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Andrew June is 32 years old and Michael is 17.

(Emily Sims is 34, Kerensa February is 17.)

Narrated by Andy June

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I have to stand by him. He’s my son. You stand by your family, right?

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So many phrases were flying around at the police station. Reckless driving, breaking curfew, no license, first offense. The only thing that kept me from killing him was the one I heard most often: vehicular manslaughter.

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Mike says he doesn’t remember much. He said he and Tommy were driving around, without licenses, after curfew and very recklessly. When the police pulled up behind them, Mike, who was driving, took off. He tried to make a hard right turn, and after that, he says he doesn’t remember.

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The police report says the car spun out of control and flipped over before smashing into the side of an abandoned building. Mike walked away with a concussion, some scratches to his face, a black eye and a couple of fractured ribs. Tommy, unfortunately, didn’t survive. Mike found that out as he was being arrested.

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As soon as I found out where he was, I called Emily and we posted his bail. Our lawyer is saying that if Mike accepts a plea bargain, he won’t face jail time and will even get to go to college this fall as planned. Emily and I went for it, and he half-heartedly agreed.

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Emily’s been hanging around a lot more, though she says she’s conflicted about leaving Jodie by herself. Jodie has, of course, taken this hard. Her oldest son was alive two months ago, trying to decide between applying to college and hoping to get a conditional admission and just trying to get a big break in professional soccer. Now, he isn’t, and her roommate’s son is largely responsible for that.

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We’re not sure what to do with Mike. We think a change of pace will do him good, but we’re not sure college is the way to go. At least not now. He’s almost an adult, and Mike is not the type to do anything he doesn’t want to, but we’re wondering if he should stay here at home. Maybe just a semester, and he can start in the spring.

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I’m keeping Mike occupied, since it’s already summer and his after-school job canned him after he didn’t show up for his shift since he was in jail at the time. He seems to be ok with staying home with me and playing chess. The concentration required to play well and beat me takes his mind off everything that’s happened recently.

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He doesn’t want to not think about it though, I’ve noticed. Many days when Emily and I couldn’t find him, he’s been in the recently constructed graveyard, acting out one stage or another of the grief process. It hurts to see my son like that.

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I’ve asked Beth if there’s something I can say or do, and she shrugs. She reminds me that social work is very different from counseling, and I would have to come up with something on my own.

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However, she complimented his tattoo and he grinned like she’d given him a million dollars.

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Yes, he got a tattoo. Angel wings, on his back. To remind him of Tommy, he says. Kerensa, the only friend he’s had over in the past few months, is worried about him. And so is Emily. And so am I.

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And I just made partner at the firm I work at. I really wish Michael had made better choices that night two months ago. But what’s done is done. Best to just pick up the pieces and move on. It’s understandably hard for the Aprils to do that, and I guess it’s just as hard for Michael, an unwitting, unwilling player in his best friend’s death.

  • Title ref: Bitter End – Dixie Chicks.
  • I had such grand plans for this update. But to my dismay, I didn’t have the poseboxes needed, and the pictures I could have taken were prevented by a little condition of Tommy already being deceased. I should’ve played at least half of this update first, but I didn’t do the depression rolls until after the death occurred. Noted to do those, if possible, before death. This would’ve been one of those possible to do first.
  • I think it’ll pass though. Forgive me if it doesn’t. I have neither a police station or a wrecked car to use. I probably could have looked on MTS or another site, but I’m pressed for time.
  • Obviously, Michael was thrown into the depression rolls, which makes sad, sad sense. I had only come up with the circumstances of Tommy’s death based on how much he wanted to sneak out with Mike specifically. Then the dice get in on the game with Michael’s reaction.
  • A weird note: Michael has no memory of Tommy’s death. I find that strange. As I check on Jodie and Kerensa, I’m going to see if they do.

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