“Oh! Louise! I’m so glad your sister finally found you! She’s so lazy sometimes!”

Louise said nothing as she sat on the edge of her mother’s bed, where her mother had placed herself promptly after leaving the sunning room.

“Louise, I need to talk to you about something. Something important.”

Louise’s face lifted at this sentence. Her mother never sounded serious like this.

“Louise, it’s about your step-father.”

Her mother looked at Louise with undecipherable eyes.

“He’s sick. Very sick.”

Louise gradually turned her face to her mother’s gaze, wondering what was going on.

“Louise… He’s not going to make it past this week.”

A sudden shudder passed through Louise’s body, before the scream escaped from her lips. She screamed in anguish for the love her father, however brief, had given her. She screamed in fear of how Charlotte would react to this news.

She screamed, simply because she knew her mother had done something to this wonderful man.

And then she ran out of the room in shame.

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