Based on the true story that shocked the world in 1965.

In the early summer of 1965, 16 year old Sylvia Likens stepped foot into 3850 East New York with hopes and dreams. She left the house three months later, emaciated with burns, bruises and scratches. What happened in those endless months would later be described as "the worst crime ever committed in the state of Indiana". This is the story of a girl who had hopes and dreams.

This is Sylvia's story.


18. A Reminder Of Home

I was sat on the couch with Jenny, the day passing us by as it went. The warmth hadn't surrendered, as it found a way to bathe us through the closed window. Jimmy and Shirley watched the television, for once not making a noise as though they were mesmerised by the show in front of them. Gertrude was sitting at the kitchen table, skimming through a newspaper with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey beside her on the table. I wasn't thinking about much in that moment, other than the annoying, sharp hunger pangs that were relentless in reminding me how hungry I was. It was selfish to think; everyone was hungry in that house, so why am I the one who is complaining?

"I think I'm gonna' die of hunger." I yawned, stretching my arms above me as I tried to loosen the cramps in my stomach.

Jenny chuckled quietly, "...more like die of boredom."

It seemed both of us were struggling; hunger and boredom for a growing teenager was not a good mix.

Jenny looked at me with curious eyes.

"Well, didn't daddy give us some money for some food...?"

A wave of guaranteed pleasure and relief replaced that hunger as quickly as it had began. Daddy always looked out for us. Soon enough, I remembered the $5.00 mama and daddy had given us when we had spent the day out with them. I wasn't ashamed to admit, I was happy I could rely on my parents once in a while.

"I'll be right back." I smiled excitedly, standing up from the couch and almost running to the stairs.

I didn't blame Gertie in any way for the limited food in that house. I understood her, more than she probably believed. I guess, growing up with money problems gave me that extra bit of sympathy and understanding for others. I reached the bedroom door, and made my way inside; my mind determined to find the money as quickly as possible. I knew where it was almost straight away, as I walked over to the dressing table and opened one of the drawers. Sure enough, the sight of a single $5.00 bill brought joy to my otherwise boring day. I pulled it out, and immediately made my way back out of the bedroom. I was running so quickly down the steps that I probably didn't realise how much noise I was making.

"I found it." I called, rushing to the couch where was Jenny still sat.

Her smile still remained, and even grew in size as she saw the note in my hand. We both knew it meant a good treat coming our way.

"Wanna' go to WhiteCastle - get a hamburger each?" Jenny asked, and the image of a hamburger was enough for me to nearly rush out of the house.

"Can we have some burgers?" Jimmy asked, as his eyes gawked at the scrunched up note in my hand.

It immediately stopped me running out as quickly as I had hoped. With a mere $5.00 on us, it seemed impossible to afford a burger for everyone. I forced myself to believe otherwise; there was enough to go around - I would make sure there was.

"Sure." I smiled, "anythin' you guys want in particular?"

"...You sure we'll have enough?" Jenny questioned, and it seemed she was a little more apprehensive about having enough cash on us than I was.

"I want a cheese burger!" Jimmy exclaimed with excitement, and the image of a deliciously made burger seemed to capture everyone in its grasp.

"- What's all this about burgers?"

There was only one voice that was needed to stop the conversation altogether.

Gertrude made her way through the kitchen doorway, intermittently sucking on the cigarette as she kept her gaze on all of us.

"Sylvia's gettin' us some from WhiteCastle!" Marie insisted.

I attempted to speak for myself, if Marie would have given me the chance.

"See, I have some money - I could go up to WhiteCastle and grab everyone a bite to eat." I informed.

Gertrude raised an eyebrow, "- where'd you get the money?"

What was with all the questions?

"Oh, just...just from my parents." I replied sensibly.

It was as though she was secretly interrogating me, though what for I didn't know.

She nodded her head slowly, " my dinner not good enough for you?"

Confusion found its way to me sooner than I had realised, and I didn't understand why the idea made her seem so...defensive.

I attempted to speak more confidently, however much I failed.

"No, I just thought -"

"- It doesn't really cross my mind 'what you thought', Sylvia." She interrupted my chance to explain, "if you don't like how things run here, then maybe you should find another place to stay until your daddy comes to claim you."

The way she spoke unsettled me, as though I had purposely caused her trouble. If I would have known asking the children would have made Gertie so mad, then I would have asked her first. I just didn't understand why my attempts at being kind were swept under the carpet.

