EVIL QUEEN - Rebel Hart



The blaring of my alarm in my ear was a wholly unwelcome sound. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed my winter break, but regardless of the constant headaches, frequent upset stomach, and generally being on the verge of a mental breakdown, not having to think about school for a whole two weeks was a nice escape from at least some of my problems.

Just getting to winter break had been intense. No one said much about what happened, and Cherri dropped off the face of the earth. When The Royal Court met for lunch, we sat in total silence, and we didn't speak much in class either. They were all still upset with me, and I deserved it, so I didn't push them. By the time the holidays and the two-week break came around, it was a double-edged sword. We all needed the break, but the weight of everything that had happened dropped on us like atomic bombs, and the wreckage was difficult to sift through.

With my arms stretched above my head, I cracked my neck to the left, then to the right, then reached out to my right and put my arm down. I expected it to find purchase on another body there, but I found only the comforter of my bed. Glancing over, I noticed that there was no one there. I’d be lying if I said I was surprised, but midnight slip-outs were something I was increasingly becoming used to. To be safe, I flipped back the covers, climbed out of bed, and padded my way out of my bedroom and down the spiral staircase to my kitchen and living room. I glanced into the kitchen, and though there was no one there, there was a fresh pot of coffee steaming in the coffee maker.

I walked over and lifted the pot from the machine, then whispered, “Thanks, Nikki.”

With a small smile on my face, I poured myself a cup of coffee, only mixed in a small amount of cream, and then carried it back upstairs with me so that I could get ready for school. Ordinarily, I would spend an insane amount of time picking out a carefully coordinated outfit to wear, probably even messaging Kyle and even Brayden to tell them to wear something similar, but the fact of the matter was, I didn’t have that energy in me. Though I would likely catch a glance of myself in a mirror at some point throughout the day and be disappointed with what I had on, I couldn’t be bothered about that for the time being.

Instead, I grabbed the first respectful top and pants I could find and carried them into the bathroom with me. I started the shower, ripped off the pajama pants I was wearing, and climbed in. An involuntary sigh came out of my mouth as the heated water blasted the top of my head. Showering was my least favorite task as of late because I didn’t want to get in, and then once I was in, I didn’t want to get out. I’d found that, ever since my mom died, my dad disappeared, and my estranged half-brother went on the chase, it was the base-minimum, keep yourself alive and kicking tasks that I struggled with the most.

Thank God that Nikita had been with me most of the winter break to see to it that I ate and bathed.

After about twenty minutes in the shower, my head started to hurt. It was something that had been happening as of late, likely because before my dad left, if I spent more than about ten minutes in the shower, he’d be in the bathroom, screaming about the amount of time I was wasting away. Nikita had slowly worked with me to try and break me out of my ingrained habits, but they weren’t dying easily. Sometimes, I still felt like I could hear my dad’s loud, demanding voice, screaming at me, telling me I was a disappointment to him.

Who was the disappointment now?

It only took another two minutes for my headache to overwhelm my sense of pride, and I washed my body free of the soap I’d lathered onto it and then turned the water off and climbed out. The digital clock that was built into the mirror on the wall opposite the shower read that the time was four-fifteen in the morning. School didn’t officially start until eight o’clock, and during the break, if I woke up too early, I could just go back to sleep, but