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The days that change one’s life often come when you least expect them too. For Irene Hoves one such day came in the middle of spring. It was her last year of school and all she could think about was the months that separated her from absolute freedom… Months that would soon be just days…
She was planning to spend this afternoon with Kain, that usually made time fly faster but he had to go into the city this afternoon, something about some new comic or whatever. Kain was surprisingly into those geeky stuff. His favorite sport was chess for crying out loud! But still Irene didn’t mind too much, she was sure she would find something to do…
Later when she would rewind the events of that day over and over in her head, like one often does for days like that, she would wonder how she didn’t notice something was off the moment she walked in the house, surely she must have noticed the odd shoes in the hallway… She should have heard the voices immediately… But she didn’t.
She walked into the house as if it was any other day. She thought only about getting to the stairs and into her room. She didn’t expect anyone to be home, Krystal might have been there, but she rarely came home right after school, she would stay prepare her lectures, revise essays, papers what not…
But as she reached the doors that would lead her trough the living room to the kitchen and on to the stairs for the second floor Irene stopped. She was sure she head her sister’s voice coming from the living room. She was talking to someone. Curiosity got the better of her and she went in without knocking or alerting her presence in any way.
Peeking in Irene noticed it wasn’t just Krystal who was home, Lucky her other sister, was sitting on the couch her face hidden behind her hands. She appeared to be shaking. Zeke, her brother was hitting the wall with one hand and sobbing… Krystal just stood leaning on the wall, rummaging trough her purse, looking for tissue for Lucky, would have been Irene’s first guess but then she noticed tear streaks on her own face.
There was a man standing across from the three of them, at first sight Irene thought it was her father, he was tall, gray haired, with a similar build. But it wasn’t him, she saw the rims of his glasses and knew it was their cousin, the man they called uncle Jun. And on the doorway, as if frozen in time Irene stood feeling as if she was in a nightmare, realization hitting her like a punch in a gut. She knew what this scene meant, every fiber of her body knew it. Yet her mind refused to process it, it refused to admit the truth written all over her siblings faces.
“Arrangements will have to be made…Of course…” Krystal continued spiking in a strained voice that didn’t sound like Krystal at all to Irene’s ears.
“Don’t worry about it Krys.” Uncle Jun said placing his hand over hers. “He was a cop, it was on duty… The town will take care of everything…” Krys nodded weakly and Zeke stopped hitting the wall. He grabbed his head with his hands in a similar manner as Lucky and leaned on to the wall.
“Have you told Rita?” Krystal asked. “Somebody should go there as well…”
“It’s fine. I sent Hannah to go see her and Tommy.” Uncle Jun responded.
“Irene would be back soon… I have to…” Krystal spoke and lifted her head to the door. Her pained gaze met Irene’s and it felt to her as if she was getting stabbed in the heart. Her mind could not lie to her anymore… She felt as if her whole world was going to crumble over her head. The image of her father’s smile floated in her head… The playful look in his soft brown eyes… She saw Uncle Jun heading towards her. She didn’t want him to say it… She couldn’t hear it… She threw her bag on the ground and ran. She ran towards the door… She ran outside… She heard someone saying her name… She didn’t stop. She just ran….