Izabella sat on her bed as she blow-dried her hair.
She had returned home an hour ago and had already eaten dinner. Her eyes fell to the card she had received along with the roses and she smiled.
The roses were still in her room, surrounding her bed and making it seem like she was sleeping in a colourful garden.
Though she had no idea who the person was, it still brought a smile to her face and she felt a bit flattered that someone admired her.
Yes, it wasn’t normal for someone to receive a bunch of roses from an anonymous source, but the gesture was indeed sweet. Apart from that, it didn’t seem like the person had any intention of getting in touch with her or was expecting something in return, judging by the fact that the card was not signed.
After drying her hair, she turned off her bedroom lights and sat on her bed with the card, reading it with the light from her night-lamp on the nightstand.
“Thank you.” She whispered to her silent bedroom before placing the card on her nightstand and turning off the light, pulling the duvet over herself and falling asleep.
“Good morning, daddy.” Izabella hugged her father from behind as she reached him standing in front of the open fridge.
The older man smiled and chuckled.
“Hey, princess. How was your sleep?” He inquired and Izabella’s face heated up, recalling her dream from the previous night.
She had dreamt of her wedding. It was garden-themed, just like she had always wanted and there were many guests seated in the white chairs on the grassy lawn. Numerous flowers littered the aisle she walked down, her arm linked with her father’s.
She could see a tall man clothed in a black tuxedo with a white dress shirt at the other end of the aisle, behind him stood an arch beautifully decorated with peach, soft pink and navy blue flowers.
Suddenly, it was time for her to kiss the groom whose face she still had not seen, it had been a blurry blob all along.
As their lips touched, she looked into his eyes and grey-green eyes were smiling down at her.
“It was good.” She replied, pulling away and grabbing an apple from the fruit bowl on the kitchen island.
Mr. Knight hummed.
“What’s up, peeps?” Jacob hollered as he walked into the kitchen, snatching the apple out of Izabella’s hand and taking a bite before tossing it back to her.
“You’re most welcome.” Izabella muttered sarcastically, rolling her eyes at her grinning brother.
“Good morning.” Mr. Knight told his son as he poured himself a glass of milk and drank it.
Jacob smiled his way and sat on the stool beside his sister.
“What’s for breakfast?” He asked and Izabella laughed, biting into her half-eaten apple.
“You have to know. It’s Saturday and you guys don’t have work. Make your own.” The young male groaned, grumbling about how bad his cooking was and his sister paid him no attention.
“Then you need to improve your cooking skills. As for me, I wouldn’t want a husband who can’t make a cup of tea when I’m not there.” She simply stated and Jacob smirked.
“Who said you were getting a husband?” The female rolled her eyes and scoffed loudly.
“We shall see.”
“We shall indeed.” He replied with a grin.
As Jacob got busy making his breakfast, Izabella walked out of the kitchen and up the stairs, heading to Sean’s room.
His bedroom was the one to the right of hers, while Jacob's was the one to the left. Mr. Knight’s bedroom was directly opposite them with Izabella’s personal library to the right and a rarely used bathroom on the left since everyone’s rooms had it’s own bathroom.
“Sean. Are you awake?” She asked, lightly knocking on the door and turning the handle when no one answered.
The woman silently laughed at the sight of her brother’s sleeping figure. Both of his pillows were on the ground beside him and his head was resting in an awkward position as half of his body was falling off the bed.
Izabella wondered how his wife would sleep with him, that was if he ever got married.
She was used to waking up with either his legs and arms in her face or his head on her stomach. Sean had a way of fidgeting in his sleep and though Izabella found it cute, she didn't like to be awakened to the sight of a foot right in her face.
“Sean. Wake up now. You’ve got to eat.” She gently shook him as she spoke and he shifted slightly, muttering incoherent words.
“Sean.” Izabella sighed, calmly sitting on the bed and running her fingers through her brother’s hair.
He had reached home a little after eleven the previous night, too busy dealing with some problem that happened at one of their branches in Korea.
“Izzy?” He asked, his morning voice low and raspy. Izabella glanced down and smiled as he blinked multiple times, trying to rid himself of the sleep wanting to consume him.
“Hey.” She spoke and he chuckled.
“Let’s go and eat. If you want, you can come back up and rest after. I don’t want you getting gas.” He nodded and stretched his muscles, climbing out the bed and pulling on a shirt.
They two siblings left the room and walked into the kitchen.
“Morning, dad, Jacob.” Sean murmured, gratefully accepting the glass of milk his father slid over to him.
“Morning, Sean. Sleep well?” He asked and Sean nodded, yawning as Izabella collected his glass and rinsed it in the kitchen sink.
“Here. I made you a sandwich since Jacob’s cooking isn’t edible.” Jacob whined at his father’s utter disrespect for his cooking and the other laughed, eyeing the burnt pancakes in the bin.
“Thanks.” Sean said before eating and a serene silence fell upon the family, each lost in their own thoughts.
When Sean had finished his meal, he washed his plate and Izabella followed him up the stairs.
“Brush your teeth then you’ll sleep.” She told Sean and ushered him into the bathroom.
After three minutes, he climbed into his bed, pulling Izabella in and resting his head on her lap.
“Princess?” He called and Izabella hummed, massaging his scalp with her fingers, she didn’t know how much that helped his growing migraine.
“I love you.” She giggled and leaned down to kiss his cheek.
“I love you too, Sean.” He shifted and looked up at her, holding her hand in his, effectively ceasing her movements.
“Really. You don’t know how much you’ve done for me and this family. I don’t think- no, I know I couldn’t have had a better sister than you. You’re a mother and a sister in one body and it’s amazing how well you handle our crazy family. Yes, mum died-”
“Sean-” She made a move to interrupt him, but he shook his head, signalling she should let him speak.
“-mum died, but you’re here and I thank God for you every day. I can’t imagine waking up one day and not seeing you or not being able to reach you.” He sat up and hugged her to his chest, kissing her hair as she too wrapped her arms around him, her eyes welling up with warm, salty tears.
“Thank you so much for all you’ve done. Yeah, we’re no related by blood, but that doesn’t matter to me because you’ll always be my little sister.” Sean continued speaking despite the shaking in his voice.
Izabella pulled away from the hug and wiped his tears, his red-rimmed, puffy eyes scanning her face as a small smile played on his lips.
“It’s okay, Sean. I love you too. You don’t ever have to thank me.” She kissed his forehead and squeezed his hand, blinking back the tears.
“Remember when I tried to k-kill myself?” Her chest constricted at the painful memory and she could only nod.
Sean smiled knowingly, his smile reflected all the pain and love he felt.
“I didn’t want you guys to see me cry. That’s why I didn’t want you to go into the hospital room.” He released a humourless chuckle at his words, his eyes downcast as his tears flowed.
Izabella stayed quiet.
“I-I guess I didn’t want to seem w-weak.” His voice cracked and he broke down, hiding his face in his hands, resting his elbows on his knees.
The sight broke Izabella’s heart, she didn’t know what it was like for him and would never know. Sure, some people’s circumstances were similiar, but everyone was different.
Some found silence comforting while some were afraid of it and had to constantly have noises around them.
Everyone has their own healing strategies and Sean was no different. He didn’t want to talk about it and he was grateful to her that she didn’t pressure him to talk like his therapist did.
Izabella wrapped her arms around her brother’s large frame, burying his head in her shoulder, rubbing soothing circles in his back and whispering comforting words in his ear.
Izabella had done a lot for the family and she didn’t even know it.