Chapter 1

Little Alita runs with baby Gio, strongly tied to her small waist. She would not forget those blue eyes, the same innocent-looking eyes she now sees each time she closes her eyes.

Her little strives couldn't get her too far from From the men as she began to hear voices. She crave to scream for help and cry but her parent's warning came back, sounding like the priest preaching about sin every Sunday.

Luckily, the baby seems to be sleeping peacefully. Since calling for help apparently seems not to be a wise choice, she decided to hide in between three snowmen.

It felt like forever that little Alita forgot to move out of her hiding spot. It took only the courage of a new orphan, the courage of a twelve years old girl who had to take care of her one-day-old brother not to scream on top of her weak lungs.

"You must be cold out here" A strange old woman smiled at her from where she stood, at the entrance of a tent "Come over here".

With hurting feet, Alita staggered towards the old woman. Although, the woman was a stranger she felt safe, so safe that all she need was to jump on the woman's body.

Unfortunately, on reaching the entrance of the tent, she fell! Her lungs seized and she struggled for breath, she felt like she was dying.

She was drowning! Drowning in ice?

She heard the woman exclaimed roughly with familiar bad words in the Italian language.

"Wake up Alita" The woman shook her "It's already twelve years, you have to let go of it".

Alita jumped out of her bed, falling to the hard floor, wet. Water dripping from her face, her dirty pillow look damped and her crack-back bed wasn't helping the matter. Her teeth-gnashing as she tried to use the loose hem of her worn-out duvet to cover herself.

She looked up to see Gio staring at her with an iron bucket that still contains water and a sheepish grin on his face.

"Good morning, Sorella" He dropped the bucket, exposing his outfit.

His shorts had a cross belt that held the waist of the shorts from the front to back. His faded white tee shirt look rumbled, his socks weren't looking the best and his shoes seem a little bigger than his feet.

He looked like a lost child from 1786!

"Sleepy testa" He bent a little so she could see his face well. He frowned as she ignored him and rolled, stretching like a mother-cat.

Gio pulled her leg, screaming as he dragged her out of the room, ignoring her giggles and exclamations of protest.

"Fanculo, Gio" She kicked him off "You know I came back late last night".

Gio seems to understand her and smiled sadly, he put his left hand in his pocket and the other behind him. His Hazel puppy eyes, silently begging his sister to see through his worn-out clothes to his expecting heart.

"It's my birthday, sorella" He whispered.

Alita's sleepy eyes went open, she froze, staring at him like he was a piece of fragile substance.

She stood up, ignoring the chill that went through her body as the cold winter morning breeze kissed her wet clothes. She scratches his head and walked to the bathroom.

"Alita? Is everything alright?".

Alita tied her Black messy morning her to a rough ponytail, she looked at her eyes in the mirror. She wasn't really expecting herself to look pretty when she worked sixteen hours yesterday.

She was so busy that she forgot its 24th of December, the day she lost every hope of been a princess as she thought. She should have remembered when she woke up, having the dream she kept having every 24th of December.

The dream that kept on haunting her with those familiar blue eyes and the still open eyes of her parents, in the pool of their own blood. She sprinkled water on her face, hoping the thought would wash off as the water go down the drain.

She kissed her index and middle finger then placed them on the mirror.

"Good morning, Mama Samantha".

It's been four years since the woman that saved her and her Gio from dying in the cold died. She didn't have any surviving family members and she took it as her responsibility and took care of Alita and Gio for eight years, until she died of heart disease, willing her only property to them.

The house really went a long way, if not, Alita could not imagine how she would cope. At least now, she does two jobs, one as chief in a local Italian restaurant and the other as a stripper in club.

The habit of greeting Mama Samantha every morning had kept her going, it makes her feel like she is not alone even when she sees clearly that she is alone.

She opened the bathroom door to see Gio starring at her, his countenance sad.

"Happy Birthday, Gio Roberto" She fake a smile "I have a surprise for you today".

The sad face went into a happy one, like a child telling Santa Claus he wished.

"You got me a new shoe?".

"No. Not yet" Alita giggled as she pinch his nose "I'm taking my day off".

Gio blinked, his brows crooked as he folded his hands behind him. He was expecting Alita to say her one and only excuse each time he begs to spend time with her.

" I will skip work today, I will call in sick" She whispered.

Gio blinked, he looked at her suspiciously then walked away with a sad face, all excitement gone! He just remembered the last time Alita promised to stay with him, she ended up jumping through the window.

"I won't jump through the window," she said, walking after him with a proud smile on her face like she just read his mind "Pinky promise" she brought out the smallest finder of her right hand and locked it with Gio's smallest finger.

"You never do pinky, sorella" He still seemed unconvinced "Where will you jump from?".

Alita giggled, she broke the pinky and walked to the kitchen and began to bring out utensils "I will be jumping off the cliff" She broke some egg and mixed in a bowl "We are going to skate".

If not for the oversize shoes and tight shorts, Gio would have been jumping and squeaking like a girl at Christmas.

Of course, it's Christmas! They have to live it till the fullest.

"And I am making your favorite" Elite adds to the enthusiasm "Chocolate cake!" She screams.

At times, Alita would think she acts childish, but the deep downside missed childhood. She missed rolling on the ground, burying herself in the snow, and pretend to catch a cold.

The cake-making went the opposite way! Flours everywhere, lots of empty coke can and new pair of shoes for Gio.

Alita couldn't hide the joy each time Gio squeaks and hug her, she would hold him tight and never forget to sniff. Ever since their parents died, Gio seems not to ask much since he thought she was his mother and Mama Samantha his grandmother.

It was until he was nine and got bullied for asking who a father really is, not only that, he said fathers 'Are not so needed'.

Ever since then, Alita had always promised to tell him about his parents in due time. But this very day would be for celebrating and mourning.

They would celebrate in the morning and afternoon then mourn at night. Where they would go to the church with the rest of the cake and lit the candles in honor of their parent.

Just like Alita had never thought about, the day went too well to be true. They skate, dance, fought with the pillow, play money heist, and one last thing.

They never forget to play dead', where they would lay still for minutes like they were dead. It started when Gio was three and would refuse to take his nap, Alita would suggest they play dead so she could get him to sleep.

Even as they were growing, play dead still seem to be their best game, the only difference is that they no longer fall asleep.

As they lay exhausted in the tent at the back yard of the house, waiting for the hour to go to the church, Gio asked a question Alita had been running away from.

It seem like she was caught up in a little trance as they play dead, or she imagine what the day would feel like and fell asleep! It seems so real, the adrenaline, the hazel puppy eyes, and the blue haunting ones.

"Sorella," Gio said louder "Please tell me about mum and dad".

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