Where It All Begins
She had a pretty much normal life, if not a bit dull and monotonous. Her name was Ambrose Rowe. She’s often referred to as Rose, however. She has a small family which consists of her mother, her father, and herself. Her mother is a famous actress and singer, while her father is a well-known fantasy novelist and also one of the bestselling authors.
Knowing this, people would think that her life was anything but normal. The reality is quite the opposite, actually. She lives through her days peacefully because earlier in her life, she made an agreement with both of her parents. Ambrose’s wish was for her name to be kept away from the media as much as possible, to which her parents did splendidly.
Another reason was because of her parents’ hobby to travel extensively. They would travel abroad for years, leaving her alone in their mansion. Luckily, none of her classmates nor friends, except for a few close ones, knew where she lived. She hid the fact that her parents are very influential and famous with great effort. She didn’t like drawing unnecessary attention, after all.
In truth, she didn’t even have many friends. She only had one. Her life was as ordinary as it can be and she enjoyed every bit of it. After all, with parents like hers, she can’t help but think that something will ruin her perfectly normal, comfortable life sooner or later.
What she didn’t know was that it was going to happen very soon. The funny thing is, her parents didn’t even have a part in this.
It was the usual routine for Ambrose. She wakes up at 6 am, does her morning routine, turns on the coffee maker, enjoys her lovely morning caffeine, which is not an addiction no matter how many times her friend said that it is, and then gets ready for school. Even when she’s at school, nothing important happens too often. Today wasn’t any different, and with nothing to do and no stimulation whatsoever…
She was bored out of her mind.
Rose’s friend couldn’t come and visit her at her school―which usually involves sneaking out from her own school in the process―because she was sick. Her absence made Rose’s day even duller and much more boring. Even though she disapproves of her friend sneaking out from school during breaks, she has long given up on scolding her. That, and the fact that she was too bored to care.
’Maybe I should visit her later. I bet she’s just as bored as I am, sitting in her bed all day.’ She thought as she tuned out the teacher’s rambling.
With that in mind, she endured the lesson, sighing once in a while. She can’t help but feel the annoyed glare that the teacher was giving her.
Once school was over, she was always the fastest one to go out. Happy that she could finally be free from the prison everyone called school, she remembered to visit her friend, and walked to the nearest convenience store. It has come to the point that Rose has to constantly worry about her friend’s well-being, knowing that her friend who lives alone can’t cook to save her life.
Buying the necessary ingredients to make porridge took her longer than she thought. When she stepped outside, she could see the sky had turned into an orange hue. Noticing that the sun will set soon, she picked up her pace and took the shortcut to her friend’s house. As she walked through the neighborhood, she heard someone shouting in front of her, and after a few seconds of speed-walking, she could see two men shouting at each other.
Deciding that it doesn’t worth her time, she walked faster while carefully staying quiet so that the quarreling duo wouldn’t notice her. After a few steps ahead, the shouting ceased and it was silent. Rose was stunned. A heavy sense foreboding was slowly creeping up her spine. She turned towards the direction where the conflict was happening, and froze when she saw what the one of the men was holding.
Shocked by the scene happening before her very eyes, Rose couldn’t contain her voice when she saw one of the men had shot the other. Hearing her high-pitched scream, the man turned to her direction with wild, twisted eyes.
He looks absolutely enraged.
Rose could feel her heart beating rapidly against her chest as the man started to slowly walk towards her, with a sick grin creeping up his face. A thousand thoughts was going through her mind and her body was petrified with fear. After what felt like an eternity, she mustered every bit of courage she still has to run away as fast as her feet could move.
A booming noise pierced through the air.
The next thing she knew was the burning sensation in her abdomen. Before she could even comprehend what was happening, she was already lying on the ground with excruciating pain. She could feel her blood slowly flowing out of her body and pooling around her, soaking her wet.
Through her darkening vision, she could see the man who shot her running away, dropping his gun in the process. Through gritted teeth she pulled out her phone and tried to call the police. She managed to dial the number but when it connected, she couldn’t say a thing. Rose felt her mouth dry and her vision starting to black out.
She used every last bit of her strength to utter a weak “H… He-help… me…” before being consumed by darkness.
