I'd never believed in fate, and I certainly had no faith in a god. But I was beginning to think some things were just meant to be. Everything was better for me. I'd come to realize that sometimes things fall apart, and we dont know why, but it turns out they are only making room for something better to fill the hole. Xander had completed me, healed me. And my scars began to fade, and for the first time in a month I didnt feel the need to replace them.

"Alright," Wynter said one day after school, slamming her bookbad onto the table as he kicked off her Converse lowtops. "Spill."

I bit my cheeks to contain my smile, continued on with my math homework. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Bulshit," Wynter snapped. I thought that in that moment, she'd never seemed more like me. "You're smiling, Reina. You dont smile. I heard you singing in the shower. A month ago you were crying yourself to sleep."

"You could hear that?"

"The walls are paper thin, Reina. Now tell me what's going on."

Looking up at my sister, I tucked a stray strand of hair behind my tripple pierced ear. "I'm going to dye it black, I think," I told her off-handedly. "I'll have Melissa and Lexi help me."

Wynter rolled her eyes, turning to pul a can of Coke from the fridge. "You are avoiding my question."

I shrugged. "Only a little bit."

"Whatever," she growled in that tone she used when she was clearly annoyed and wanted the whole world to feel her pain. "I'm onto you, Reina Pewter," she added before disappearing down the hall.

I was still sitting at the table, consumed by the monster that was geometry, when my dad came in. "Hey," I said casually. He gave me a half-hearted wave as he passed. "What's up?"

Only when he neglected to reply did I look up. Then I kicked my chair back and stumbled to my feet, because my dad was crying. I'd no sooner thrown my arms around him than the sobs began to turn hysterical, and I was crying too and I didnt even know why, and I was screaming for Wynter because she was so much stronger than me.

"Daddy?" I heard her feeble little cry, felt her arms around us both.Holding us both. "Daddy, what's wrong?"

As though something inside of him had snapped, he wriggled from noth out graspsl moving away until his back was against the counter. His face ws red and streaked with fallen tears. "There's no way to say it that wont break me down again," he said slowly. "So I might as well just say it. Your mother died."

Numb. I became numb at that moment. I completely vacated myself until there was nothing but a shallow heartbeat. Beside me, Wynter had broken out into quiet sobs. But I was perfect still in my nothigness.

"She overdosed," he added. "I mean, I know she didnt contribute much to the family, but...I know how much she loved you girls."   

I heard his words without really hearing them. When he came ove to give me one last hug, I felt it without really feeling it. When Wynter took my hand, I squeezed her own tightly, because her slender, icy fingers in mine were the only thing I could feel. I closed my eyes and stood unmoving, and wondered why I was never allowed to be happy.

The End

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