Dark Black

A man approached me on the night of my 16th birthday. Nothing has ever been the same. I almost lost my humanity, my meaning, my purpose, my very existence.

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2. Crash

I heard voices around me. I wanted to move, but I was just too exhausted. I remain silent, but opened my eyes. Doctors and nurses around me, noticed I was awake. 

"Hi, Chanelle? You must be very sore and exhausted, but we need to call your family and let them know that you're ok." Said a woman, she handed over a piece of paper on a clipboard with a pen. I wrote my parents name and numbers. The woman took the clipboard and left the room. A young nurse walked up to me,

"Do you remember what happened? I found you collapsed in the emergency room" she asked. I opened my mouth but no words came out. 

"It's ok, we can talk about it later. Just get some rest" The nurse left me to the room by myself. I looked down at my arms, and lifted the sheets to reveal my legs. My head fell back into the pillow, and closed my eyes, ready for a deep sleep.

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I looked at the clock, 2am. There was no one around, where was my family. I heard yelling outside my room, then someone slammed my door open, and switched on the light. It was a police officer. It startled me, and I sat up.

"Are you Chanelle Jake?" he asked.

"Y-Y-Yeah..." I stuttered.

"Daughter of Robert and Eliza Jake?" I nodded. He took off his police hat,  put it by the left side of his chest, and came to my side.

"I'm sorry, but alongside your brother, Kyle Jake, they died on a fatal car crash."my eyes fluttered with tears as he spoke "They crashed 5 kilometers out from our house, they were speeding and drove off road tumblingdown a hill. I'm so sorry for your loss." he bowed his head, and raised it again "But we need to discuss your whereabouts from 8pm two nights ago to 1pm yesterday."

"Leave the poor girl alone! Let her sleep on it, for now" the doctor gushed as she ran in. I was left alone in darkness. I stared down the clock, tears dripping, it hurt so bad, that I didn't have the will to scream or show any emotion apart from my tears. My life had been given to me so easily, something was bound to go down.

I never once thought why them, and not me. I'm a strong believer in everything happens for a reason. But why was I raped, why my parents had to be dead. 

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I watched the sympathetic hugs that lined up for me in front of the church. We weren't a Christian family, but it felt right. I didn't have any aunts and uncles, or cousins or anything. It had always been, mum, dad, Kyle and I. My mum's parents were dead, and my dad's parents are in a retirement home. I have just been staying at Anna's for the past 2 weeks. Not many were at the funeral, our family was very, family based. But my parents work friends, Kyle's friends  were there, and Anna with her family attended. As we all gathered in the church, I opened up the mass with a speech. It was about my greatest family milestones. Anna's family pretty much took control of the funeral. They had organized one of Kyle's friend, Daniel to speak. I never really knew him, he moved away when I was young. He had known Kyle for all his life, and they kept in touch when Daniel left. He even convinced his mum to come back for Kyle. I don't know what happened to that. 

Daniel didn't attend the funeral, so his speech was skipped. It was a very short mass. With little tears around me. I watched as the coffins went into the ground. I dropped a recent photo of us in with each of them. Everyone that attended was asked to throw in some dirt. I went first. Then gran and pa went next. I sat with them as dirt was shovels over their coffins. Lastly they put in the headstone, it was a joint one. "Here lies 3 members of Jake family. Eliza Jake, 1969-2013. Robert Jake, 1967-2013. Kyle Jake 1995-2013" there was no 'In loving memory' or 'Loving mother, father and son'. I chose for it to be like that. Very peaceful and neutral, because that who they were.

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I sat in a conference room, alongside Faye, gran and pa. Joanne, the funeral will lawyer read out my parents Will.

"Chanelle will need to go to a foster family, Eliza and Robert hasn't set up for Chanelle to go anywhere if something had happened to them. No one has custody of Chanelle" I didn't like that. I looked to Faye. There had to be a way out of this

"The nearest foster house is hours away. Can't she stay here and be somewhere she knows?"

"I'm sorry but, the will states she does have to leave wherever we need her to. Now, in the matter of money-" I cut off Joanne

"What about my home? My things, mum, dad and Kyle's things? Belongings? Personal items? What happens to that?" I spoke in a stern tone

"You can collect whatever you want, the rest will be sold. All the money left from Eliza and Robert will be given to the grandparents, Isobel and Nigel Jake" They sat, and didn't say a word, mostly because they couldn't understand. "The money is recommended to go future funeral and hospital expenses." They were going to kick the bucket soon. So why leave the money to them. "You have a week to pack up your things and move to this address" Joanne handed me a sticky note. '82 Fortuna Ave Harrisburg Pennsylvania 1836' it read. That's a long way from home. 

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I hadn't yet told the police anything that happened. Apparently I had "grief rights". Which stopped police for asking any questions that is not a major story, well of what they know.

That week, Faye dropped me off and helped me pack the things I wanted to keep. I went through the families individual keepsake boxes. They had baby clothes and photos, birth certificates and toys. I took the passports, photo album and a signature piece of clothing they wore. The house was so big, so empty, without the sounds of loud music, sing alongs, football on the TV and pots and pans clashing. Faye decided it was best to take the whole of my box of keepsakes. She was scared I would end up with a dodgy foster family and insisted I took everything I owned. 

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It was the last day of being in Virginia. I said goodbye to Anna, and Faye drove me in a minivan with all my belongings in it. Within 10 minutes of the drive, Joanne called. 

"Hi, Chanelle? A foster family has been set up for you in New York. I have
met them. You will be staying with them for 2 weeks and will be assessed. I will text the address. Happy traveling" she hung up. Within seconds I received a text. 'Albany 28 Smith st 1737'. There was a sense of anger through me, I was even further away from the place I knew best, home.

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