Prologue 

"Anna, where are you?" my older brother, James, cooed opening my bedroom door as I hid beside my bed. 

"James" I squeaked looking around the bed at him. 

He ran to my side and cuddled me to him lovingly. "He didn't mean it Anna, he didn't."

I sobbed again quietly and wrapped my arms around his neck, crying into his shoulder as he stroked my hair. 

Earlier

"Annalise, James, get down here" my father boomed from down stairs. 

I slowly walked down the stairs, clutching the railing tightly as my feet moved along the carpeted steps.

"JAMES" my dad yelled again once I came into his sight.

My brother scrambled behind me down the stairs "Sorry, I was doing homework."

"When I call you, you come down immediately no matter what" my father said narrowing his eyes at James. 

"But I have a big project due-" James started, trying to explain himself.

"I said no matter what James Daniel Mcvey" my father said through gritted teeth.

My brother nodded, lowering his head. 

"Annalise your birthday is soon so, I was thinking of having a big family dinner at a nice restaurant and then we can come and open presents" he said opening the paper and fixing his tie in a professional manor that made me fear him as always. 

I nodded slowly, considering it "Can I have time with my friends?" 

He fixed his glasses higher up on his nose and scanned the articles before responding "I thought this would be more of a family celebration."

"I know but Alyssa is moving soon and I-" 

He folded his paper up and slammed it on the coffee table causing it to shake. "We are going to celebrate your birthday as a family." 

James pulled me back away from my father as he pushed his chair back and stood up leaning over me "You will do as I say, Annalise." 

I slid out of the way as he passed by me and headed to my mum's office. 

I heard the door close and James followed me over to the office door to eavesdrop. 

"She is so spoiled!" my dad yelled as I heard a thump from inside the office. 

I didn't hear my mum's response since she wasn't nearly as loud as my father. 

"She doesn't appreciate anything and the boy is a twat!" he screamed as another crash sounded from the room. He always referred to us as 'the kids' or 'the boy and the girl'. He was so impersonal. It's like he had no feelings. He saw us as things not human beings. 

James tried to pull me away but I stayed, wanting to know what was coming next. In fact I already knew, it always came. 

"Everything we do for her is never enough!" as those words flew from the room I snapped.

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