Young Galilea Warren came to the town of Hemlock with her parents when she was seven. She had heard wonderful stories of her father’s childhood. She had noticed the soft hint of nostalgia on his face, his bittersweet countenance when he talked about how life had changed. Twenty seven years ago on New Year’s Eve, when Galilea was busy playing with her dolls and the parents were having tea, the phone rang twice. And with that call Galilea’s wonderful childhood came to cease.
It was her grandmother, something bad had happened to her. She was in the hospital, and when Paul heard, he fell into a silence. The phone hit the floor, a devastated look on his face. Gilly watched her dad, she knew something bad had happened.
It was meant to be a small visit, her grandma had stage four Cancer and it was too late for the doctors to save her. It was her last wish to see her children live together, for them to take care if her husband. So with grandma’s passing, Hemlock became the new home of Galilea Warren.
Paul Warren, Galilea’s father, was a self-made man: who after bearing a lot of hardships became the highly successful owner of Warren Hardware Industries. He married his college crush, Ms. Amelia Greer. After three years of marriage, they welcomed a daughter into their lives and became a complete family.
Relating to the characteristics of the nouveau riche: they lived a life extravagant, almost royal. A lifestyle suited to the elite but much too ostentatious for small town folks of Hemlock. Their extravagance became the hot gossip of the poisonous dwellers of Hemlock.
Her parents moved her grandfather to a mansion that Paul bought. And with her grandfather, came her uncle, aunt and cousin. All the Warrens under one roof just like her grandmother wanted. The people of Hemlock had never seen such money.
Galilea’s parents changed. They were no longer the happy couple they once used to be. Her Grandfather didn’t like her uncle Nate, Aunt Vi or her cousin Gemma. However he respected Paul for making something of himself but couldn’t care less about Amelia and Gilly.
Her mother became busy living the life of a socialite, busy competing with Victoria. Uncle Nate was an alcoholic. He’d always be in the garden sipping his whisky from a silver-crested navy blue flask. He was a jolly drunk, a happy man who loved playing with Gem and Gilly. He was a useless schmuck, but somehow he was the only member of the family that Gilly didn’t despise.
Earl Warren, an old man who hated everyone he knew. He didn’t want to live with his sons but even after his wife’s death, she had a penchant for making him do things he didn’t want, from beyond the grave.
Gemma Warren lived a lonely life. Her father spent most of his time with his flask and her mother ignored her. Victoria told Gemma that she was a needy rat and that she had ruined her mother’s life. When she was eight, they moved into the new mansion. To her it was a huge palace which came with a companion. Gemma loved Gilly, she saw how different Gilly was. They looked nothing alike and they had starkly contrasting personalities. But being stuck in the same dysfunctional situation, they found common ground.
Gilly had only one person in that town, Gemma. The girls and boys in school teased her because she was chubby and had rich parents, they often threw tomatoes or other squishy things at her. Gemma tried to protect her. They stayed side-by-side like neighbours in their corresponding bedrooms. They’d talk about their lives and gossip about school. Both of them felt content, at least this was okay. At least, they had each other.
Victoria and Amelia detested each other. Victoria often openly wished Amelia dead. Amelia couldn’t be bothered by Vi’s stupid theatrics. Nobody made anything of their feud, i.e, until Amelia died.