"Are you sure this is okay?" Vinnia asked as she buckled herself into her older sister's new car. "It's so dark outside. It's past curfew. We shouldn't be out at midnight!"
Orla rolled her eyes. "You're overreacting, Vinnia," she said. "It's only half past eleven. Besides, I thought you wanted to hang out with Victoria."
"I do," Vinnia said, voice wobbling. "But why do we have to go over right now? Why can't we wait until morning?"
"Victoria's older sister is having a party at her house while her parents are gone. For once, I was actually invited to go. It's not going to be a bad party, Vinnia. Don't give me that look. You know I won't do anything stupid." Orla jammed the keys in the ignition.
"I just don't think we should be out when it's so dark."
"You're only nine. What do you know about this stuff?"
Well, the next thing Vinnia knew was agony as she watched her older sister get dragged out of her totaled car.
Vinnia had been right. It was too dark for someone as inexperienced at driving as Orla was. As the ambulance whisked both girls away, Vinnia knew in her heart that she would never recover.
Minutes later, Orla was dead. But Vinnia was alive. That was when the nightmares started.
Every night, Vinnia woke up screaming. In her dreams, she saw the distracted truck driver hit their car. In her dreams, she felt herself being placed on a stretcher to be taken to the emergency room. In her dreams, she watched as her sister's heartbeat flatlined on the monitor. In her dreams, she felt as out of control as she had been in that very moment.
Having to raise Vinnia alone ever since her husband had left them, Vinnia's mother was forced to run into Vinnia's room every night and let her daughter cry on her shoulder. Understandably, Vinnia's mother got tired of having to stay up until the wee hours of the morning with the bawling Vinnia.
And so Vinnia was given light doses of emellior, a virtually unknown plant that was kept secret so as to keep others from finding it and selling it. It was a drug that caused the receiver to forget the memories that were stressing him or her. But Vinnia's mother was always careful to give Vinnia the exact amount of emellior she needed - too much would cause her to forget...everything. Forever.
Eventually, emellior was no longer effective with Vinnia - not even dangerously large doses. She'd built an immunity.
Yes, Vinnia had built an immunity to emellior. The drug that made you forget. The drug that, if given too much, made you forget everything about yourself.