Chapter 6

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Even though Candice wasn't well-liked by her peers, her departure has since left a gap that's hard to fill in quickly. The punishment inflicted by the Voice is harsh and inevitable, especially considering that finishing a story in just a few paragraphs is anything but easy.

But now it's time to move on. Trying to settle in after what happened is not going to be easy, after all, so major effort is required by everyone. Still, there must be something that could distract this group of guys and girls, who are now struck by fear rather than curiosity.

Maisy, still eager to tell that love story she mentioned beforehand, is waiting expectantly for someone to follow her in the kitchen, where there's an atmosphere that, in her opinion, is more suitable for telling a good romance. The majority of the group, however, is not interested in following her, therefore staying behind.

Furthermore, they are mostly uninterested in listening to yet another story, deeming it tiresome and time-consuming. On the other hand, Maisy's close group of friends, consisting of Jennifer, Keaton, Lindsey, Kane and Kayden, decide to follow her to the kitchen, struck by curiosity. They glance at the grey and asectic living room, hoping that someone will change their mind; still, it doesn't happen, which means that they will be alone in the kitchen, undisturbed.

As they enter it, Jennifer, Maisy and the others sit around the lounge and take glimpses at each other. While the kitchen isn't as asectic and lacking personality as the living room, it still seems to have a mysteriously plain aura: not exactly something that shows a feeling of welcome and warmness.

Nonetheless, the dullness the group experienced is actually dangerous as proven when the Voice got rid of Candice, making her disappear. This is why a light-hearted love story could be a good remedy, according to Maisy, to let go of that strange feeling that makes her and her friends wary.

Maisy then clears her throat and start narrating with hints of enthusiasm in her voice, "One cold and dark night, a twenty-year-old woman named Jacquelyne was sitting at her balcony, watching the moon and the stars shining brightly in the black sky. She was sighing and moaning, sad that her relationship with her boyfriend of five years had ended so abruptly."

Lindsey follows shortly after. "She still wondered why he'd leave her and, most importantly, whether he had real feelings for her or it was all a pathetic lie. She would sing sad songs in an attempt to try and cheer herself up, but this only made her more depressed and hopeless."

This paragraph almost brings Maisy to tears, but she's immediately dragged back to reality as Keaton shoots her a glare. She snaps back at him, "Do you really need to be so rude? Why don't you go on telling the story instead?" She looks away from him, upsetting him and causing him to groan and shrug.

"Jacquelyne's ex, Kindell, was a man of very few words and quite little understanding. He didn't seem to appreciate what she did to him, often shoving her apart when she tried to help him in uncomfortable situations." Keaton's piece of story is ridden with sorrow and grief, something Bailey, who has just reached the kitchen, catches straight away.

Indeed, it's Bailey himself who continues the story, surprising in particular Kayden, who is ready to give his take on the plotline. "Still, she believed he would get back to her. She even went as far as writing a long letter to him where she confessed her feelings for him and explained the difficult situation she was going through. However, she didn't feel ready to send it yet."

After hearing Bailey's intricate narration, Kayden is ready to take the reins of the story in order to guide it to the conclusion. Not finishing this love story as well would enrage the Voice even further, which could lead to someone being ejected from the house and disappearing.

"While Jacquelyne was busy drowning her displeasures in ice-cream and hot chocolate and crying in front of sappy rom-coms, Kindell wasn't exactly rejoicing, though. He felt he had made the right choice by breaking up with her; he was no longer happy with her." Maisy and Lindsey can't retain hints of soft laughter as Kayden tells his part of the story, causing him to look away in embarrassment.

"One day, Kindell received a mysterious message on Tagged, where he used to spend a lot of time chatting with random people before meeting Jackie." As Kane narrates, he's caught off-guard by the windows in the other room making a strange noise, a sort of thud. Believing it's just the wind blowing, however, he restarts talking. "It said, 'Meet me at the Metro Point Café,' and was signed by an user who went for 'Braylen B.' Who was he?"

Meanwhile, a louder and more violent thud echoes through the living room, where the guys and girls who are not staying in the kitchen are sitting quietly while trying to find a way to kill time. Hayley, who has since struggled to maintain her composure, lets out a scream. "What's that?"

"Perhaps it's just the wind. Stop crying," replies Whitney coldly, her eyes never leaving the blank TV screen. On the other hand, Kaitlynn clings to the blonde, eventually suggesting that they move to the kitchen as it's supposed to be a safer place.

Leigh, Cole and Chase trail after them, with the former commenting, "Let's see what Maisy, Lindsey and the others are doing." She hums a little melody, which doesn't stay unnoticed as she and her small group enter the kitchen and take seats at the lounge.

"What a nice melody, Leigh," states Hayley, feeling inspired and beaming. "That'd be perfect for a love song!" Her praise, other than being appreciated, also makes Leigh want to go on and tell her side of the story, which the rest of the group agree with.

"Kindell, determined to find out Braylen's identity, carried out research on him via social media, hoping that he wouldn't be a catfish. Meanwhile, Jacquelyne, still ridden by sorrow, was unconsolable, to the point that she often sang deadly, mournful lullabies, such as this." After taking a deep breath and glancing at Hayley and Lindsey, Leigh starts singing.

"Love, oh, love, the source of my pain
The cause of my sorrow
A path to self-destruction."

"Love, oh, love, the death of passion
The key to insanity
There's no remedy for it."

Hayley's verses are harsh as the wind hitting violently the windows, as sharp as a knife, as cruel as the Voice's laughter when it made Candice disappear in the middle of nowhere. Still, they're passional, heartfelt, truthful. Moreover, they capture the essence of the story.

Finishing it without making it flat, and therefore losing the juice of the plotline, is going to be much harder than thought. But, with everything at stake, nothing should be considered impossible.

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