Chapter 1.

Ten years ago.

My morning started with a lot of nagging and just when I thought they were about to take it down several notches, it escalates and now I'm not even sure it's a mere  argument. Something is happening or about to happen. I can feel it and from the look of things, it's not a good something.  We've been sitting in the car for what seems like an eternity. It's a miracle mother let us come back  to the same place seeing that she was really against it. This isn't my first time  here though, mother's skin crawls at the mention of this place. It's a surprise she even came along. Father has business here but what I don't get is what I'm doing here. It's not like I haven't gone on one of his meetings but this one feels a bit strange. Why we are all in the car for his business is what I'm yet to understand.

 The sound of the wind, although loud, did nothing to drown out the hooting of the owls. That's the sound of a peaceful world. Unfortunately that is not my world, I am Diana Wilson, age 12, the only child of  Anna and Shawn Wilson. Growing up, I won't say I'm not happy with my life, but it's far from what every other girl's childhood dreams are made of. I used to think everything was normal but I'm not sure what normal is anymore. Not with a silver coloured hair, which is plastered to my face from the heat and certainly not with my parents constantly arguing about whatever it is that has my mum very disturbed. Just like right now. They've been arguing for over twenty minutes. It's hot from sitting in the car for so long. I'm sure we're here for a reason and that's the reason for this argument but I don't understand anything. Dad is so nervous and he wants to get out of the car but everytime he tries to, mum pulls him back by his sleeve, seriously seriously though let him be. She's afraid of something but I don't know what it is,and he's nervous while I sit in the back trying to figure out what's going on because I don't expect them to tell me. It's driving me crazy not knowing. They treat me like I'm still seven. Another thing I'm curious about is the  golden box sitting on the dashboard, that box and I have been engaged in a staring competition lately, and am having a feeling that I don't stand a chance.

However, nothing could stop me from listening in on their conversation. I wished I didn't have my hearing aid turned up so I could drown out what they were saying. Seeing them argue upsets me because it takes away from our once happy family and lately, these arguments have persisted. I always wondered what it was that made mother so worried but I never had the guts to speak up. Father seemed tired of going back and forth with her. "Listen to me, let's leave. You don't have to do this. By  the time they decide to come after us, we'll be long gone. If you go. Who knows what might happen. They may kill you" Mother cried. Unfortunately I had heard that part loud and clear, and I was overcome with fear and trembled, accidentally dropping my shoe, curses, most times I wish I could turn back the hands of time like right now. Suddenly, two pairs of eyes were looking at me curiously, and I the same.  How dangerous is this guy? I asked myself, why would they want to kill my father, did he do something wrong? I glanced at my mother for an answer, cause am panicking right now, if this is something dangerous or life threatening they should call the police as soon as possible, but I guess I should had known better than expect an answer from either of them. Mother wiped her tears. I didn't realise she was crying. Well, I guess there's no way I can dodge this now, I might as well take off my hearing aids. "Diana, sweetheart, Please take off your hearing aids, dad and I have something to discuss." 

"Wait, is father gonna be okay. Is he in danger, we should inform the police if they are bad people." I explained, but no one responded and she made me take off my hearing aids. Of course it's back to secrets, however I had to obey, so I took them off and held it in my hands. I smell a rat. 

I was born deaf so I depend on my hearing aids a lot, that's the reason my parents could get away with all their secrets and have a conversation right before me and I won't have a single clue about it. I was told I was deaf at birth and so I had to learn sign and other bunch of stuffs to help me survive in this big round world, like reading lips, that way I could at least understand people without wearing that uncomfortable stuff. I've been homeschooled all my life, am not sure why, perhaps they feel embarrassed to have a deaf child, or they might be trying to protect me from outsiders, I don't know, but I definitely feel bad about not being able to have a normal life. I haven't stepped out of my house in years, so this is actually the only time I have to leave home. Staying behind while others make friends and meet clients are something I don't have the luxury of having. How unfortunate I am.

Friends. I wonder what it feels like to have someone to call friends. The only people I know as friends are my nanny, the staffs and my dog Rufus.

What snapped me back to reality was my mothers taking my hands and dropping a kiss on my forehead as a guilty reward. Does that mean she agreed to take me with her to see fathers business partners. Well she wouldn't be this worried if only they tell me what on earth they were hiding, that would also help me feel better about eavesdropping, but this is my only option.

I can tell they were both hiding something from me. It's been this way for years. They would always tell me to take off my hearing aids and talk ALOT. But this time, it felt different and it worries me, just like it worried her . I watched as they debated on the topic and continued with my speculations. Finally mother let go of his shirt, and dad opened the door of the car, he got out with the golden box in his hands. Between being locked up in the car with mom and going to an unknown destination with dad, I rather go with him, besides am curious about what's in that box.

For as long as I can remember, I've known that box, he never leaves the car without it. I've always wondered what it contained. I couldn't bring myself to ask.  Shortly after fathers departure, he returns with the box.  Mother came out of the car and they talked a lot. Now is my chance to understand what's going on. 

I might seem rebellious but it's for a good cause this time. It's not nice to keep a child in the dark, so this is what they have forced to do. Although I feel completely guilty about what I did, they were also to blame, I'll just let them know that I listened on their conversation later, after all it shouldn't be a big deal right? What's so important that they had to ask me to take off my hearing aids. If I wasn't dead then they'll probably leave me alone just to make sure they achieve their goals. I sneak my hearing aids back on and cover it up as much as I can with my wet hair, and edge closer to the window. "I want to put an end to this once and for all Anna, so I'm taking  both of you with me." Wait, Father's finally taking us to see his dealer, which should be a good thing right? But the look on mother's face isn't pleasant, it's more like she wants him to eat his words and take it back. He really should reconsider taking us along, am fine where I am, I bet mom thinks so too.

She frowned at his suggestion. "No, my daughter's going nowhere. It's dangerous Shawn." She told him. I slough with disappointment, if I were father I would give up already, she never loses. 

"Please Anna, if we really want to end this shouldn't we come clean, we aren't hiding anything right?" That shut mother up, she didn't say another word. She turned in my direction and beckoned me to come out, probably thinking I still wasn't wearing my hearing aids, at least my hair is useful.

We arrived at a large warehouse. It was dark but I could tell dad was shaking from his nerves. He's never been good at hiding them. Some men stood by the entrance, waiting for us I presume . "You're late." I heard a middle aged man say just one look at this man and I could tell something about him was different. I tried so hard to avoid looking into his eyes, and pay no attention to him. We continued and moved forward.

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