"Sorry..." I insisted, with the hopes she would see the meaning and reason, instead of jumping into any conclusion first.

She nodded her head slowly, and exhaled a waft of smoke that seemed to release a little bit of that tension. Everything was on top of her, it seemed - I couldn't judge her.

"Fine." She finally changed the tone in her voice just a bit, "in that case, can you get me another glass? Damn asthma's playin' up as usual."

She dragged herself over to the couch, though I was sure smoking didn't help with asthma much, and nor would alcohol. But if it got her off my back slightly, then I followed her orders. I hurried away into the kitchen, and picked up the bottle of half finished whiskey, and poured it into the glass that had been left on the table. The powerful scent of it was enough for me to cringe. I placed the bottle back on the table and carried the nearly-overflowing glass of whiskey back into the living room.

"Mama, can't we get WhiteCastle?" Jimmy begged, hypnotised in the thought of tasting something that wasn't bread or soup.

I passed the glass into Gertie's open hand as she accepted it eagerly.

"No, Jimmy - I ain't repeatin' myself again."

Jimmy remained quiet after that, reluctantly turning around to face the television again. I still had the $5.00 in my hand, and yet I only felt awkward leaving right there and then; not after Jimmy and Marie being told they couldn't have any. Not with Gertrude sitting right there...

I allowed the thought of a burger to drift away, as I hesitantly walked back over to the couch, and slumped down next to Jenny.

"Maybe when we walk home from school." She insisted, smiling optimistically as she nudged me on the shoulder.

I guessed she was right, it wasn't like there was a deadline to use the money by. I was sure the hunger pangs would have gone after dinner - we just had to wait a few hours, that was all.

"You ever thought the reasons why you're hungry all the time, Sylvia?" Gertrude's voice spoke once again, and I hadn't realised she had been staring at me since I had sat down.

Puzzled, I slowly shook my head, "...I don't think so."

She sipped at the alcohol like it was medicine that would have cured her asthma.

"I'm just sayin', hunger is a big symptom for pregnancy." She replied proudly, as though very sure of the facts she was spilling me.

I remained silent, thinking hard and going over what she had said. I had to say, me being a little hungry and meaning I was pregnant was crazy. I knew she may have seen me as a 16 year old brat, but it didn't mean I had no idea about conceiving and being pregnant. I wasn't that gullible, no matter what she thought of me.

"Maybe your daddy left you here to stop you chasin' boys!" Marie sniggered, trying to spite me, seemingly because she wasn't allowed any food.

I shrugged her comments off. I knew you couldn't take a child's insult too seriously.

Gertrude shook her head with a smile, "...all I'm saying is a few home truths, Sylvia."

I slowly looked over to Jenny who looked uncomfortable. I felt uneasy sitting there. Her 'home truths' were not true at all.

" isn't likely." I insisted.

Gertrude shot me a glare, "so I'm wrong?"

I tried to swallow the nerves, "I was just -"

"- Just go to your room." She muttered, and my attempts to explain were stolen from me, "...I mean all of you."

Jimmy and Marie sensed their mama's emotions from a mile away, as they stood up and ran up the stairs before she had even finished.

Jenny and I simply sat still for a moment, mainly because I couldn't understand why she never allowed me the chance to speak. Why she, for some reason, thought of me in that way. But I, once again, followed orders, and helped Jenny from the couch. Gertrude sat there, smoking and thinking carefully to herself.

I always wondered what went on inside her head.


It was later on during the day, and I remember walking down the stairs. The voices all immediately matched to the appropriate faces. It was Coy, Randy, and Ricky as the visitors, with Marie and Jimmy who continued to pinch at each other in a bid to get one to retaliate. It seemed no one had noticed I was there, particularly Gertrude who was seemingly enjoying herself a little too much. She danced around; a cigarette in one hand and her skirt in the other as she pulled it high above her knees. Her right leg on full show, and yet she would continuously rise her hand up further, only to drop the skirt  down to its original length.

Did Gertrude do this...often? It was a different side to her strict behaviour that I hadn't seen before. She wore a smile, for the first time, relatively large as though she enjoyed it. I could tell the boys did, as their faces gawked at Gertrude's movements as though dependent on it. Jimmy and Marie ignored it all, though I couldn't have understood how they did. No doubt they were used to it, I imagined.

