As they pull into the driveway, Amelia gets a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach as her emotions force their way out. She bursts open the car door just in time to puke.
“Gross! Now it’s going to smell like throw up,” Navid complains.
“Oh shut up, Navid,” Leona yells.
She then looks at Amelia, who’s wiping her mouth. “Change your clothes and hurry up. We’ll wait for you in the car.”
Amelia glares at her in shock. “You expect me to go inside that house alone? Have you lost the rest of your mind?”
Without responding, Leona pushes her out of the car. Amelia slams the car door as hard as she can and slowly walks up the steps. She wants to take her time just to piss Leona off. She considers walking in slow motion but quickly dismisses the idea for fear of getting run over, knowing Leona would do it if she could get away with it. Due to her nervousness and inability to stop her hands from shaking, she finds it hard just opening the door.
The crimson stain of her father’s blood is the first thing she sees. The house is a complete mess. Her trembling legs make it difficult for her to move forward. The entire scene from yesterday plays in her head as she walks past the bloodstain, cringing. She heads up the stairs and goes into her bedroom where she packs as fast as she can, trying to grab everything of significance. The most important thing she wants is her family portrait. “I know we’ll be a family again, somehow or someway,” she whispers to the photo.
She removes the anklet her parents gave her from her butterfly jewelry box and puts it on. Cash told her it would always protect her from danger. His friend Misae made it especially for her. The sterling silver chain has three stones, one pink, one yellow, and one blue. He told her each stone has a special power that will protect her. Strangely, the three stones are the same colors from the crown in her dream. She ponders the coincidence and takes one last look around, closing the door behind her.
As she’s about to walk downstairs, she decides to go to her parents room to see if there’s any indication that her mother came back. Looking around their room seems surreal, given the circumstances, but nothing is out of the ordinary. When she turns to leave, she sees something shiny under her parents’ bed. She pulls out a silver lockbox. A combination lock lays dead center to protect the contents from prying eyes, like hers. Pondering what the code could be, she tries her mom’s birthday, then her dad’s, but it won’t open. She even tries their anniversary date, but that’s not working either. Her last resort is putting in her birthday, zero six one four. Click. “It worked,” she whispers.
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