When Kayla decides to move in with her mum, leaving her Dad behind, she thinks it's going to be just like the old days. Determined to have a better life, she sets off, wanting to start over. But once she's met Pierre, her Mum's new boyfriend, she realises it will never be the same again...


5. My Worst Nightmare

The door slams shut. I've been left in my room to 'calm down'. Calm down? If anyone needs to calm down it's him. He's the one who tried to attack me. He's the one who thinks I'm just another teenager off the street. He's the one who seems to hate me. I'd do anything to take back my reactions now. The look on my mother's face was devastating. She was in the 'I-just-can't-speak-to-you-right-now' mood. I really hate that mood. As much as I hate Pierre. Everyone always says 'hate' is a strong word, and to be honest, I do use it a lot. But this time, this time I mean it. I really hate Pierre.


Slowly, I begin to unpack my belongings. Yes, I hate Pierre, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to stay here. I want my time with Mum, and I'm going to get it, whatever Pierre does to try to stop me. He's just selfish. Wants Mum all to himself. Well that's not going to happen. Family's do things together, and just as long as I get to spend almost 24/7 of my time with Mum, I'm happy.

I start to fold away my shirts and trousers. I stuff my bra's and knickers in one of the chest of drawers, and hang up my most precious clothing. In no time, I'm reaching for the last thing left in my suitcase: A photo. It's not just any photo. It's a photo of my Mum, Dad and me, when we all lived together and were a happy family. I always keep it by my bed at night. I somehow think of it as protecting me. It's a way that I know they're always there for me.

I place it up against the lamp on the bedside table, my fingers tracing the familiar, yet unfamiliar, faces. Oh, how I loved the past. How it was perfect, like a fairytale. I'd always wanted to be a princess, like in one of the books my Mum and Dad read me. I longed for a prince in shining armour, and a pink palace with pretty rose gardens. These fantasy dreams all stopped when my Mum left me. I stopped believing in any sort of fairytale. It stopped my dreaming. It stopped everything. I wish I could be a young child again. To dream again.

Alarmed, I jump at the sound of a knock on my door. I peer over my shoulder, watching as the door gradually creaks open, revealing a distraught woman: my mother. I turn back around, looking down at the photo that is still entwined between my fingers. I hear my mother's footsteps getting closer and closer, and before I know it, she's sitting beside me on my bed, staring down at the photo on my lap.

"Kayla, I'm here for your apology." She only just manages to say. Of course she wants me to say 'sorry', forgetting  about what even happened. But this time, I can't do that. Why should I say sorry when I did nothing wrong? All I did was defend myself. Is that not allowed? I'm a teenager. Pierre's an adult. He should know better than picking out a fight.

"No." I say, still keeping my eyes on the photo. It is as simple as that. She can't make me say sorry to Pierre.

"Kayla..." I can hear the persuasion in her voice. Everytime she's trying to get me to do something I don't want to, she always starts off with the long, droning tone. I'm not a kid anymore, and she knows it. Her quick 'funny' jokes, and her 'I'll buy you a little something' promises, won't work on me any longer. All I want is to be trusted for once. No one ever believes my side of the story. Yes, I do lie from time to time, but this is the truth. I swear to it.

I. Didn't. Do. Anything.

Accidentally, I say this aloud. Why did I do that? That's the catchphrase I always use, espeically when I'm not telling the truth. How is she ever going to believe me now?

"Kayla, I'm losing my patience now." Oh, here we go again. "I don't have time for your lies and excuses. Will you just tell me the truth. What did happen an hour ago?"

I think about it for a minute. I half want to tell her the truth, suffering the consequences, but I also feel like lying and saying it was my fault after all - I can't bear it going on any longer. I twiddle my fingers, and look up to see my Mum staring at me, waiting for a reply. I go with my heart. After all, it is the truth. So why should I be scared of getting blamed for it?

"Ok..." I start. "Well, Pierre came up to give me my suitcase and I said thanks, but he didn't seem to care. Then, he showed me my room. He said he only bought me an ipod and book because you told him to. He said he thinks teenagers are spoilt brats, clearly aimed at me. Then, I asked where the children were?" - my Mum seems to jump back at this bit - "He had no clue what I was on about, stating that the children in the photos on the hallway were of me with my cousins. Then, I don't really know what happened. He seemed to think I was smirking at him and he got angry, saying that you never wanted me here, and that you now have your own life without me. I got angry too, saying that of course you wanted me here, and that we were gonna have tons of fun! Because we are, right?" I pause before carrying on. "Then, he started charging at me. He was attacking me! He even had his fist held high, ready to knock me in the jaw." Just as I'm about to pull it to a close, my Mum grabs my arm. I feel her hand shaking, wrapping itself around mine. I want to believe she'll take my side. Just for a second. But then she starts to talk...

"Kayla, Pierre is not like that. He would never intend to hurt you..."

"But that's what you don't understand!" I butt in, yelling at the top of my voice, "He tried to do it Mum. He tried to attack me! I had to defend myself. There was no other way."

My Mum stands up suddenly, shaking loose of my grip on her arm. "Kayla, you're taking this too far. Pierre is hurt. Why don't you care?"

"Why should I care?!?!" I'm screaming now. "Pierre is supposed to be setting me an example! He's the adult here! Why don't you believe me Mum? I'm telling the truth! What he says is just a bunch of lies!"

"Don't you DARE talk about my husband like..." She tries to stop herself, her hand rising and slapping against her open mouth, but I hear it before she does.

"Husband?" It comes out as quiet as a whisper.

I sink down into the covers of my bed. My throat dries up; my hands wrapping around my own body to stop me from shivering. Big, fat tears seem to drip down my rosy red cheeks, and I watch my Mum slip away through the doorway, as if nothing ever happened.




My worst nightmare.



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