Rose woke up to the sight of a white ceiling and the smell of antiseptic in the air. The girl tried to move but winced at the pain that flared up suddenly. She looked around, trying to get a grasp of where she is now. Dull, white walls, bottles of medicine on the nearby table, and the… White sheets she was wearing? ‘This is a hospital, alright.’ She thought.
Sighing, she tried to remember what had happened instead. She remembered walking home and being shot, but as to how she ended up on a hospital, nothing comes to mind.
She looked around and saw a girl her age standing on the corner of her room, looking at the window beside her with an emotionless, almost blank look. Rose was tempted to call the girl and ask what she was doing there, but her thoughts were interrupted when she heard a faint noise coming from the door.
In that moment she heard the door to the room being opened slowly and saw blonde hair. Before she realized who it was, the blonde woman looks up and froze when she saw Rose already wide awake. After a few seconds of silence, Rose began to feel uncomfortable, and so she decided to clear her throat.
“Um… Hi mom…” She cringed at her cracking voice.
In a blink of an eye, the blond woman was suddenly in front of her, hugging her tight. She seemed too happy to notice that her daughter was in pain from the pull of her wound, which was already stitched and cleaned. Her mother sure knows how to show her love, albeit bizarre, but Rose was happy to see her nonetheless.
“Rose, I’m so glad you’re okay! We were worried sick!” Said her mother as she hugged Rose tighter.
She was saved by her dad’s deep baritone chuckle.
“Callandra, you do know that you are pulling our daughter’s stitches?” He said with amusement in his voice.
Rose was out of her mother’s deadly clutches in a second. She blinked in confusion when she saw her mom, who was beside her a moment ago, was suddenly right next to her father who was at the door. It was one of the biggest mysteries in her life, really.
Her mother clutched at her father’s arm as they walked inside. Rose chuckled lightly. Even at age 44, they were still as lovey-dovey as newlyweds on their honeymoon. It’s disgustingly endearing, as she puts it.
Both their eyes held concern in them. “So…” Her dad started. “We’ve been thinking tha―”
“We’ll take you travelling with us!” Her mom cut him off with clear excitement in her tone.
It took Rose several seconds for her mother’s words to sink in. When it does however, any trace of “happy” in her faded in an instant. Slowly putting her poker face on, she faced the both of them with a blank look.
Callandra looked dejected while her dad just sighed. He felt like he should have expected to get that answer out of her. Her mother opened her mouth to protest and throw a hundred reasons why coming with them in their travels would benefit her and all, but before she had the chance to speak, Rose’s father beat her to it.
“Fine… If that’s what you want.” He sounded rather disgruntled but accepted it anyway.
Callandra turned her head in a speed so quickly that Rose feared her mother would break her neck this way. “But Ardis―” She was silenced with the look he threw at her.
Rose wasn’t sure what kind of look he gave to Callandra, but judging by how Callandra seemed to be blushing and looking at him with a dreamy and dazed expression, she definitely didn’t care to know. Callandra pouted then relented with a sigh.
“But you have to take care of yourself, okay? I don’t want same accident happening again. You are seventeen now, practically an adult and capable to take care of yourself.” Ardis, her father, said exasperatedly.
Rose just smiled at him, thankful that her normal life would still go on. Sure, that it can be monotonous sometimes, but she doesn’t think that the life of constantly being followed and watched really suited her either. It was then that she noticed the girl she saw earlier was still standing in the corner, looking so shy and uncertain that Rose couldn’t help but pity her.
“Mom, Dad… who’s the girl that has been standing behind you?” Rose pointed to the corner of the room. Callandra and Ardis turned their heads to the direction she pointed.
They gave each other a puzzled look before looking back at her with concern.
“There’s no-one there sweetie…” Callandra said slowly. “Are you sure you are feeling alright…?”
“But―” She turned to look at the girl once again, but she was already gone. Rose shook her head and smiled. “I’m okay mom… I’m probably still a bit woozy from that accident.”
Callandra gave her a dubious look but relented and asked her daughter to get some rest. The both of them walked out of her room to let her catch some sleep, and once again Rose looked at the place where she was sure she saw the girl earlier. With a sigh, she closed her eyes.
’I guess I must have hit my head harder than I thought.’
Ambrose should have known that time… It was quite obvious, after all. She can’t help but think that perhaps coming with her parents would have been a better idea if she had known what a chaotic mess her normal life would become.