Prologue

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March 15th, 2007

"Dad," I whine, my pale fingers holding tightly onto the back of his headrest. Jaden sits in the passenger seat next to him, a ear bud playing deafening music in his ear. "Can we please go to Walmart?"

"Shut up Ash," seethes Jaden, flicking his tongue in annoyance. Without hesitation, Jaden slips back in his black ear bud in his left ear and turns up his IPhone. Jaden, my older brother, looks like he's probably considered the disappointment in most families. He has messy black hair that falls over his forehead and parts of his ears, dark brown eyes, and high cheekbones that create dark shadows around his jaw. You can easily tell he's the "good-looking" one in our family.

However, that's only his appearance. In reality, his dream job is to become a lawyer and attend Harvard. With his grades, he'll probably get in no problem.

Dad steals a glance over at Jaden, while driving, and his right hand yanks out his left ear bud. My father almost looks exactly like Jade. The same high cheekbones, the same black hair, the same straight-edged noise. The only difference is that my dad is close to fifty years old, so his black hair has some gray hairs in it and his eyebrows barely have any strands of black hair. "Jaden!" my father scolds, ripping his left ear bud out of his ear. "Watch your language around Ashlyn!"

Jaden simply rolls his brown eyes, chewing a piece of mint gum. "What?" Jaden turns toward my father and points at me in the backseat. "She's ten years old now! She should know how to use the words: shut up." Jaden turns back toward the front of the car. "She's not little, you know." I lean towards Jaden and flick his left ear. He winces and spins on me in return, as fast as a bolt of lightning, and narrows his eyes at me. "Listen here, you little punk! It's about time that you fuc-"

"Jaden!" scolds my father, his anger growing by the minute. Once his voice raises, Jaden backs down. "Leave your sister alone! You're bad enough on your own, so don't take anything out on her."

Jaden carelessly rolls his eyes, and places his left ear bud back in. "Whatever, can we just go to the theater? I'm growing restless, and annoyed, here."

My dad sighs in relief as we drive towards the cinema in silence. However, when my dad turns the corner, I hear a loud shout.

"LOOK OUT!" exclaims Jaden. His last words echo throughout the car, and my dad dives to the other side of the car to protect Jaden.

A strong force hits my chest, sending me tumbling backwards to the other seat in the back. All of the airbags go off, and my father's head hits the front window. The glass comes flying backwards. Before I can cover my eyes, I see Jaden's head ram into the right window – the glass falling all over him. The car tumbles over and over, making the glass swirl inside of it. I close my eyes and hang on to my door handle – praying for it all to stop. My seatbelt holds me in place, luckily, and I duck my head to my lap so that I'm not hit by the glass. The car continues to tumble over and over again, until we're tipped onto its side. The car sends me with it, and I ram my shoulder into the left window. Not all of the glass breaks, but some of it goes into my shoulder. I let out a sharp cry. The car suddenly stops, and all the glass comes flying toward the side of the car.

I'm in the car, the only thing keeping me in place is my seatbelt. My heart is beating fast, my adrenaline kicking in. The majority of the glass is all in the trunk, however some managed to break the back window. My shoulder begins to writhe in pain, screaming at the glass. I quickly unbuckle my seatbelt and I reach my uninjured right arm out. My fingers grasp onto my father's headrest, and I look over to his chair.

Lying in the driver's seat is my barely breathing father. Blood is covering everywhere, and all of the glass shards are drenched in blood. My gaze falls onto Jaden, and I see him with his eyes closed. Blood is covering his head, and I see his IPhone is broken on the floor near my dad. My father is laying on top of Jaden, his body trying to protect him, but it looks like it didn't work.

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