her forgiveness. “This irrational fear of yours that if you break your pact with God something bad will happen to me, it’s not uncommon. I read about these kinds of fears in my research. Men who lose their fathers at a young age often have a crippling belief that they themselves won’t live past the age their fathers were when they died. People who offer to sacrifice something to God if He’ll save a loved one is a common occurrence. When the loved one lives, the person often believes that God held up His side of the bargain. They then sacrifice what they promised for fear of reprisal. These kinds of beliefs and fears seem beyond irrational to other people, but they can take such a strong foothold that people make choices around it that they shouldn’t.” Her grip on me tightened. “You stopped going to church when you were old enough to decide whether you had faith in God or faith in the people around you. You told me that for now, you’d stick with people because they had proven themselves to you and so far God hadn’t. Listen to me when I tell you that I woke up from that coma because I wasn’t finished here.” Her eyes shone bright with tears. “I need you to have faith in that, and not in some deal you made with a deity I’m not even sure you really believe in.”

    I brushed at the tears falling beyond my control. “I don’t know if it’s that easy. These last few months without you have been the hardest of my life, and now I’m just terrified of losing you.”

    “Getting through that fear… it’s not going to happen overnight, Supergirl. This is the first time we’ve talked in months. It’s going to take time. But we’re going to make time.” She moved and wrapped her arms around me. I hugged my sister tight. “You’ll find yourself.”

    “What if I can’t get back to who I was?” I whispered.

    “You won’t because it’s not about going back. It was never about going back. It was about doing something, anything, but standing still. You did that. You came to me even though you were petrified of the outcome. So now… it’s about moving forward and growing up.” She kissed my forehead. “It sucks at first, but it gets better.”

    Chapter Nineteen

    “So I talked with my Mom and Dad about careers.”

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