The Friday afternoon air is hot and sticky, and the clouds that overhang are joined by others rolling in.

Right now, I'm in a mood and these dark clouds with the addition of Troye Sivan just adds on to the effect. Isn't it just wonderful how the music you listen to fits the ambiance perfectly? At least it distracts me from the fact that I had a freaking meltdown just now.

I'm 20 minutes into my walk home when the rumble of thunder could be heard. Normally, I absolutely detest physical activity of any sort. But today's threat of heavy rain makes me pick up the pace.

I soon turn onto a gravel road, leaving the main part of Crooked-Lake behind me.

The shade from the thick forest creates a cool canopy of relief as I travel farther into the woods, towards my house. I can smell the new growth of leaves and grass, as spring has already came and is now converting to summer.

It is very hard for me to forget the recent events that only exist in my head. To me, those slices of time were very tangible, very chilling, and very... not normal.

It's like I can still feel her cold, dead eyes burning into me. Chilling my soul.

As I walk, my paranoia increases. Every crunch of the gravel alerts me. Every sound of trees crackling in the wind unnerves me.

Maybe it is just me. A mental problem? The stages of grief?

Is grief supposed to follow me?

Ummm... What is this? An 8th grader's diary or something because I sound like my life is full of darkness and angsty feelings. Lol, me in a nutshell. I can't deny that I've changed since then. I'm probably mental... yeah more than likely.

I had "friends" once, but after she died I had a breakdown and then I became some mental case. The only true friend I have is Celiese. I'm still too afraid to tell her about what I see. I don't want her to know what really goes on inside my head.

As I reach the front of my house, I take the mail out of the mailbox and start walking up my driveway to the front door.

My mom's car was in the driveway, which was strange since she normally stays late at work. No need to get my house keys out so I just open the door, and the warm scent of cookies fill my lungs. What is this? She hasn't really cooked or baked real things since... Lynn.

"Hey, Vi. How's your day been?" my mom yells from the kitchen. As I take my shoes off and set my backpack down, I reply. "Good. What's going on? Why are you cooking?"

I walk into the kitchen and see her stirring spaghetti sauce. I set the mail down onto the kitchen counter and walked over to where she stood. "Mom?" I ask. She turns to look to me. I swear, it's like my parents are deaf or something. "Why are you making spaghetti? And... do I smell cookies?"

My mom nods as she turns back to making the food. "Yeah, the cookies are baking in the oven and the pasta is almost done... can you hand me the basil over there?"I grab the basil off of the spice rack and hand it to her. "Here." I give it to her. "Mom, you still didn't answer my first question. What's all of this for?"

She puts down her wooden spatula and pauses what she is doing. My mom looks at me while saying "Tonight, we are going to have some very important guests over, so I would like you to look presentable and be on your best behavior. I already tidied up the first floor so all you have to do is set the table, okay?"

I gave her a nod in response. "Who are the guests?"

Just then, the door is heard opening and my dad walks into the house. "Mary?" He calls out. My mom yells back "I'm in the kitchen! Do you have the flowers?". My dad walks into the kitchen carrying some flowers and a bottle of wine.

He kisses her on the cheek. "I also got the amontillado, too. It's a good year so you don't have to worry." My dad turns to me and pecks me on the cheek as well. "How was your day, honey?"

"It was average. So, who are these people that are coming over?" I ask.

My mom takes the flowers from him and he puts down the wine on the counter. "Oh, that's right. We forgot to tell you that we are having a dinner party with some old family friends, didn't we?" A nodded my head in a 'duh, obviously' kind of way.

"Yes, and like I said earlier these are important people so best behavior, all right? Please go and set the table before you freshen up a bit." My mother stated. She shoos me away to the dining room where plates and cups are stacked.

I guess this is special because we are using the good plates and not the cheap plastic ones. Also, the silver cutlery is out. That's when you know something is important.

I head up stairs after setting the table and open the door leading to my room. I open my closet to pick something out that was "presentable". What was wrong with my clay-stained sweatshirt and jeans? Too worldly? Unrefined? Probably, knowing my mother.

