Welcome to the 75.00% true story of the Villareal family of Windenburg, a family that Definitely Does Not Have Any Secrets.
It was 7PM at night and Jacques Villareal had just left for work. Jacques Villareal was an insurance salesman. (What kind of insurance salesman works at night, you ask? Well, that’s a legitimate question with an illegitimate answer.)
Meanwhile, his eldest children sat at the dining table after dinner, diligently doing their homework.
Hugo glanced around nervously, even though their father had already left and Max was nowhere to be seen.
“Do you–” He hesitated. “–do you ever get the feeling that Dad’s trying to kill us?” He whispered the last bit, as if saying it more quietly might make it less true.
“Oh my Watcher, Hugo, that’s ridiculous.” Luna turned back to her workbook and closed it.
Luna reflexively pulled out her phone, but there were no new messages from her knight, so she opened Simstagram instead. “What kind of person wants to kill their family?”
Hugo balked. “Oh, I don’t know, how about someone who might’ve already killed their wife? Don’t you think it’s weird that Dad didn’t leave anything of Mom’s around, not even a photo, or a fifth chair at the table, as if he wanted to remove any traces of her existence? And what does he do in our basement? Luna, he was the one who–“
“–Hugo, I don’t have time to talk about your wild theories,” she interrupted. “I’m busy.”
She pushed her chair back with a screech on the tiles and got up, even though her homework still lay on the table, half-finished.
“Luna–” protested Hugo, but she wasn’t listening anymore. He sighed.
Hugo went back to his homework, not realizing how tightly he was gripping his pencil until the tip broke off into his workbook.
“Ah, plum,” he said to himself, throwing down his broken pencil and sitting alone in the silent room.
Hugo had a horrible, gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach that wouldn’t go away, and his sister wasn’t listening to him. What was he to do?
Heyyy whatcha up to, Luna typed as she headed towards her room.
She was texting the mysterious person in the knight suit from the Von Haunt Estate. Though the two of them exchanged like a million flirty texts every day, the knight was still too shy to reveal their identity.
Not much, they replied almost immediately. Talking to you 😉
She giggled, her heart fluttering, and her phone buzzed again.
What’s going on, princess?
She sighed and replied with a lengthy text about her annoying family. Her dad was bananas, her twin brother was always nagging her, and her little brother was who-knows-where.
I sometimes wonder how things would be different if Mom was still here, she added, and her thumb hit send before she realized what she was writing. Crud. Crud! She didn’t want to turn this into a downer! This was why she avoided talking about her mother!
Oh plum, I remember hearing about your mom last year. I’m so sorry
The three dots flashing on the screen disappeared, then reappeared, then disappeared again.
Luna winced. She knew what was coming – that awkward silence where her friends didn’t know what to say to someone whose mom died in a freak accident. Ugh, why did she have to go and ruin the one happy thing in her life by bringing this up?
She got up to pace her room anxiously when her phone suddenly buzzed.
I can’t imagine what that was like, but I get wondering what if they were still around, wrote the knight. My dad left when I was young and I still think about what it’d be like if he stayed. Like, would I have turned out different?
She scrolled down, reading. It was a long text.
Mom always says that I need someone to “set me straight” or whatever but screw her
But I’m doing great and so are you. I mean, your a straight A student and popular and beautiful so like, your mom did something right you know?
And then, for some completely inexplicable reason, Luna burst into tears.
She sobbed for a solid five minutes, not sure why her body was suddenly breaking down, completely forgetting there was someone waiting for her response until her phone buzzed again.
You ok? Sorry, didn’t mean to dump all that
Luna hastily wiped her tears and texted back. She was fine, she told herself. She had no reason to cry; her tears didn’t make sense. It was teen hormones, probably.
Yeah, I just wanted to say that sucks about your dad, she wrote. And sorry your mom’s a pain
But you’re right, everything is fine now, she added. My family’s fine. We got through it and now we’re just like any other normal, annoying family
If that were true, why did she feel a weird squirming in her stomach as she texted it? Why had she broken down in tears moments prior? Never mind. She pushed those thoughts down and typed out something with more levity.
I’ll make you a deal: I’ll trade you my weird dad for your mom this weekend. But watch out cause he really is bonkers
They responded with a laughing emoji, and Luna wondered if the knight was actually laughing out loud, or at least cracking a smile. That was a nice thought. She hung on to that thought, of her handsome knight smiling kindly at her on the other end.
Oh sorry princess but I gotta go. Goodnight <3, they wrote.
Goodnight <3, she replied. She took a deep breath.
Tomorrow was Friday, and then it was the weekend, and then she would go to the pool with her friends and have a good time. Maybe text her knight some more. Everything was looking up.
She was fine. Her family was fine.