Her sister is crying near to where she sits; has been doing so for innumerable minutes already. She ignores her, face blanked of emotions. I should make this into a story. The story of my life. The thought is a dull one, accompanied by the faintest tinge of dry amusement. She turns the volume up.

Her sister stands and stomps, with all the petulance of the child she is, into her bedroom. Yes, she thinks, and shut the door while you're at it. The sound of her noisy crying hasn't stopped and - even though the distance between the two is now greater - it has somehow managed to filter through the earphones, through the thrumming music.

Who actually cries like that? she thinks, and turns the volume up. The muted, pitiful sounds remaining are treated with indifference and a little disgust. She is one inclined to think of tears as something private, and her sister's bawling is accordingly distasteful. They have no effect on her conscience, but she is uncomfortably aware of her heart thumping in her chest.

Fleetingly, she wonders if having the music turned up so loud will have a detrimental effect on her hearing. Probably, she decides, but the sunlight and shadows flicker and the thought is gone. I loved you, the singer croons at that moment. She thinks of her sister, of burnt bridges, of soaked tissues. What a lie, she thinks, but the song insists, I loved you all along.

She stops listening and lets the music wash over her, intent only on the way it rises and falls and seems to sound within her very skull. Her head falls back and her vacant stare shifts to a point high up on the wall, where it meets the ceiling. Her sister is still crying, and it feels like she will never stop. She turns the volume up.