"This is how they do it at the Fox Theatre." Gertrude insisted, spiralling around the room in neat circles. It was as though she was drunk, and it wouldn't have been a surprise.

Coy and Randy shared a cigarette each, snatching it off one another every now and again to achieve the tobacco goodness. Ricky sat alone, constantly sipping at a glass of whiskey. I walked closer, however reluctant. Gertrude finally stopped her intoxicated dance. Her hand slowly moved back down her leg as she allowed her skirt to cover her skin. The boys gave a disgruntled moan.

"Why not show us a little more?" Ricky muttered, holding the glass in his lap as Gertrude gave a chuckle, brushing down the ruffles in her skirt.

She coughed deeply into her hand; why they were interested in her, I didn't know. Then again, I didn't believe they were interested in her. I just thought they would get more from an 'experienced' woman like Gertrude than a petty, little school girl.

"I'm pretty sure your mama wouldn't appreciate that."

Just as she said this, Gertie swivelled on her feet, turning to me gracefully yet with such hostility. No going back now. I hesitantly walked a little further, but I felt as though I was walking onto a stage with the audience's eyes piercing my every move. There was silence, as though me being there had suddenly drained the relaxed atmosphere and replaced it with tension.

"- I just," I attempted to explain, "I just walked down - -"

"- I ain't gonna' arrest you," Gertie interrupted, and her eyes gazed at the three boys flirtatiously, "...though, could be good for you."

...Good for me? My thoughts always lingered on each word Gertrude said, as though I had to dissect them and reply with a suitable answer. I didn't understand her. Then again, I never did - it seemed she was always in the mist of her own thoughts.

"After all, it's good to start young." She informed sarcastically, and both Coy and Randy began to laugh.

Was I the only one who didn't understand what she was talking about? She leaned against the couch, and crossed her arms over her chest. Everyone seemed to watch me with intensive eyes.

"As if she'd know what you mean." Coy scoffed, nudging Randy on the shoulder.

Blushing would have been no problem, but my cheeks always seemed to radiate heat like a hot pan. No-one could have missed it. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole, but there was no rescue from this embarrassment. It was absolute torture; utter humiliation. I knew the memory would be seared into my brain forever, ready to pop up and torment me again if I was ever in a quiet moment.

"You do know how to act sexy, right?" Gertrude questioned, allowing a smirk to rise on her lips.

I wanted to bury my face deep into my hands, yet I couldn't show I was embarrassed. I tried to keep a steady nerve. I refrained from speaking a word, and instead, simply shook my head to her personal question. The boys all laughed, and Gertie enjoyed it - I could tell. Just send me to my room, I hoped.

She began walking towards me, slowly, "- I'm just are a pretty girl."

I didn't dare answer. I knew it was a trick question - I had experienced those types of questions from her before. I stayed silent, gnawing at the inside of my mouth as I almost began to taste the metallic, bitter sensation of blood.

"- Jesus, come on, you can admit it." She insisted, as she began circling me - like a vulture.

I shuddered, and a sharp chill shot down my back. I couldn't have denied it - she knew how to make someone feel small. She finally retreated back to the couch, before hoisting up a bottle of medicine from the coffee table as she chugged it down. I couldn't find the right words to say - I would only have sounded stupid anyway.

"I could pass for 20, you know..." Gertie muttered, grasping a box of matches and a new cigarette from a case as she began flicking the match against the gritted surface.

I didn't know how to reply; a simple nod in response was something I had mastered in that short space of time.

"I could put my fancy clothes on and just saunter down the street..." She said, before the match sparked a flicker as she placed it close to the cigarette in her mouth, "- get the boys to whistle and honk at me, just like you do Sylvia." She inhaled a deep wave of smoke.

I had never once said anything about Gertrude, yet she seemed to think I was prancing around in the skimpiest of outfits with the sole purpose to aggravate her.

"...I know..." I insisted awkwardly, but she soon shot a scowl, as though I had said something out of place.

She took the cigarette from her mouth and raised an eyebrow and stared, as did everybody else who chose to.

"You patronisin' me?" 

I didn't understand. I shook my head quickly, hoping she would have thought nothing more.

The first word left my mouth in defence, ""

"- You damn right better say no."

