Marie Sonomon-King is as average as a spoilt rich kid can possibly be. Then her older brother dies and starts in motion an amazing transformation.
"Marie!" A shrill voice broke the silence of the house. The call ricocheted off the closed doors and wooden staircases. It took a few seconds for the girl in her room to hear it. She sighed, removed her headphones, and slid off her bed. She stopped just before she walked out of the room, checked her hair and dress in the full-length mirror, adjusted her pearl necklace and then opened the door.
She could tell that her mother was waiting for her in the stairway. Maybe it was more criticism. Would Marie’s mother tell her that she had failed her, once again? She’d probably jut her chin upwards and fix Marie with a contemptuous stare. Smoothing down the cashmere jumper she was sure to be wearing, she'd turn and walk away, leaving Marie with tears in her eyes. Marie forced herself to take a deep breath, even though it felt like a steel chain was tied around her chest. One hand lightly placed on the solid brass handrail, she smiled sweetly at Evangeline and cleared her throat loudly.
"Yes, mother?" Marie scanned her mother's face. She looked drawn and pale- more so than usual, which meant that something serious had gone on. Had something gone wrong with Father's business? Marie would have to leave Oxford, she worried, like her mother had always threatened. She would never be the famous lawyer she had always known she could be if she really tried.
"You will be staying here for the foreseeable future. Something has happened that means you can't go back to Oxford right now." Evangeline's voice was cold and uncaring. She looked Marie straight in the eye as if she was defying her to even question her judgment.
"What is it, mother?" Marie didn't have to force herself to keep calm anymore. She just automatically suppressed what she was thinking and smiled. Marie never used to do that, though- when Marie first realized that her mother was the only one at the school gates that didn't hug her- the only one that insisted on "Mother", rather than “Mum” or “Ma”- she was hurt, and she questioned Evangeline about it. This made it worse: her mother thought that she was going through a "difficult phase" and she alienated her even more. By now, aged 20, Marie had pretty much learnt how to be a perfect young lady and just dealt with the fact that her Mother didn't love her efficiently.
"It's William." she said, staring blankly past Marie, with no emotion in her voice. "He's dead."
Marie's legs folded under her, and she felt herself roll down the stairs. She reached the bottom, and for a second, she could see almost the mild interest in her mother's eyes. Then, Evangeline Sonomon-King turned, and she walked away.