December 12. I remember every detail, down to the minute it happened: 12:12 noon. I was in bed. Not sleeping, just relaxing. It was one of those "no school" Fridays, and I gladly took the opportunity to sleep in. Screaming.
It scared the hell outta me. I recognized it as one of my sisters: Andrea. I leaped out of bed, shirtless and in boxers. My room was in the basement, but I could hear the scream from the second floor just fine. It was really damn loud. The thing is, Andrea didn't just go around screaming like a goddamn murder victim all day. Something was wrong. Brianna and I got to our parents' bedroom on the second floor at the exact same time. Andrea was at the doorway, shaking more than a doomed plane. She was in utter shock. Too scared to cry, to scared to speak. Our father's corpse lay on the carpet beside the bed, his eyes staring up at a destination he'd never reach.
I dashed to his side while Brianna tended to Andrea's condition. There was no blood, but no breathing, either. No familiar sound of a heartbeat in his chest. We called our mom at work, along with 911. They arrived at the exact same time, too. A sensible cause of death could not be determined. There were dozens of theories, but none of them made sense. My father had simply dropped dead in the middle of the day, and no one could figure out why.
Until a week later. The most minute trace of a toxic powder was found in his lungs. This was murder. This raised another question: who?
Months went by, the investigation stood still. I was pissed. I wanted justice. I thought of how Andrea, Brianna and my mother sobbed during the funeral. I wondered how anyone could separate a father from his children like this, and it infuriated me. I needed to know.
That's when she showed up.