I looked down to the floor. Why was she always so horrible to me? The room fell into a deathly silence. My eyes summoned the courage to look around; not a kind face in sight - not even Ricky looked at me after that. I knew if I stayed I would have probably gotten more harsh words to battle against. And with that thought in my mind, I quickly darted for the stairs. I didn't want to stay there anymore. I wanted to retreat my face so nobody could even see me. I ran up the steps, my feet struggling to keep up with my giant leaps as I heard them laugh with one another. Gertrude had won that war; she knew herself she had.

"It's been lovely, Sylvia!" She shouted, but I ignored her words.

Who was being patronising now?


Late afternoon, but it always stayed brighter in the summer, as though God wanted to give us a chance to savour the day just a little more. I was in the bedroom, endlessly reading the Bible as though it had a deadline. Reading it gave me meaning and happiness, it always made me feel safer when we were out on the road. It seemed I was so captivated in its words that I hadn't heard a knock on the front door, followed by the heckling of Gertrude. It wouldn't have been my parents, so I gathered it would have been another neighbour expecting ironing. Somebody knocked again, and what Gertrude was shouting sounded clearer.

"Sylvia! Sylvia, answer that damn door!"

Why did I need to answer the door? It seemed Gertrude hadn't realised I was upstairs. I still heard the ongoing casual talking from the living room, so it was clear to hear that Coy or Ricky could have answered the door. But I complied, mainly for the reason that Gertrude's continuous screaming was giving me a pounding headache. I exited the bedroom and stomped down each step, dare I say it on purpose to 'prove a point' to Gertrude that she wasn't the only one who could be loud. I finally came to the last step, and the boys were all watching with patronising faces.

"Get the door then." Randy sneered.

I stood my ground, and eyed up the immature school boy from afar.

"Why didn't you just get the door?" I questioned him, and this sure enough silenced him.

"I said YOU do it, Sylvia." Gertrude interrupted my moment of triumph, as she frittered around the room with a broom in one hand, "- you do nothin' around this house so it's about time you get off your ass."

The 'standing my ground' wouldn't have worked with Gertrude, and I accepted her verbal beating as it came. There had been countless times where I had offered to help, and yet she had made it perfectly clear that my offers were not praised or noticed.

I opened the door to the awaiting visitor, and a face with a familiar voice brought back the comforting feeling of home.

"Don't welcome me then!"

Standing at the door was my brother. All I wanted was to bundle him in my arms and hug him, but he wasn't the type to feel comfortable with that.

"Danny?" I called, as my hand immediately scuffed up his hair. He always did hate that.

"Off the hair!" He whined, "I spent hours on it!"

"So you're Sylvia's brother?" The voice of Gertrude appeared, followed by her presence that shifted the atmosphere.

"Danny, Ma'am." He introduced, reaching out a hand. He always wanted to be seen as a gentleman, though my other brother, Benny, was pretty careless in that sense.

"Just call me Gertie," she chuckled, "I got some of the neighbourhood kids in here if you wanted to meet them."

Her proposition seemed friendly enough, but I didn't want Danny to meet them. He wouldn't have liked Coy or Randy anyway. But Danny agreed, much to my annoyance. I was tempted to grab Danny and leave; to go to the park or anywhere else. The heads of all those who sat on the couch immediately turned back to look at us. Their eyes were calculating; they had seen how alike I seemed to be with the boy standing next to me.

"You Sylvia's brother?" A voice spoke carefully from behind us. I knew it was Paula.

She stomped down the stairs, and her eyes scrutinised Danny as though daring him to walk closer. If Paula hated me, I knew she would have probably hated anyone related to me. She was dramatic like that.

"I'm Danny."

She looked careless.

"You want to stay for dinner, Danny?" Gertrude asked. Why was she being so nice?

I wanted him to stay. At least then I would have felt less alone.

"He's probably too good for us." Paula muttered, under her breath it seemed but we had both heard. She was showing her true colours, and yet Gertrude wasn't.

"Paula, shut it." Gertrude warned, shooting a finger at her before smiling back at Danny who seemed almost bewildered by it all.

"Thanks for the offer," Danny insisted, "...I need to get back to my Grandma's house. I just wanted to see how Sylvia was gettin' on."

He wasn't leaving already?

"You haven't seen Jenny yet!" I said.

"You know what Grandma's like, she'll kill me if I don't put her dinner on."

