Behind These Scars

Katy was the happiest child on earth. She had loving parents and caring siblings. But that was all about to change when her father passed away, and a couple months later, her mother remarried and settled down with Katy's new step-dad. What she didn't know was that Katy's worst nightmare had already begun.

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1. Where it all began...

I couldn't stop them bleeding, itching, multiplying. I held the blade in my hand as the blood trickled down my arm and dripped onto the bed covers. Tears rolled down my cheeks and splashed onto my arm, making the deep, deep cuts sting. My mind had gone blank and wasn't focused on reality. I had been living in a nightmare and I couldn't get out. He had done this. He had broken me into tiny pieces and pushed me to the ground. He made me feel like his puppet and he was pulling the strings, constantly watching my every move. He may not remain in my life, but the scars will be there forever and I won't be able to hide them. Always reminding me of the pain he put me through. My name is Katy Sparks and it all started on March 3rd 2012, the day my father died.

My family has always just been me, mum, dad and my twin sisters, Christa and Caitlin. We were perfectly happy and to be honest, we were the perfect family. My mum would drop my sisters and I off at school and she would go to work, leaving my dad to do some chores round the house and have a bit of piece and quiet. 12:22am on a Wednesday morning, I heard someone crying downstairs, it was my mum. She was sat on the arm of the couch, holding the phone in one hand and wiping away her tears with her sleeve.

"Yes. Okay. No, I understand. Goodbye." She could hardly speak as she put the phone down and slouched onto the couch. I walked over and sat beside her, holding a box of tissues.

"Mum, what's wrong? Who was that on the phone?" I asked. She looked down at me, tears racing down her face.

"Go get daddy and your sisters please. We have to talk." She said, nudging me away. "Katy..." I turned and looked at her. "Everything is going to be fine you know. We're a family, we stick together." I was confused to why she said that, but I didn't bother asking, I just did as I was told.

"Dad... dad, wake up. Mum wants to see us all downstairs... now." He slowly opened his eyes and rubbed them.

"Okay darling. I'll be down in a second." he replied, sitting up.

"Christa... Caitlin. Get up." I shook them both, trying to awaken them.

"What time is it?" Caitlin asked.

"What are you doing, Katy?" asked Christa.

"Downstairs now. Mum wants us." I passed them their dressing gowns and followed them downstairs. My dad was already down there, sat next to my mum. I could see tears forming in his eyes, I suddenly knew it was something serious.

"Girls. You know how daddy has been going into hospital a lot and he's been missing days off work." mum told us. "Well... he has been having tests... tests to see if he has... ca... cancer." she said stuttering. "I have just been on the phone to the nurse who is looking after him and well... I am so sorry girls but... daddy has..." she paused for quite a while.

"Mum?" asked Caitlin, almost crying.

"Daddy has cancer girls. He has a brain tumour and he has to go into the hospital to stay there for a while. He's going first thing in the morning." she burst out in tears as my dad hugged her tight.

"Dad? Why aren't you staying here? Why aren't you staying here with us? We need you!!" cried Christa. I grabbed my sisters hands and pulled them towards me, hugging them as tight as I could.

"We can go visit daddy when he gets better okay. For now we have to try and go on without daddy." my mum said, wiping her tears with a scrunched up tissue. My dad walked over to us, bringing my mum with him. We had one big hug and then let go. I looked into my dads eyes and could see the tears piling up.

My dad walked into the kitchen with me and sat me down on the chair. "Katy, I am putting you in charge of your sisters whilst your mum is at work, you have to make sure you are brave, don't let them see you crying otherwise they will too. Can I count on you soldier?" asked my dad, smiling.

"Sure you can dad. I love you." I said, hugging him. I could feel the tears in my eyes but I didn't want him to see me crying, I had to keep my promise. After all, I knew for sure how serious this was and I wasn't going to make any promises I couldn't keep.

"I love you too tiny soldier. Now off to bed, I'll be up to give you a huge goodnight kiss and a huge teddy bear hug." he smiled.

