What would you do if you knew a person for just 2 years, yet they change your whole future forever? What if they messed up your already horrible life later on, just because they were related to you before? Put so much pressure on you, they destroyed your world as you knew it? Pearl doesn't know what she would do either... but she's about to find out.

2: Chapter 1
Chapter 1

I can't breathe! Oh god i can't breathe! I jolt awake in my bed unable to breathe. Gasping for air I clutch my throat feeling something wrapping tightly around my neck. Nothing. Then why the heck can't I breathe?! I start coughing furiously because i'm not getting any oxygen. Oh god, i'm gonna die! Somebody help me! I jump off my bed & run across the hall to the bathroom with a sudden urge for water. While running i catch a quick glimpse of my alarm clock. It reads 12:00AM exactly. Nice way to start my birthday! I turn the door knob & hurriedly open the faucet on the sink. I glue my mouth to it as soon as I see water start trickling out & i immediately feel relieved when the water flows down my throat. I moan in pleasure & gulp down as much water as I can before i pull back & take a deep breath. I suddenly hear footsteps outside the bathroom & whirl my head around.

"Um are you okay?"asks my sister with a worried edge in her voice.

"Huh? Oh, um, yeah, just a little thirsty."I respond with a small sheepish grin. I'm a little embarrassed to be caught drinking water from the sink like some wild animal. Gosh i'm so tired, I seriously feel like i just fought for my life.

"Oh okay"Coraline says seeming relieved. "I was just asking because I think everyone in Gladstone heard you coughing. I mean come on, I thought someone was killing you¨She says back to her usual superior tone. I should've known, Coraline worried about me? Too good to be true.

"Well i'm fine, did you need something?"I snap annoyed at her now constant sarcastic tone she's starting to take up. Teenagers!

"Nope just wondering why you decided to wake up all Gladstone, including me, don't you know i need my beauty sleep? Oh wait of course you don't, if you did you would get some."My sister says smirking.

"Be quiet & go away Ali! Or i'm going to tell Billy you still sleep with Mr. Grumps.¨I say glaring at her with a smile also appearing on my face. Ali widens her eyes then sets them in a furious gaze. I watch her as she snatches the first thing she sees, my toothpaste, & throws it at me. But i'm quick & grab her hand stopping her from throwing anything.

"Let go of me before I make you regret it"Coraline says through clenched teeth looking very angry. Since Ali has been starting to have anger issues ever since she turned 13 a year ago I don't risk it and break my hold on her. She's been rebelling so bad not even my mom tries to stop her anymore. Not that she ever did she's almost always too gone for controlling us because of her constant drunken state, but at least before she would tell her to clean her room, give her a death stare when she denied, and Ali would obey. But not anymore. I'm just about to yell at her to go to sleep when we hear the the front door opening.

"Get out of here Coraline and go to sleep or go help mom before she breaks another lamp."I order so she'll leave me alone.

"Don't you dare call me Coraline, you know I hate my name!"Ali quickly retorts.

"Yeah? Well guess what? Dad named you Coraline so your stuck with it. Now go make yourself useful & help mom."I point to the open door & stare at her.

"Yea? Well guess what? Dad was crazy just like mom so don't you dare call me Coraline & you wish i'll go help mom. She can manage by herself."At that moment we both hear glass hitting the floor and breaking, my sister turns and sprints down the stairs first since she's closer to the door, I run after her so fast I smash against her when she stops in the dining room, not entering the kitchen yet. She huffs when we smash together but catches us both before falling. "Careful Pearl, you'll cut yourself."As mean as she is she gets very frightened at our mom's excessive drinking. My mom is leaning on the counter heavily not even noticing we're here.

"Ali go take mom up to her bedroom, i'll clean up the broken glass."I tell her & she carefully starts guiding my mom around the glass & up the stairs without protesting. I sigh & open the closet to take out the broom. When i'm done putting all glass in the trash I turn off the kitchen light and climb the stairs. Ali waits outside my mom's bedroom door for me.

"Is she asleep?"I ask her peeking into the slightly open door.

"Yeah, out like a light... so um goodnight."She says giving me a wary smile.

"Yeah, good night Cor- I mean Ali"She gives me a thankful smile.

"Oh, by the way, happy birthday."

