Prologue

The school bell rang.
Loud and shrill. Metallic.
It signalled the end of winter and the beginning of my final year of school.
A chance for a new beginning my mother had said. A chance to start over fresh. But I knew I would never ever forget. How could they expect me to forget everything that had happened over the past year?
I didn’t believe in true love. Nobody did anymore.
There was nothing fairy tale about my life.
There were no dragons or mythical flying creatures in my neighbourhood.
There were no princesses or handsome princes or snow queens.
There were no magic mirrors, poisoned apples or pretty girls locked in towers and there were no enchanted castles that I had ever seen.
I had watched my mother struggle.
I had seen my father disappear.
I had felt myself vanishing into nothingness.
That’s when I realised that fairy tales were a lie. But I was so wrong.
The bell finished ringing.
I followed the others into the senior home room.
It was empty without Beatrice.
But Josh was there. And so was Anar.
It had been two months since I’d seen them.
I took a deep breath and walked into the room.
Anar lifted her head and looked at me. I saw the pity in her face. Josh kept his eyes down but I knew he knew I was there.
I sat at a desk in the back row as if I didn’t care. As if nothing had ever happened during that wild crazy year.
Even now I couldn’t cry. No matter how much I tried the tears wouldn’t come. I knew they would never come again.
I looked up when the teacher entered the room, half expecting to see Miss Elizabeth. But it was somebody new.
She coughed and introduced herself and told us to open our textbooks at page twenty. It was all so damned normal. But even if I couldn’t cry I knew I would never forget.

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