"Night dad." I made my way to my room and shut the door behind me. I pulled my quilt over my head and the tears came rushing out. I couldn't stop them, I'd never cried so much in my life and I knew there was more to come. My dad was like my twin, we did everything together and that was all going to stop. I knew there would be no more Sunday Specials, where my dad and I would go eat ice cream from our favourite cheap ice cream truck and then go watch my uncle Barney play rugby whilst we play fought on the grass. I knew there would be no more celebration for Father's Day. I mean, what's the point if you don't have a father to spend it with. I felt like my whole world was about to crumble down. However, I put all the negative stuff to the back of my mind and focused on the positives.

"Noggin. You in here?" my dad knocked on my door and walked in. He sat on the end of my bed and I crawled next to him. "Listen. Just because I have cancer, it does not mean I am going to die. You never know, I could be strong enough to fight it. Just promise me that you won't get your hopes up about me coming home but don't get it into your head that I'm never going to be right by your side. Even if I am upstairs on a sun lounger, catching a few heavenly rays, it doesn't mean I won't be watching all your performances, graduations and making sure you don't have alcohol at parties." he said laughing.

"I know dad. But, I am just scared that you won't walk through that door again. Once you go into hospital, who knows what could happen?!" The negatives things were just bursting out at this point.

"Hey, hey, hey! I am going nowhere! Not without my little soldier giving me a huge hug!" he sat me on his lap and squeezed me until my face went red.

"Dad... you're squashing my brain." I said, struggling to release myself from his grip.

"Oh, sorry noggin. I'm just going to miss that's all. It's gets lonely when you guys aren't around." he said.

"Yeah well. We are going to be with you through everything. I love you Dad, even if you are a bit mental sometimes." I laughed.

"Haha. Here... I wanted to give you this on your birthday, but it looks like I'm not going to be here." he handed me a little black jewellery box. I opened it and saw a silver locket. Inside was a small photo of my dad holding me when I was a baby.

"Dad... it's beautiful. Thank you!" I said, hugging him.

"Now, you'll never forget me." he said, putting it round my neck. I now knew how much I was going to miss him. "I love you noggin."

"I love you too dad." 

He stood up and walked out of my room, leaving me sat on my bed, staring at the tiny photo. I walked onto the landing and saw him leaving my sisters room. I went in and showed them the locket.

"Wow Katy! It's lovely!" said Caitlin, smiling.

"Thanks chicken." I smiled.

"We got photos of dad when we were babies. I am going to miss him Katy." said Christa, with a huge sigh.

"Hey! He isn't going anywhere!" I exclaimed. "Now, get into bed and don't wake up till the morning. I love you both." I kissed them on the forehead and turned out the light, leaving their bedroom door open.

A few hours passed by and I still wasn't asleep. My mum and dad had slept downstairs on the fold out bed and my sisters were fast asleep. Suddenly, I heard whimpering coming from my sisters room. I went in and Christa was sobbing in her sleep.

"Hey, hey, hey. Shhhh." I sat under her quilt and hugged her, stroking her hair. "It's okay, go back to sleep."

"I don't want daddy to die Katy. Make him get better." she cried.

"I wish I could baby, but he's not going to die for a long time." I told her.

"Sleep with me tonight Katy?" she whispered.

"Okay." I pulled up the covers and fell slowly asleep, holding her in my arms.

The morning came and I heard cars outside. The ambulance was here to pick my dad up. I rushed downstairs and stopped my dad before he got into it.

"Goodbye dad. I am going to miss you." I hugged him.

"Goodbye noggin. I love you lots okay, keep my promise?" he asked.

"I promise." I replied. He got into the ambulance and they drove off. I stood waving until I couldn't see them any more. My mum took us inside and made us some breakfast. I turned on the TV and snuggled up to my sisters in a huge blanket my parents had used a quilt. It was a school day so there weren't that many children programmes on. The phone rang and when I answered it, my best friend Beth answered.

"Where are you? Are you going to be late or something?" she asked.

