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Chapter Eight

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Today just seems like one of those days where I don't want to get out of bed. I just want to cry... and cry...and cry. I've been awake since my nightmare this morning, and it's just drained any energy I had in me. It's been almost three weeks...Three.

But that day will forever be etched into my mind. Nothing and no one will ever be able to get that memory out of my mind. And I can't help but constantly think, why? Why did our parents have to die? I know Austin is struggling too, and we've been trying to be there for each other, but also let each other grieve on our own.

"Annie? It's time for breakfast," Mrs. Emerson says, lightly knocking on my door.

I pull my covers over my head to block out the sound. "I'm not hungry."

"Can I come in sweetie?" she asks.

I stay silent, not really wanting to see anyone right now. Finally, I sigh and say, "Yeah."

My door opens seconds later. The blankets are pulled away from my body and Mrs. Emerson sets a tray of food on my bed. "I'm not hungry, Amy."

"You need to eat something, honey," she says softly.

A sigh escapes my lips and I look over at her. "I'll eat later, okay?" She frowns at me, but nods.

"Alright. I'm going to check up on you in an hour," she says and kisses my cheek. Without another word, she walks out of the room, shutting the door behind her.

'Your parents would be disappointed if they saw you like this,' a voice in the back of my head reminds me.

That voice is right. I let out a frustrated groan, and push myself into a sitting position. I swing my legs over the side of my bed, placing my feet on the cold wood floor. With another sigh, I push myself to my feet and walk over to the door. I pull it open and make my way down the stairs.

"Good morning, Annie," Mr. Emerson says. He looks at me for a second, his eyes narrowed. "Is that Carter's letterman's jacket?"

I furrow my eyebrows and look down at my clothing, then remember he let me borrow it. "Oh, yeah, it is. He let me borrow it."

"You know," Ryder says, taking a seat next to me at the island, "you would look much better in my clothes."

I give him a blank look. "I'll pass on that offer, thanks." He smirks and shrugs.

"You guys need to chill with the flirting, that's my sister," Austin says with a roll of his eyes.

"Anyone want to go for a run with me?" Nick asks, stepping into the kitchen.

"Give me a few minutes and I'll go," I offer. He grins at me and nods.

"Hurry up then, Anna banana," he teases.

I roll my eyes at him. "Five minutes, think you can manage?" He chuckles and nods. "Good."

I grin at him and hurry up the stairs. I step into my room and quickly change into a pink sports bra, black yoga pants, and my pink Nike shocks. I grab my phone and headphones then hurry back down the stairs.

"Ready?" he asks when I walk into the kitchen. Ryder looks at me as he takes a drink of orange juice and starts to choke.

My eyes widen as I hurry over to him and pat him on the back. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I-I'm good," he says, still coughing a little.

"Let's go before you make anyone else choke." Nick snickers, pushing me out of the room.

I raise an eyebrow at him. "What do you mean?" He just shakes his head at me. We walk outside the house and start to stretch.

"Where should we run to?" he asks once we're done stretching.

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