I felt, admittedly, upset. I wanted him to stay longer, even only an hour. But I could see by Danny's face that he seemed uncomfortable in that house. It seemed we felt exactly the same.

"You want a cigarette?" Coy asked. I could tell he was trying his best to intimidate by brother, but Danny was a strong character. He never did take anything from anyone.

"I ain't old enough." Danny said, and yet I was the only one who could tell when he was being sarcastic.

"You best make sure Grandma don't smell that on your breath when you go back," I insisted.

He walked over to Coy and accepted the cigarette, inhaling the most he could before Coy whipped out his hand again.

"They ain't cheap." Coy muttered, stealing the cigarette back from Danny's hands.

Grandma was pretty strict; she never did accept the fact that my daddy liked a good smoke every now and then. He was always stressed - he used to tell me cigarettes helped him relax. Grandma was the type of woman who didn't take any nonsense from anyone. She used to tell me on repeat what a Buddha once told her when she was younger. "If you do good deeds whilst you're alive, you'll live a long and happy life." She always insisted that it was true, since I helped Jenny so much. But, as always, Grandma was wrong.

"How's Benny?" I asked. Danny and Benny were close, though I imagined brothers stuck together just like sisters would.

He leaned against the side of the couch, running his fingers through his hair as though being inside would have somehow messed it up.

"Stupid as usual." He mocked.

"Don't be so damn mean!"

You could say we all had a love-hate relationship as siblings.

"Never mind about Benny, he's fine." He insisted, finally standing back to his feet, "you make sure you tell Jenny I came to visit."

"You best be goin' then." Gertrude smiled; another smile that may have tricked Danny, but not me.

She ushered him away, opening the front door once again as she watched with eager eyes. She wanted him to leave. She couldn't face the fact of me having a loving family outside of her house; she couldn't stand the fact that I had people who cared about me.

"You make sure Benny knows how we're doing!" I smiled, as Danny carried himself down the set of steps.

"He'll love that!" He laughed, and his smile slowly grew distant, until all I saw was a mysterious figure walking away from the house.

At least he is doing fine, I thought. I couldn't help but feel lonely once again when he left. I knew I had Jenny, but I missed being with family - and seeing Danny reminded me of it.


I sat in front of the mirror in the bedroom. The moonlight began to shine through as the sun was gradually completing its mission on lighting Indiana with safety. A few hours had gone by as I waited for the smell of warm soup, or heated bread to invade the hallway. I sat quietly, glaring at my own reflection as I itched at my flustered cheeks. I wasn't thinking about anything; I had no thought in my mind. I imagined I was just tired. The chuckling from downstairs was from the children, though as I sat amongst the silence I had to myself, I gradually saw the bedroom door slowly open through the mirror reflection. A disturbed, frustrated Paula executed her steps inside. I shuffled uncomfortably on the seat; the room was awkward and silent. I kept my eyes away from Paula who lumbered through the room to her bedside as she began sorting through some school books left on her bed. I felt the the need to move almost without end; if my limbs were moving, the anxiety was gone, or at least I could have ignored it a while. 

Seemingly out of utter fate, Paula caught a glimpse of me staring. Her face was concentrated; stalking me as she intended to intimidate me, no doubt she was. I turned in my seat, finally facing her as she crossed her arms.

"Why don't you take a picture - it'll last longer!" She hissed.

That desperation of me trying to avoid her had ended, and I knew that we were about to have it out with each other.

"I was just lookin' in the mirror." I insisted.

"Yeah, gettin' a pretty good look at me too."

Making eye contact with Paula was like throwing yourself into the unknown. It was similar with Gertrude. Whenever you would stare into their eyes, it would feel like they would immediately snap over the slightest movement or sound you made. It was like being an intruder in a lion cage; not the place you really wanted to be.

Just walk away, and leave the situation.

I heaved myself from the chair, trying to avoid another confrontation, which was obviously Paula's aim to create one.

"Where d'you think you're goin'?" She questioned, and I moved myself over to the doorway in a bid to escape, only to be stopped by Paula.

I decided on something - to sort it out once and for all. As you could probably guess, Paula didn't want any reconciliation.

I forced a smile, "...I'm sorry about what I did. With Bradley and all that - -"

Her teeth clenched as hard as her temper boiled.

"- You bring him up and I can't promise what I'll do."