"Thanks¨I grin and she heads to her room. I do the same & as soon as my door shuts close I throw myself on my bed exhausted. Falling asleep quickly once the covers are pulled loosely around me.

3: Chapter 2
Chapter 2
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! I'm startled awake by my alarm clock. I groan and roll over on my belly to be able to reach it and turn it off. I bury my face in the pillow feeling very tired. My little "breathless" episode was repeated 3 times during the night exactly 2 hours apart. Shoot! I sit upright quickly when i realize my alarm clock is set to wake me up 10 minutes before 8:00 so i can change, walk to school, & be there by 8:30 for my first class. I jump off my bed to go to the bathroom ready to drink water again. But I stop at the doorway to take a look at my clock. 7:53. God, why do I have this curse? I open my door but I don't run across because light is coming from below the closed bathroom door. Duh Pearl! Other people need the bathroom for more normal things than a crazy obsession for water. I sprint down the stairs to the kitchen & stop to check the wall clock. 7:54. I run to the refrigerator and get out a water bottle. I freeze at the sound of footsteps, it's too early for Coraline to come downstairs & I didn't hear the bathroom door opening. I turn & see my mom swaying slightly on her feet but less gone than yesterday. "Mom is something wrong?" I ask feeling confused. Mom at this time would be at work, I've always admired her for that. As drunk as she might be when coming home, she somehow sleeps it all out & in the morning there's no trace whatsoever that she could barely hold a glass the night before. And that's a lot to say because she's the best waitress at Betsy's since forever. "Um no sweetie why are you asking?" She gives me a small smile but I can see she's studying me with a worried expression on her face she's trying to hide. "Because I thought you were at Betsy's" I answer. "Nah I asked for the morning off" she says looking satisfied at not finding anything different about me. "Oh" I give a slight frown and move over so she can pass and make herself a bowl of cereal. I look down at my hands and feel my lungs closing. I start gasping for air again not able to breathe. Suddenly my mind registers the water in hands, I rip the cap off not caring that was seriously inhuman strength, & take a swing. Like every other time the water feels so wonderful I forget i'm only doing it to save my life. Oh great, what the heck is wrong with me?! I stop drinking and see I only left an inch of water left. I look over at my mom, her eyes are wide & her mouth is hanging open. She looks terrified. "P-pearl can we s-sit down & talk?" She asks stuttering a bit. "Um yeah." She leads me over to the living room and we both sit down on the couch. "Are you okay, have you been feeling... strange?" Mom is wide awake now. "No, I was just a little thirsty in the kitchen, that's all." I'm confused & she's worried, something's wrong. "A little?" She asks me. "Mom i'm alright don't worry about me." I say trying to make my voice sound convincing. "Okay I won't but can you tell me what your gonna do today? You don't think I forgot it's your birthday, right?" A small smile is starting to appear but I can tell she's still worrying. "I don't know I was gonna call Chelsea to hang out together. We'll figure it out from there" I smile back reassuring her i'm okay. "Great!" She smiles, then her face falls again. "Will you be going to the mall, or bowling, or..." I see her take a deep breath "The beach?" "Maybe i'll go to the mall is that okay?" I'm frowning. "Oh yeah, that's good" Now she gives me a reassuring smile. " Oh! I have something for you." Her smile fades again. This is getting tiring.She reaches her hand into her pocket and pulls out a small box. I see her hands shaking as she hands it over to me. "Thanks mom" I say unsure, this must cost a lot. "Actually Pearl... This is from your father." I freeze as a thousand memories come to my mind but as I try to remember them they slip away out of my reach. Why can't I remember?! I have an amazing memory yet I can't ever remember anything from those 2 years my dad was alive. No, it's not that I can't remember more like i'm... Forbidden to remember. I can remember everything from when I was 3 but not 2, and it's so frustrating. My hands tremble as I open the box bracing for the worst. Inside is the most beautiful necklace i've ever seen, it has a turquoise charm that is shaped like a C. At the top the C curves inside and creates a 6 sided star, along the side of the C still at the top part are 3 small gems dotting it. At the side in the bottom part are things that come out to look like fins. And when the C ends at the bottom it turns into a tail. Touching it & feeling it feels so familiar that it brings out a memory with me not even trying.