"No B. I'm having the day off, something happened and I need time to myself. Can I call you later?" I replied.

"Yeah sure. Just as long as I know you're okay. Maybe you could stay tonight and we could have a talk?" she asked again.

"Yeah, that sounds nice. I could use some company." I hung up and walked into the kitchen. There was some toast on a plate and I grabbed a couple of slices. "Mum, I'm going to go to Beth's tonight, she wants to catch up."

"Okay chick. Just as long as you don't say anything about your dad. I don't want the whole world knowing." she said.

"Mum, she's my best friend. I promise I won't tell anybody else. She's bound to find out anyway when she comes over for my birthday and see's that dad isn't here." she stabbed the knife into the chopping board and bits of fruit went on the floor.

"Katy! Your dad will be here for your birthday! Now... just keep it to yourself... okay?!" she sounded annoyed, but I replied with a simple nod. She could notice I was quite scared and my face went a bit red. "Oh, Katy. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get mad. I just want to stay positive about this okay. Maybe a banana and strawberry smoothie will make you feel better?" she asked.

"Yeah sure mum. But hows about just banana? Strawberry doesn't sound like it would go down well with banana." I laughed and so did she.

"Sure thing chick." she sliced up the banana a threw it in the blender. The noise of it reminded me of when I went to the race track with my dad for my 8th birthday. The cars made a roaring sound as they went round the track. A small smirk appeared on my face and my mum smiled back. "Made your bed?" she asked.

"I'll go do it now." I replied.

"Open your window too!" she shouted. She is such a clean freak is my mum.

As the day went on, the phone rang a lot. My grandparents had come for tea and my mums friends were ringing her non stop. I stayed in my room all day until I had to go to Beth's house.

"Mum! I'm going!" I shouted.

"Wait! I need a goodbye kiss!" she replied. She ran to me and kissed my forehead. "Have fun chick and remember what I said about the whole situation."

"Got it mum. Bye!" I waved as I shut the door and walked down the street. Beth didn't live too far away so it was easy to get to her. I knocked on her front door and she suddenly hugged me, making me drop my bags. We spent the whole night chatting and I left early in the morning. I had to miss another day of school because my mum wasn't feeling too good.

The weekend had passed and I was walking home from school with my sisters, when we saw an ambulance outside our house. There were cars surrounding our house. We rushed over to see what was going on, hopped over the garden fence and ran to my mum.

"Girls, sit down." my mum said.

"Now." said the nurse. "Your father has been in the hospital for quite a few days now and his situation hasn't gotten any better. His lungs aren't working properly and his memory is weakening. He seems to remember only what happened a couple of hours ago. Unfortunately, he can't remember any of you, which makes it harder for us to let you visit him. He was put on a life support machine to keep his heart beating. However, this morning, we had to turn it off. Your fathers brain had stopped all together and he was in a lot of pain. I am so sorry girls. Your father has gone."

I could tell it was hard for her to tell us the devastating news. I ran outside and went as far as I could. I wanted to keep my promise I made to my dad, I just couldn't hold the tears in. My mum chased after me and when she caught up she grabbed me and tried to stop the tears.

"MUM! HE'S GONE! HE'S NOT COMING BACK! THAT'S IT! IT'S ALL... OVER!" I shouted. It was hard for me to speak as the tears were rushing out like a waterfall.

"Hey!!! You still have us!! We're a family!!" she replied.

"NO MUM! YOU CAN'T HAVE A FAMILY WITHOUT A DAD!!! STOP LYING TO YOURSELF AND JUST ADMIT THAT WE'RE NOT A FAMILY ANY MORE!!!" I shouted. She walked away and left me sat on the side of the road, crying into my hands. I pulled out the locket which was still on my neck and looked at the photo. "Don't worry dad. I am right by your side." I suddenly felt a cold breeze on my arms and noticed it had gotten dark. I walked home and as opened the front door, the lights had been turned off and my mum and sisters were watching my dads favourite film, Enemy at the Gates. He only liked it because he had a man crush on Jude Law. I walked upstairs and shut my bedroom door behind me. I gathered all the things that reminded me of my dad and put them into a shoe box. I had decorated the shoe box one Christmas, just in case I needed it for memories. I put in a photo of me and my dad when I was 3 years old, a pair of socks that my dad stole from an expensive store because I liked them, but I couldn't afford them. And I put in a a note that my dad had written to me when I was younger. It read:

