Nothing feels normal anymore. Any shred of security I felt here is gone, and I'm not sure if it'll ever come back. Dad is sick. I've suspected it for a long time, but I was so caught up in leaving and moving here that I pretended I knew nothing. Ignorant. Ignorant and unempathetic and stupid. When I knew that he was trying to reach out to me, when I knew that he wanted to talk to me, and I put it off. It all feels like a terrible dream. I curl back up in my covers and wish it all away again.
A knock at my front door jilts me awake. Sleep hits me like a brick, and I inch away from my bed. Something has been slipped underneath my door. It's an invitation. To a murder mystery themed dinner. Great. Another reason to stay in tonight. I open the door. "Have you seen these? Kind of bizarre, but I think it'll be fun. What role did you get?" Banks jabbers and then looks up at me, taking in my appearance. "Timma, you don't look so good. Are you feeling okay?" "Fine." I reply. Desperately trying to distract her from asking any more, I bring my attention to the invitation. "I'm supposed to be a.... rich housewife? Perfect. 19 and married, exactly the vibe I'm going for here." Banks laughs. "You're going to the party though, aren't you? I'm pretty sure everyone is." "I don't know Banks, I'm not really in the mood-" I sigh, but she cuts me off. "You have to go! It's going to be so much fun! I'll be there too. Meet you outside on the way there!" She says excitedly, and I know there's no way I'm getting out of this. Rich housewife it is, then.
I leave my apartment for the first time in three days. I shift uncomfortably in my dress. It's long and emerald green and not my style at all. It was my mom's, when she was my age. I look next door and rejoin Banks. The walk to the seventh floor is quick, even though I'm nearly shaking the whole way there. We walk in, and the place is decked out. I had to give the hosts some credit, they truly outdid themselves. I take my seat and look around the room. Banks wasn't kidding when she said that everyone was coming. It seemed as though all the residents of Winthrop Place had piled inside the apartment.
Dinner begins, and I begin to feel more comfortable. The food is delicious, and my mind drifts away from all of the terrible things happening right now. Tonight, I want to forget them. I want to act normal and be present like everyone else. And it's working, I'm doing this, I'm acting as though nothing is wrong. Until the lights go out. They flicker at first, and then shut off entirely. When they come back on, a man is laying face down, blood dripping down his face. This is not a prank. I can feel the panic rising in my throat. I look for Banks, but I don't see her. Everything goes dark again.