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Chapter 1

The eldest by three years. Mother and Father had become more, focused, on their work when Ethan was a year old. Nedra and I were four, and all we had were glimpses of memories, easily mistaken for the dreams of desperate teenagers. Jaeden, on the other hand, as a seven-year-old, did have lucid memories, memories backed by the feeling of loving, of not having to worry about life, to have someone older, someone who felt stronger, take care of you. Our parents’ distance, disconnectedness, it was all devastating for him.

At first, he was needy, hoping that it was just a passing phase, a mistake one of us made, that it would pass like a breeze (or rather a storm), leaving things more or less the way things were. I guess I could understand that. A fool's hope, but all he had. After that, he grew to resent it. Or at least that was what I told myself. It was often followed by a "What was it?" which I tried to answer, but never succeeded. Sometimes I thought it was they way our family had more kids than was necessary while our parents who were necessary struggled to earn enough money and thus vanished from our lives. At other times, I thought it to be our parents in general. Or maybe it was his situation. Most of the time though, I didn't care.

Jaeden and I were not really that close, though the others probably would have said we were. Jaeden was concerned with his own life, and while on occasion he could prove to be helpful, especially when studying, he was dull. Dull in every way possible in my opinion, and thus, my spending what little time I did with him consisted very little of bonding. In fact, I was probably the least close to Jaeden, unlike what the others thought.

Jaeden hated our parents and the issues they caused him. The awkwardness when someone asked him where they were (At work, where else would they be?), why he was alone, they were frustrating. He wanted to distance himself from them, and us younger siblings to a certain extent, and it showed. He was determined to do well, to be the best in everything that he could be in. He wanted out of the house, and everyone knew that. I had no idea what it was, and frankly speaking, did not care about it. Just a sibling I did not want or need.

Jaeden moved out as soon as he finished high school. I tried to keep in touch at first, mainly for Nicole and Ethan, but soon we just stopped talking. It was not like we had much to say to each other. His moving out of the house had not changed much for me either. We spent the night, us siblings who remained, promising to never leave the others behind.

A promise that would never be kept.

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