19 ; Chapter Nineteen

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song of the chapter Gasoline by Halsey (link isn't an offical video but it's amazing)

I pulled up at Pandora's, the entirety of the outside was in darkness as was the inside. There were no cars in the driveway either. In comparison to the street, it looked like the entire family had died rather than just one person. 

I didn't want to get out of my car. What was the point? No one was home. 

But then I remembered the key under the mat at the patio doors and I found myself quietly slipping out of the car. I had this unconceivable urge to get that bracelet. I didn't understand at the start. It meant nothing to me but it meant something to her so I needed to have it. It was like I thought it would give me some sort of clue.

I climbed over the low fence that surrounded the house and jumped down, my thud echoing through the darkness. I wandered towards the door, making sure there was definitely no one in. I wondered if this is what the person who broke into my house felt like. I personally felt like I was crossing so many lines that I never thought to even go near nevermind step right over. Did they feel the same? Was it sheer desperation on their part? Did they feel bad tainting somewhere that's supposed to be safe for me?

I got the key and opened the door quietly. Much like I expected, the entire house was in darkness. It was late Autumn, the time changing meant it got darker quicker. I closed the door behind me and made my way through the familiar layout, ending up in Pandora's room in a matter of seconds. Her scent was fading and the room was starting to smell musty. I figured neither of her parents went in here any more, the memories being too painful.

I closed the curtains, just to make sure no one would see me in here when I turned the light on. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.

On her mirror, in Pandora's favourite mauve lipstick was the phrase "All Liars Die" repeated over and over, covering the majority of the mirror. Time felt like it stopped. Why would they come here? Why leave this for her parents to find? Or did they know they wouldn't? 

I stifled the noise of frustration I wanted to make as I ran into her ensuite, wet a tissue and started wiping it off. It just smeared down the mirror and I ended up with a soggy pile of tissue. I may suspect her mother, but she wouldn't have wrote this? Would she? Everything was spinning again, mirroring the inside of my brain. I swung open the wardrobe and went to the box, spilling the contents onto the carpet beneath me. 

The bracelet was there, the four letters staring back at me almost angrily. I slipped it into my pocket and looked about for anything else of interest. I looked everywhere for her diary, wondering why I hadn't thought to take it before. I practically tipped the entire room apart trying to find it. I checked under her mattress, under the bed, on top of the wardrobe, in the loose floorboard, in the wardrobe - everywhere. But I couldn't find it.

I groaned and pushed everything back, throwing the sopping tissue into the toilet and leaving her bedroom. I went for the patio door again but a glint from the bin caught my eye as I walked by. Inside it was a smashed up picture of Pandora, still in the photo frame. She was smiling but there was a crack in the glass, sinisterly punctured across her face. I reached for it but changed my mind. A picture held a thousand words, and chances were Pandora's mother was struggling to look at her daughter's smiling face. The exact reason still puzzled me. I didn't want to believe she murdered her own daughter, but I didn't have a reason to believe she didn't either.

I left as quickly as I arrived, with the ANYA bracelet burning a hole in my back pocket the whole way home. When I entered the house I realised I was late for dinner. I ran upstairs, through the bracelet into my bedside drawer and pulled on a navy and white striped dress before practically crashing down the stairs to the dinner table.

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