I decided to leave the second apology alone; forcing my eyes down to the floor with a weakened annoyance that I couldn't be bothered to show. I continued out into the hallway, but Paula hurried after me. Couldn't she leave me alone?

"If anythin', I should have been the one who did that to you." She scoffed.

I turned back around to face her; confused about what she meant, I risked asking.

"What are you talkin' about?"

"What d'you think I mean?" She muttered; her eyes trailing over me as though I was the face of disgust, "those boys in California - 'member tellin' me about that?"

My eyes widened. The heavy, nauseating feeling of worry threatened to pull me to the ground, but I locked my knees. 

"It was one boy, Paula." I corrected, and I tried to hold my guard, in a bid to see if I could have warded her off. But Paula was a boulder; hard to move and if she did, she would come crashing down onto me.

"And you know what, I bet you didn't do anythin' with that boy, did you? You make out you're pretty Sylvia all the time, don't you?"

I continued to shake my head. Why was she bothering me with all of it? I decided, whether it was a good decision or not, to tell Paula the truth. I thought it would have gotten her off my back; to prove I had done something with a boy. I glared at her; more harshly, even though I failed immensely at intimidation.

"I have done stuff."

She nodded carelessly as she stared at her fingernails with boredom, "- and what would that be?"

I swallowed hard, trying to mask my nerves; nervous she wouldn't have believed me. After all, my parents didn't even know about what I was going to tell Paula.

"Well...went under the covers once..." I admitted.

It was true. I had, just once, sneaked under the covers with my old boyfriend back in California. It was a split second thing. We didn't do anything, mind you - we only went under the covers and came back out again. Being a teenager, you were always curious about things; being that close to a boy was one of them.

Paula cocked her head to the side, "...sure, and what else? You pregnant too?" 

I stood awkwardly at the doorway, and shook my head. There it went again, my inner dialogue, but it wasn't my friend. It whispered to me, "everything has gone wrong, it's terrible, no way back..." The world seemed closer to my eyes and the air seemed harder to breathe. 

"Well, wouldn't be a surprise really..." She muttered, and her whole body leaned in closer towards me.

She was inches from my face as she stood. My thoughts scattered like a storm battling in my head, too many short-circuits to make any sense. All I wanted was to leave - Paula had other plans.

Out of nowhere, she reached for my arm and pulled me towards her, as her sharp nails dug deep into my skin. I gave out a cry as tears began to dribble from my eyes. I used my other hand to try, in my best attempts, to prise her off. But Paula was the strong one. She always was.

"Paula!" I called out, as my face winced with pain.

Her nails pinched me, and her face grew close to mine; her lips so near to touching my cheek. 

"I swear to god I'll - -"

"Paula?" A voice suddenly called from the doorway.

It was Stephanie.

She cautiously stepped into the bedroom, seeing Paula clutching me tightly with her nails. The tears ushered out, but I tried to keep them in. Paula quickly released her nails from my arm, and I pulled my arm towards my chest to at least feel some reassurance. Paula looked back to Stephanie as she wiped her hair from her face. I comforted the sore marks on my skin as I kept my head down, trying to hide my pathetic tears from Stephanie who looked baffled at what was going on.

"What did Sylvia do?" She asked.

Paula looked at me, and then back to Stephanie; no doubt trying to think of a logical explanation.

"Been stealin'." Paula insisted. She nodded along with her words as though trying to fool herself of the lie she had just told.

Why was Paula lying? Then again, she loved a good lie - in fact she relished in setting me up; to see me in trouble. I wearily wiped at my eyes, drying them before Stephanie could have gotten a good look.

"...Well, did you tell mama?" Stephanie questioned.

Fear masked the pain in my arm, and my thoughts had all diverted to the reality of Gertrude finding out. Paula shook her head silently. Please don't tell Gertrude, I prayed quietly.

"Mama's gonna' want to know..." Stephanie insisted.

"Just stay out of it." Paula murmured, pushing past Stephanie and out of the doorway.

It was only the two of us left standing in the room, and I tried to understand the piercing eyes of Stephanie. I knew I would have to explain to her. I inhaled, before lifting my head to face her. Her expression was disappointed; careless.

"Don't even bother." She sighed, and she stormed out from the room.

I wanted to be happy, to push it away and to smile. But I felt alone, and the thought of being in that house any longer felt unbearable. 

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