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"Okay, okay," said Jessica in an agitated voice. "So I'm going to hell. Maybe I can deal with that."

"They 'shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,'" recited Charlie. "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,'" she added.

"What are you trying to do, push me DOWN?" accused Jessica.

"That wasn't the direction I had in mind," replied Charlie.

"Well, if I can't go up, and I don't want to go down, what is there left?" cried Jessica.

"There's Jesus," answered Charlie. "He's the Answer to every problem you've got."

"What are you talking about?" asked Jessica.

"'Christ is all, and in all,'" quoted Charlie.

"If Christ is all, what does that mean to ME?" asked Jessica.

"'There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man,'" recited Charlie, "'but God is Faithful, Who will NOT suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to Escape, that ye may be able to bear it,'" finished Charlie. "THAT's what it means to you. It means that if Jesus dwells in you, nothing will be too hard or too difficult for you. And when things get their darkest, God Himself will give you a way to escape, so you can bear it. I guess what I'm saying is this: Jesus won't let life crush you, if you're believing on His name."

"Where were you that night?" cried Jessica, in despair. "I was down there," she pointed, "trapped in a car that was on fire! The flames were so hot, I could see my skin melt! And Adam Clark left Cathy in there-- in that furnace of heat and metal!"

"He did all he could," replied Charlie wiping tears from her eyes.

"He could have died, couldn't he?" snapped Jessica.

"Would that have brought Cathy back?" asked Charlie.

Jessica sank to the ground and stared at the picture of her sister.

"You asked me where I was on that night," said Charlie, "I'll tell you. I was in North Carolina, on the side of a busy highway, trying to wave down help for a boy named Darren. I didn't know it, but earlier that night, he had been taking something called GHB. After he was taken to the hospital, Darren was in a coma for two hours. Then he died. To this day, every time I see a police officer, I think of that night. His death was partly my fault, because I had snuck out of the house and went out with Darren against the wishes of my Aunt. Maybe, just maybe, if I hadn't been there, Darren wouldn't have overdosed. That's my truth. That's what I have to live with."

"I was driving," confessed Jessica, "and we were having an argument. I can't even remember what it was about! Cathy begged me to slow down, but I was angry, so I sped up, instead! I remember a man waving at me to slow down, but I didn't. I kept on going, and that was when we crashed."

"That man was Adam," replied Charlie.

"Was it?" asked Jessica. "I wasn't sure."

"I wish Adam was here instead of me," sighed Charlie, sitting down beside Jessica on the ground. "He's the best person I know-- except, of course, my Daddy. Adam was the one who led me to Christ. I wish I could say the same about you."

Jessica got to her feet.

"You gave me a lot to think about," she confessed.

"I hope you do," replied Charlie, standing up.

"I've got to go home. Mom and Dad must be worried sick," said Jessica.

"Do you want me to call Adam?" asked Charlie. "I'm sure he would be delighted to take you home."

Jessica shook her head. She wasn't ready for that. Not yet, anyway.
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