"Spirits be damned!"

Words unbefitting a lady of nobility rang across the street. As the afternoon sky darkened to an ashy gray, Cass finally gave up and relieved herself from hanging outside her lover's house like a stalker, a garden gnome and ultimately a lamp post.

It had only been a day, yet she was exhausted both physically and mentally.

Hungry? Thirsty? Cold? Well, add humiliated to that and it would have perfectly captured her situation.

Who would have known that things would end up like this?

She rubbed her hands together to get some warmth back, and if only she could do the same with her toes, she would probably feel a whole lot better. Her army boots were doing the opposite of their purpose; they're keeping the moisture in instead of the other way around. Snow seeped right through her wool sweater as well, and despite her jacket, she was freezing.

Winter had never been this cold and desolate.

The dogs in the neighborhood had ceased barking at her roughly one or two hours ago, the last time her presence was acknowledged by any living thing. She was glad that they finally stopped making a pest of themselves. They were quite noisy, it was annoying. Yet, truthfully, she also wished that they didn't – their noise was so much better than this unbearable silence.

Her lover, Kyle of Terron, was her last piece of hope, and after he turned away from her in disbelief and disgust hours ago, she still foolishly prayed that he would see sense, light or whatever it was that he was supposed to see and give her back the life they had together.

Oh, yesterday, she even pranked him into getting into trouble with the other nobles... They were even splitting the grubs 70-30, with her taking the bigger part, of course. But now...

After half a day of waiting, he didn't even bother to take a peek at her. The defeat was crushing; she was abandoned with no one to turn to, with no one who cared.

Her family? Her friends? Her lover?

They all turned away from her. The thing was, she did not even know why. What went wrong this time?

With one last glance at his closed door, Cass turned around and walked to her car parked a block away, a single venomous tear betraying the turmoil inside her. The tear turned into an icicle rather quick that she only had to pluck it off her cheek.

The boy who saved her from despair three years ago had forgotten her. Them. The years they spent playing hide-and-seek in the forest, the memories of their every scrape and bruise, the troubles they caused, the places they made their own... to him, they meant nothing.

Her family... she'd rather not say anything. The cut on her upper arm and the slightly swollen cheek were enough to say it all. She did not dare fight back, because they too were just victims of fate.

This had to be a nightmare, but Cass wasn't dumb enough to slap herself and check. It was too much to be a prank either, and she knew her honest, no-nonsense father would be the first to spill the truth if it was. And no matter what anyone else says, she knew that she was not crazy. Well, a little, but not enough to be called a nutcase.

Her name is Cassandra Vega, eldest daughter of the House of Vega, a family of officials working under the throne for four generations.

But, everyone said that the House of Vega had no daughters born in this generation.

No one remembered her.

Why did everyone forget her... again?

This had happened before, but after years of trying to fit in, one singular mistake allowed her slate to be wiped clean once more. All of it, permanently. This time, it couldn't be remedied... because this time, no one in the town of Gaelsworth remembered her.

For them, Cassandra Vega never existed. This was her new reality. She had to be friggin' stupid not to accept it. Still, she did not understand.

Her life, her identity, her present and her future, all of them lost because of a stupid curse.

Cass ought to find the source. But the question remains: where to start?

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