'Katy. You have just been born. It is the 23rd June 1998 and you are currently screaming your little tiny head off. You remind me of one of those baby lions at the zoo that try to look hard by roaring. I just want to let you know that I am ready to be proud of you. I can't wait to take you to your first football game and get you your first football outfit. You look exactly like your mother, beautiful as ever. I love you so much noggin. By the way, get used to me calling you noggin. It's your nickname. Don't grow up too fast noggin. Daddy.'

I closed the box and placed it at the end of my bed on top of my toy box. I grabbed my teddy bear that my dad bought me when I was born and sat it on top of my shoe box. I wasn't going to let my dad be forgotten. The only thing I hadn't put in was my locket. I needed that just in case I started to cry, it always reassured me that he was watching me.

More and more days passed and we were starting to become happy again. We were a lot closer than before and my mum made sure that we had family time every single day. To be honest, we felt like that perfect family again. My birthday had passed and I had the best night ever. Most of my presents were One Direction based and I got a few twenty's from my mum, if you know what I mean. I mean money. My mum had started to go out with her friends again and I had told Beth about my dad. She promised she wouldn't tell anyone and to this day, she has kept her promise. Speaking of promises, I have kept mine that I made with my dad.

One night, my mum came home from a party she had been to with her friends. She was with a man, and as soon as she walked in she sent my sisters and I upstairs. I knew exactly what she was going to do. I stayed in my sisters room for the night and we watched Disney films all night. I made them turn it up so we couldn't hear my mum and her 'male friend'. The morning came and the guy was still here. I walked in on him in the bathroom and he made an awkward joke 'Like what you see?'. I'm 15 not 35, at least that's how old my mum is. I went into the kitchen and my mum was stood in his shirt, eating her cereal and drinking her very black coffee.

"Hey chick. I guess you've already met Brad." she smirked.

"Yeah. He seems... interesting and mature." I replied. She laughed.

"He's nice. You have to get to know him. He reminds me so much of your dad."

"Yeah well. No one can replace him and no one ever will." I said, grabbing my orange juice.

"What not even me?" asked Brad, bumping into me and making me spill my drink.

"Nope. Not even you..." I replied with a sarcastic smile.

"Shame. I could be a great dad me." he said.

"Let me guess... don't know what I'm missing right?" I asked.

"Haha. Feisty one you are." he laughed. I frowned and turned on the TV. I could see them kissing in the corner of my eye, it kind of grossed me out.

"I'm going to the shop for some more milk, want anything?" asked mum.

"A new life maybe?" I asked, in a sarcastic tone.

"Haha very funny." she replied.

"I'm good." replied Brad.

"Okay, won't be long. Try to get along." she slammed the door behind her.

Brad sat down beside me and grabbed the remote.

"Right, lets get something straight. I am the new man around here and you might not like me, but your mum definitely does. I am going to make sure you do as I say. I'm your new dad now and what I say goes. You might not like it, but that's how it is." he told me with a stern look on his face.

"Excuse me, but I have a dad. You might not like that but I do." I went to grab the remote back but he grabbed my and squeezed. "Ow! Get off me!!" I struggled to release myself from his grip.

"Listen you little bitch! You do as I say, nothing else. Your dad is dead, get over it. And don't bother telling your mum about our little conversation. Who do you think she is going to believe. A little spoilt brat who would rather mourn over her dead dad or a gorgeous guy who sleeps with her for free?" he let go of my wrist and I ran out the door. My eyes started to water and I felt sick about the way he spoke about my dad. How did my mum end up with a guy like him?! I knew that if he stuck around any longer, it was only going to get worst, but like he said, who would my mum believe? 

 

 

 

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