The Glass House – A Handle With Care fic.

Summary: Emma never told Piper about Amelia's cutting and bulimia. Sean and Charlotte remain blissfully unaware, still trying to rebuild a broken marriage and win the wrongful birth suit. Amelia is on a downward spiral – but how can she be noticed when her problems, if revealed, will finally shatter a glass house?

Prologue
(Emma POV)

When you're angry, you don't think. I should know. When the mother of your best friend is suing yours, you don't exactly want to be Miss Happy Best Friend. When said friend is sitting on her own at lunch because you fought, it would take a herd of elephants to get you anywhere near that empty table. When she's turning into some self-harming, blue-haired crazy person, does it cross your mind to tell her everything's alright, invite her over to your place for dinner, give her a hug and comfort her? Of course not. That's what anger does to you.

It makes you think that only one person is to blame. But actually, all things considered, all of this is my fault.

It was dinnertime. As usual, nobody was speaking – or eating, for that matter. My dad was holding his fork, but it just hovered over his plate. My mother was on the phone, never talking, but simply listening, nodding and biting her lip every so often. I just wasn't hungry.

"I don't have to go to court tomorrow." Her voice made both of us jump, neither of us expecting the sudden break in the silence.

"You mean she's finally come to her senses and dropped the lawsuit?"

My mother sat down beside me, looking at me with an expression somewhere between questioning and apology. I knew right that second that this was not good news. "No. It's Willow."

We were expecting to hear about yet another fracture, maybe a really bad one. But the news that came next horrified us: a suicide attempt. Why? Perhaps Willow didn't have the kind of life people would envy – who would want to spend half their time in a cast? – But whenever I'd been to Amelia's house and I'd seen her, she seemed happy. Why would such a happy, intelligent, funny girl want to kill herself?

I remembered something I'd seen on TV a few weeks back. It was one of those short features that came in the commercial breaks, those films about alcohol or drugs or unsafe driving designed to shock people into submission. Even though I couldn't remember much of the feature itself, the message was pretty simple: kids copy people they look up to. I knew that Willow really did look up to her sister, practically idolised her at times.

Amelia did this to her.

"Well, if this isn't some giant cosmic hint for Charlotte to set some priorities, I don't know what is. I don't even remember Willow ever complaining."

"Why would she do it, then?" asked my mother, her voice so quiet I could hardly hear her.

I think I know.

It would have been so easy to say those four words. Amelia would hate me for it, but, then again, we hated each other anyway. Even if she had almost killed Willow, did I really want her to keep on cutting, keep on throwing up, slowly killing herself?

But I was angry. I wanted Amelia to die. I wanted her to hurt; I wanted her to hate herself to the same extent that I hated her right at that moment. So I stayed silent.

It really was all my fault.


A/N: Thus begins my first full length Handle With Care story! :D I hope you enjoyed reading that and, as always, feedback is appreciated!