Heal Me

We'd run away from home, my little sister and I. We were helpless. Until he came along with his dark, bushy eyebrows and windswept hair. His name was Liam.

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15. The Grinch

He was there. My father was standing just beside where Lydia was lying on the bed, his hand pressing down on a pillow over her face. His eyes flashed at me wickedly, he was grinning ear to ear. I stared down at Lydia; her chest was no longer rising and falling as she dreamt of the toys she would receive the next day. Her lifeless body just lay there, most of it covered underneath the cover our father was pressing onto her, the teddy bear Liam had bought her on the first day we met was lying beside her still. I looked up to my father’s face as silent tears cascaded down my face like a waterfall, as I fell slowly onto my knees. Loud sobs began to emerge from my mouth as in the background I heard Liam singing a song from ‘The Grinch’

 

Where are you Christmas 
Why can't I find you 
Why have you gone away 
Where is the laughter 
You used to bring me 
Why can't I hear music play 

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go”

 

When I looked up again, Liam was by my side, his hand resting lightly on my shoulder as he crouched beside me. I gasped and struggled for breath, my throat suddenly feeling as though I hadn’t had any liquid in weeks. Liam rose beside me and stared at my father with steely eyes that I had never seen before, he spoke with an equally steely tone that was dripping with anger and hatred,

 

“I’m calling the police. You bastard. Have you no heart!? I’ve only known these girls a short while but I know they don’t deserve the shit you give them. Are you that fucking twisted!? They’re your daughters, you sick bastard!”

 

His voice rose to a shout towards the end, just as a shaking sob escaped his throat and he was forced to stop talking. A flicked of remorse passed across my father’s eyes but they quickly returned to their usual emotionless black. My father smirked as he responded to Liam in a low voice as he headed towards the window,

“I’ll be back for you, Princess. Make no mistake. Everywhere you turn, I’ll be there. You will regret running. Your sister and mother are both dead, now I’ve got a new target. Your boyfriend’s next, sweetheart. You can run but you can’t hide.”

 

Within a few seconds he was climbing out of the window, scaling his way down the pipes into the darkness of the street below. Liam ran to the window, screaming after him as he rang the police.

 

“Hello.  Yes. Police and ambulance please...”

 

I didn’t hear any more after that. I rose up from where I was kneeling and went to Lydia, removing the pillow from over her face. Slowly, I slipped my hands underneath her lifeless little body and cradled her close to me. Leaning my head forward to kiss her forehead, I tucked the teddy inside her grasp. My trembling lips brushed her cold forehead gently. My baby.

 

“You’re safe now, Lyd. He won’t ever hurt you again. Say hi to Mummy for me. I’ll see you soon. I love you.”

I whispered into her ear before putting her back down on the bed and tucking her in again, as if she would wake up in the morning to a new day.

 

I could hear the bells of the grandfather clock in the lounge going off. Twelve chimes. Christmas day.

 

Liam’s arms wrapped around me and he pulled me into his arms as I sobbed. Lifting my head from his chest, I looked over to the body lying beneath the duvet, teddy bear still in hand.

 

“Merry Christmas, angel.”

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