• Published 24th May 2018
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Before the Friendship Games: Sunny Flare - CapNTilfy



Sunny Flare lives a perfect life...so why is she struggling? Book Two of The Crystal Prep Chronicles: Before the Friendship Games

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Stellar parked the family car in the garage, unbuckled his seatbelt and got out. Glaze took Sunny by the hand and walked her into the house. She turned around and looked at her daughter. "Are you going to be okay, honey?" She asked softly.

Sunny sighed deeply. "If I'm going to be honest...not for a while to come." She said, looking down at the floor.

"We understand, sweetie." said her father. "You've had a harrowing time these last few hours. Just remember that we'll alwa-"

"Please don't finish that sentence." Sunny said quietly, but not so quietly that she couldn't be heard.

Her father slowly nodded. "Okay, Sunny. I understand."

"Do you?" Said Sunny. "Did you ever lose a child before it was born?" She said, unable to control her grief. "Did you ever lose a loved one to a drunk driver?" She said, the volume in her voice rising. "Did you ever think that after a life-changing loss you felt like you couldn't possibly love again?!" she said as more tears fell. Sunny ran upstairs to her room and slammed her door shut. Glaze and Stellar looked at each other, concern on their faces.

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Several hours had passed, and Sunny Flare had not even set foot outside of her room. Her parents agreed that she needed some time alone to deal with her loss, but she had never spent this much time in her room over the course of a day before.

Glaze and Stellar looked at each other and nodded, then walked up to their daughter's room. Holding their hands together in anticipation of an intense conversation, they knocked on her door. There was no answer. Slowly, they opened the door to a dark room.

"Go away." Said Sunny.

"Now, Sunny..." Said her mother.

"I said go away." Sunny repeated, her tone a little harsher.

Stellar sighed. "Sunny...we know what it feels like to lose a loved one. Well...almost."

"'Almost', huh?" Sunny said bitterly.

"Yes." Said her mother. "When you...you know..." She said, choosing her words carefully. "The incident. Do you remember?"

Sunny remained silent for a moment, then spoke. "How can I forget?" She said quietly. "I was dead for almost a minute." She sighed. "But that's not the same as actually losing a loved one."

"But we want you to know that even though the feeling didn't last long, your mother and I will never forget the grief we shared with Rutherford when we thought you'd passed away." Said her father.

"Look." said Sunny. "I know you're trying to cheer me up...and despite my actions and tone of voice, I truly appreciate your efforts." She sighed deeply. "But I'm afraid it won't be enough."

"Don't you at least want dinner?" asked her mother. "You haven't eaten since last night."

The room was filled with silence for a minute.

"I am hungry...but I won't be in the mood to talk." Said Sunny.

"Fair enough." Said her father.

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The dinner table was set. Stellar Tycoon and Shimmering Glaze sat down, waiting patiently for their daughter. They heard footsteps slowly descending from the staircase.

Sunny entered the dining room, looking like an empty husk. She ate her dinner almost mechanically.

"Sunny, dear...we know you're not in the mood to talk, but while you were upstairs your mother and I got to talking..." said Stellar.

Sunny looked up from her dinner plate.

"We think you should make some friends."

Sunny blinked, then smiled. Her smile became a snicker, which turned into full blown laughter.

Both her parents looked at each other nervously, unsure how to react.

When Sunny's laughter died down, she wiped a tear from her eye. "Oh wow..." She said. "That was legitimately funny, father."

Stellar blinked in confusion. "It... was?"

"Yes." Said Sunny. Think about what you just said. "'Make a friend.'" she fought the urge to laugh again. "At Crystal Prep? Seriously? That place is simply a hellhole with a bunch of people making each other miserable if their team loses, and the 'friendship' there only lasts as long as we're competing on the same team!"

Stellar blinked again.

"Look" said Sunny. "I know things there were great and all when this...Amore person was principal, but things have changed. It's a much more aggressive environment now. If you even so much as show any sign of weakness, you get eaten alive."

Sunny's parents were unable to speak, shocked by their daughter's words.

Sunny snickered again. "'Friendship'. Seriously, father... that's just plain ridiculous."

Sunny's father looked her in the eyes, his expression serious. "Do you really believe that...or are you still trying to make other people's lives miserable just for your own enjoyment?" He asked sternly.

Sunny finished her dinner. "So what if I still am? Why should it concern you?"

"Because you're our daughter and we love you, that's why." Said her mother.

Her father sighed deeply. "What happened to the old Sunny Flare? You were so sweet and caring!" he said, tears falling from his face.

She gave her father a cold, hard stare. "She died with her unborn child and the love of her life." She said and went straight back to her room.

Stellar cried as his wife ran over to comfort him. "She's been going through a lot lately, Stellar. I know it doesn't justify her behavior, but I think we should just leave her be for now."

After a few minutes, Stellar calmed down and looked at his wife. "Have things really changed since you and I graduated Crystal Prep Academy?"

"It would seem so, honey."

They looked at each other meaningfully, then nodded. Stellar grabbed his phone and dialed a number. After a few rings, someone picked up.

"Hello?" said a voice.

"My mind has changed. We're in."

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Sunny entered her room and sighed deeply. Father was right...I have never acted towards him that way. I can't bring myself to apologize. Not yet, anyway. She slowly changed into her pajamas, determined to stay in her room for the remainder of the day. She crawled into bed and turned out the light.