When Lorleah collapsed in her seat I thought she had died or had a seizure or something. I stopped the boat and rushed over to her.
“Lorleah!” I gasped, panicking. I fumbled for my cell phone and she suddenly sat up.
“I-I’m Fine, Jen,” She stuttered, “My father killed an entire family…” I let my hand drop from her knee and I went back to the steering wheel.
“Your mother got the same punishment you got. They made her disappear also?” I asked.
“Yes…” She bit her lip, “I think we need to go back because the women who gave me the injection lied for me. I don’t know if she is even alive. We get new injectors so often because the stress of the job often… gets to them…”
“I don’t think it’s that. I think your top government officials are dodging their rightful punishment. I think that the people on your island don’t know about the Expelled. I think your government officials are killing them because they know about the innocent children thrown off your island because their parents made an error in judgment.”
“It ensures the safety of our… island…” Lorleah trailed off and started to watch the ocean. I sighed and continued north. At this point, we were in the middle of the ocean. The clouds rolled across the sky lazily, almost looking fake.
The water seemed to have gotten more clear the farther we got from the city. I watched the gently bobbing horizon as I heard Lorleah sigh.
“We will be messing up the entire island if we go back.” She stated, regret filling her voice. I felt my face flush.
“They are killing innocent people to cover up an obvious crime.” I snapped, my knuckles tightening on the worn steering wheel.
“The island works just fine without them!” Lorleah snapped back before covering her mouth. Horror registered on her face. I stopped the boat and swiveled the chair to look at her. I gave her my most deadly glare.
“That’s what they taught us.” Her voice trailed off. “At school.” Her eyes started to brim with tears and she burst out crying. Hot wet tears streamed down her face and she gasped for air.
“Oh my gosh! Are you okay?” I jumped from the wheel and bent down in front of her.
“I worked for them. I was one of them. I helped kill people.” Lorleah was sobbing harder now, barely able to get the words out.
“What do you mean?” I asked, rubbing her knee trying to calm her down.
“I worked as part of the council for the island. I made lots of decisions as part of the junior group. Some of those involved decided who to kill and who not to. I always ignored how bad our situation was because I thought I was helping.”
“It’s fine. That’s normal. Sometimes people choose to ignore the world around them because the risk rocking the boat.”
Lorleah started to laugh. The kind of belly laugh that makes people laugh along no matter what they are laughing at. She collapsed back onto the seat, laughing so hard that I thought she was having a stroke. I snorted and started laughing.
“I’m sorry,” Lorleah wiped tears from her eyes, still laughing. “I just find it funny that you said rocking the boat when we literally are on a stolen boat.”
I snorted and started to steer the boat again. The sun shined a little brighter now and I felt like I could see that outline of land to the north. Whatever it held. If it even was there.