I settle for a crimson sweater and checkerboard dress pants. Hey, I'm not wearing jeans so it counts as classy(In my book). I brush through my hair and put it up so that way I wouldn't be tempted to pull at the split ends. My mom hates it when I do that. I put on some natural looking makeup and call it good enough.

"Violet," My mom calls to me from downstairs. "Come down here, they will be here any minute now!"

"Coming!" I reply back.

I close my bedroom door and rush down the stairs. My mother looks up to me and says, "Remember, poise and grace." I mentally scoff. Who was she? The evil stepmother from Cinderella? I hear 'Poise and grace girls, poise and grace.' run through my head.

She takes a once over of my outfit. "How pretty," my mom says. "I'm glad you decided to be presentable today." Dad then briefly looks at me as he was arranging the extra chairs in the dining room and smiles.

"Oh, how lovely sweet heart." I nod in thanks and try to convey a smile that's all pristine elegance and not convey what I actually think of this situation.

I start to take out my phone from my back pocket when my mom swipes it out of my hands. She gives me a stern look before telling me "I don't want to see that thing out tonight, got it?"

I look up into her eyes, give her a curt "Yes, Mom." and watch her put it on the kitchen counter.

She looks around the living and dining room, giving it a once over to make sure everything is to her liking. I'm not sure what she's so worried about, because she every room she spends time in that's in our house is tidy. I don't know how she does it, keeping everything so clean and organized. My room always looks like a tornado had run through it.

I hear a ding of a timer from the kitchen, and she rushes over. The cookies are probably done, and for the love of god I hope they're chocolate chip.

As it turned out, they were raspberry thumbprint cookies. Grandma's recipe, probably.

I grab a spatula and help her place each delicate cookie unto a cooling rack.

As we finish up, the doorbell rings. My mother scrambles to take her apron off, quickly looking in the mirror to make sure her appearance was ok, and rushed off to the entryway.

My father met her there, and then she opened the door.

I was met with the unfamiliar faces of strangers, who seemed to know my parents because they greeted them with hugs as if they had not seem them in ages.

It has felt like forever the last time I've seen my parents act like this, like giddy school children reunited with their best friends.

They then turned their attention to me, embracing me in a hug as if I knew who they were.

"Oh, Violet! You have grown up so much since the last time I've seen you!" said the women who was holding my face in the palms of her hands still.

I give her the stranger-danger look.

"My goodness, you probably don't remember me!" she says as she sees the look on my face, releasing me.

"My name is Lillian," she tells me. "and this is my husband Steven." Lillian points at the tall man next her. He gives me a wave.

"Thomas, Petra," she motions to the two kids standing behind them.

A boy and girl step forward. They both have dark hair. The girl's, whom I assume is Petra, is cut and styled in a short and curled way. They both have a light brown eye color, with specks of dark brown in it. Thomas seems to be around the age of ten, while the girl look around my age maybe a little younger.

I give Thomas and Petra a "Hello" and they smile back. They look like a mix of their parents. I look at all of them now , and and it hits me how beautiful their family looks.

Not only are they stunning, but I can see how happy they are together. "You are a beautiful family," I say to Lillian and Steven.

Lillian's smile falters. She looks to my mother. "I'm sorry that Mars isn't here, but we are expecting him to join us a little later. Is that fine with you guys?"

My mom gives a wave of her hand. "It's fine Lil, don't worry."

"Let's make our way to the living room, shall we?" my dad suggests.

My mom closes the door behind them and we all shuffle into the living room. Lillian and Steven reconnect with my parents for what seemed like hours while Thomas, Petra, and I played a game of cards, as per their suggestion.

I didn't mind it, hanging out with them. The way they saw me was different and fresh compared to how I was viewed at the academy. I really did enjoy my time with them.

Then, the doorbell rang. My mom got up off from the sofa, and Lillian got up as well.

"That's Mars, I'll go get the door." said Lillian. My mom offered to go with her.

About a minute late, they walked into the living room accompanied by who must be Mars, the oldest of their children.

He walked into the room with his shoulders a little slumped and his hand on his neck in a way where you couldn't see his face still. But one could see that he was tall and well built, resembling his dad in that sense.

I look away, not wanting to be caught staring at him.

"Sorry that I'm late," says a deep, masculine voice.

I look up, and see that he's the one who is now staring at me.