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Chapter 1: Uncle

Alexa's POV

I may not know my uncle but I knew he was a kind man. Well, the only basis I got from that was from my father. Sometimes, out of the blue, he'd tell me stories about him. My father loved his brother, my uncle, very much. I could see the way his eyes would shine brighter than any other occasion.

Today, his eyes speak sadness. His expression, unreadable. It's his death anniversary today. Father and I visited his grave. I didn't get to meet him because the day he ceased to exist, was the day I was also born.

It didn't felt right to celebrate my birthday because of his death. I don't mind though. We mourn for him, especially knowing that the person responsible for his death wasn't found. I abhor the injustice.

For some reason, his family blamed him for my uncle's death. He didn't give me any more details, only that he wasn't allowed to contact them.

After a few minutes, we exited the cemetery. We strolled towards a wooden structured building with the logo, "Black Pearl" and sat down on one of its tables. We ordered ramen, kimchi, tempura, and sushi. As we waited, father started talking with one of the customers. It was his acquaintance.

As he was talking, I can't help but notice the bags under his eyelids and the growing wrinkles on his forehead. I also noticed strands of white hair.

People told me that I looked like my father.
With his hazel eyes, and warm beige skin tone. I was also a brunette like him. On the other hand, I got my personality from my mother; her quirkiness and her outgoingness that is. The only difference between me and her is that I can read between the lines and the mood.

That's why I'm not blabbering my mouth. No matter how much I badly want to change this gloomy atmosphere.

The food was given to us and we are in silence. The meal was delicious! I commend the chef for the food he has cooked. I hope father thought the same too.

We left the restaurant and went home. Father was the first one who entered the abode. I lingered behind as I noticed a hooded man seated on a bench located outside and in front of our house.

My senses tingled as I felt a bad feeling emerging in my stomach. I shook that feeling off and entered the house in hurry. I hurriedly close the door and locked it from behind, accidentally slamming it.

I saw my father flinch and gave me an odd look. He then sighed and walked upstairs. He must have decided to ignore it and must've labeled it as one of my weird antics.

I stifled a nervous giggle and walked towards the living room. I sat down on one of its sofas and sighed. My eyes scanned at the table in front of me. Papers were scattered on top of it; they were marked with red. Bills and debt were also why father was also stressed and tired.

Right now, he must be resting in his room after that night shift from work. If only I could help him. If only he would allow me to do so. But, even if he told me a million times that I wasn't allowed to work, that doesn't mean I would let an opportunity pass. I'd do anything, just for us to break the chains of debt.

I was about to stand up and go to my room but I saw a peculiar paper on the table. That's odd. I don't remember getting a black envelope in the mail before leaving. Did my eyes deceive me?

It was addressed to our street and my name. The sender claims to be "Paradis Island"; it didn't show where the letter came from.

The black envelope had a diamond stamp and it smelled like jasmine. I can conclude that this came from someone rich.

I opened the letter and read the message sent to me.

Dear Alexa;
Surprise! You are one of the lucky individuals who are chosen to participate in our upcoming game for our 5th Anniversary!

Paradis Island is a place where those who are victorious, get to be treated like royals. The game master, Jim, hand-picks those who are qualified for our rounds.

The game is held tomorrow at XXX-XXX-XXX at exactly 10:30 PM. Those who are late will be disqualified.

Sincerely,
V

Wow, that was...surprising.

Is this a prank? Could be possible but from the texture of the paper used, the smell of jasmine intoxicating it, and the intricately written letters of the message, even a blind man could've guessed that this IS legit.

Is this the opportunity I've been talking about a while ago at the restaurant? If it is then, isn't it convenient? Not that I'm objecting or anything, it's just filling me with bewilderment.

My gut tells me that I shouldn't go but, if this is a chance and if I were to win that game, father and I could finally be free and we could start anew. I'm tired of watching him getting so caught up and stressed with what he's doing at work. It irks me that I couldn't do anything.

Well, now I've made up my mind. Tomorrow at 10:30 PM, I'm gonna be there.

After all, I'm not the type to miss out on a chance.

----
A/N: Hi! I forgot to add a note for the chapter a while ago so, this is where I'm gonna talk about what was I was supposed to say.

This is my first story published on this platform. So, please beware of the grammatical errors or wrong spellings found in my story. Criticism is gladly appreciated!

Thank you

-Alex_124
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