Author's Notes

I've had this idea in the back of my mind for a while. The idea for the first chapter was something I wrote down a year ago, and when I came up with this story recently, I thought, "Hey! I could just plug Diego and Mia right into my two protagonists! That totally works!"

Yes, I'm easily excitable.

Um...okay, let's get some housekeeping out of the way. First off, Trials and Tribulations spoilers are up ahead in future chapters. I'm also crossing my fingers that we never heard anything mentioned about Diego's family. (Right? Right?) And I should point out that this is my first multi-chaptered story I'm posting up without writing it all first. (Well, technically, there's Constellations, but those are all individual long/one-shots). And if you know me, you'll know that I can take a while to update XD I have a general direction towards which I'm headed, but commentary from you guys along the way might change that.

Oh yes. And please review? Don't kill my enthusiasm in writing a new story!


Prologue

Boys don't cry.

Not when they have to grow up without ever meeting their father. Not when they're picked on and made fun of because their family is poor. And certainly not when their older sister dies.

At least that's what he told himself.

But like with most boys, things got to a point where he just couldn't handle it anymore. He thought he could run and hide from the truth, but he soon learned that it followed him everywhere and haunted him.

Still, he refused to cry, shutting his emotions inside of him. His mother found him on his bed one night, arms around his knees, hands balled into fists.

"Diego," she whispered tearfully, her heart already snapped into two pieces.

He gave no response, only continuing to stare straight ahead. She stroked her son's hair and pulled him into a tight hug.

"I know you miss Isadora," her voice broke at her daughter's name. "I do too. You can't imagine how much. But no matter how much we try to avoid that truth, Izzy's still not coming back." Her voice faltered, but she made herself continue. "I know you want to be strong for me, but cry if it makes you feel better."

Diego shook his head stubbornly, causing another pang in his mother's heart. She felt helpless, unable to reach him through his sadness. But she could understand why. Had it been any time before, Isadora would have been the one to understand her brother when no one else could.

Diego's mother stood up in defeat. She looked at her son once more before she turned towards the door. To her surprise, she heard Diego say, "Mom, I never got to say bye to Izzy. Why did she just leave like that?"

His voice was quiet and his face tearless, but she could see the anguish and hurt embedded in his eyes. She could do nothing but sob his name and embrace him tightly again.

"I…I just wish I could talk to her one more time," he whispered.

His mother hugged him tighter. She wished so much that she could make it happen; anything to wipe her son's grief away.

Later that night, she sprang up in bed, remembering something a friend had once told her long ago. Maybe, just maybe, she could find a way to fulfill her son's wish.