Chapter 2

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Isabelle Holland sat at her desk in her bedroom with her chemistry homework laid out in front of her. However, the incessant booming of music flowing from the room next to her made it hard to concentrate. She tried to drone out the noise, but it almost seemed to be getting louder. The music eventually became too much of a distraction to her, causing her to toss her homework to the side before she marched to the adjacent room and angrily knocked on the door.

When she heard no sign of movement on the other end, she slammed the door open, causing it to slam against the wall. Her older sister, Audrey, made no sign of shock, she instead carried on laying on her bed while flipping through her magazine.

"Can you turn it down?" Isabelle spoke in anger but stopped in her tracks once she took in the appearance of her sister's room.

Audrey has always had a reputation of being a perfectionist, everything had a place and it needed to stay that way. However, Audrey's vanity table was in disarray, makeup was scattered all over the table and some were laying on the floor at the foot of the table, something Audrey would, usually, never allow. Her bed was unmade, and clothes were tossed out of her usually color-coded closet and scattered across the wooden floor. Her sister's appearance seemed out of ordinary too, her hair was laying atop her head in a disheveled mess, which was strange to Isabelle considering she had witnessed her sister once spending an hour on her hair to ensure it stays flawlessly in shape.

She glanced at her sister's attire and noticed her shirt seemed familiar, it was Isabelle's Nirvana shirt, a shirt she was often criticized for wearing by the very person currently wearing it. Her sister would always complain about the band and had even once stated she would never be caught dead wearing it.

"What's going on with you?" Isabelle interrogated and awkwardly scratched her left arm, a nervous habit since childhood.

"What do you mean?" Audrey asked not taking her attention off the magazine placed in front of her.

"Well, considering you're the biggest neat freak I've ever met, you could imagine my surprise the second I walked in here."

Audrey took her gaze off her magazine and focused on her little sister, a strange glint in her eye.

"I quite like it." Audrey said gazing around the room with a small smile on her face before turning back to Isabelle. "It felt like it's time for a change, a new me."

"Please." Isabelle spoke with a scoff. "I give it another hour before the mess starts to give you anxiety."

Audrey glanced at her sister with a smirk before laughing humorlessly.

"Don't count on it, little sister." Audrey spoke before turning back to the magazine. "Can you leave now?"

Isabelle was taken aback by her sister's tone and she silently made her way out of the room, gently closing the door behind her. It wasn't until she got back in her room that she remembered she had forgotten to ask her sister to turn the music down, but she feared that would provoke her sister even further. She sat on her bed and turned back to her homework but once again found herself unable to concentrate, but this time it wasn't because of the music.

********

Delilah walked into her family home and was greeted by an unusual silence. She would normally be greeted with the sounds of pans from her mother's excessive cooking, or the sound of the television running in the background.

"Mom!" Delilah called out but got no reply.

The house wasn't very spacious, so if her mother was home it's very unlikely that she didn't hear her daughter's call. Movement was heard from her brother's room and she immediately made her way into the bedroom and spotted her tear-stricken mother sitting next to Charlie's bed. Gina had a firm grip on Charlie's left hand and lifted it up to her lips, more tears escaping the corners of her eyes. Delilah took in her mother's disheveled appearance, it seemed like her mother hasn't moved since Delilah left in the early morning for work.

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