I sat there staring at the phone cradled in my hand for a thousand years. Or at least what felt like a thousand years to me. I'm not sure how long it actually was. At this point my mind had gone numb with shock. I'd heard people say that before, that their mind went numb. I always thought it was a dumb thing to say. I mean really how can your entire mind go numb.
Now I knew. It was like time had slowed, and I could hear the rapid beating of my own heart like the loudest drum in my ears, at least until it was drowned out by the ringing. I was staring at the phone, trying to comprehend how to answer it, so that maybe the ringing would stop.
Somewhere in the recesses of my barely function mind I realized the sound wasn't coming from the phone, but from inside my skull.
It took a moment to realize why, but somewhere along the way I had ceased breathing. I took in a ragged breath of air, and then another. When the phone in my hand became a blurry pink blob.
I couldn't understand what was happening. Was the world melting around me? Was this all a crazy dream? Oh how I wished that were that case. Let me be sleeping, let this not be real. God, I'll give anything, just let me wake up and this all have been one horrible nightmare.
Then the world took focus again as the tears that had been gathering in my eyes overflowed and ran down my face. In some corner of my mind I knew I should wipe them off, cause the would surly smear my mascara and I didn't want to end up looking like a raccoon. Another corner let out a derisive snort and an eye roll.
This forced a chuckle from me, that quickly turned into an agonized sob. What a thing to think of at a time like this.
With that first sob, it was like a dam inside me broke. I fell from my chair onto the floor and curled into a ball. Not caring about the throb in my arm from striking the unforgiving wooden floors of my dorm room, or the crunching that let me know my phone hadn't fared much better.
I don't know how long I lay there sobbing my heart out before my mind finally took pity on me and shut down. My last thought before sleep took me was I probably shouldn't have hung up on the police.
The next morning when I woke it was with puffy eyes, a dry scratchy throat, a bruised shoulder, a broken phone and a new resolve. I had always thought of myself as a strong individual. Not some weakling that depended on everyone else to help them through the hard times. Last night had shown me someone else entirely. I had broken last night, there was no other way to describe it. I was even now broken, broken in a way I'm not even sure I can explain. I mean how do you explain soul wrenching grief?
You can explain the tears, the numb shock where your mind fights to comprehend what its being told. Where you try to rearrange the pieces of your world to cover the hole that's now there. The almost physical pain, where it feels like someone just reached into your gut and ripped a huge chunk of your insides out. Or how your mind takes over and does the most amazing thing. It lets you forget, just for a few moments at a time but still you forget. Then the renewed pain when you remember all over again. Its like waves crashing on a shore sometimes intense sometimes barely there. Your minds way of easing the pain onto you. That way you don’t go mad.
But all that is just words, and inadequate words at that. Its a feeling of being ripped apart and put back together without all your pieces. It's something that, as much as they might say other wise, someone who hasn't experienced it first hand would never understand. Honestly I wish they never have to, this is something I never want another person to have to face.
I also knew that I had to get up and do something. Keep busy, not give my mind time to feel. I could never allow myself to break like that again!
Sure some people would say I was entitled, I mean it wasn't everyday you get told your entire family has been slaughtered. Not just my mother or father, but my entire family. Mother, father, sisters, brother, aunt, cousins, grandparents, everyone. Somehow last night my entire bloodline had been systematically destroyed.
Don't think about it, I thought as I forced myself up off the floor. I made my way unsteadily to the bathroom, where I stripped and, ignoring my body's complaints from sleeping on the floor, got into the shower.
I turned the water on as hot as I could stand. Almost enjoying the sting of the scalding water against my skin. I felt like it needed to wash away the memories, like if I got the water hot enough it could somehow change things. I tried to clear my mind, and for the most part it worked. I ignored the fact that it wasn't just water running down my face. I would have this time, this few minutes where I let myself be weak.
After I stepped out of this shower however things would change. I would pack a small bag, gather my emergency cash and leave. My first stop was going to be the bank, I needed to empty out my accounts, and quickly.
With the renewed sense of urgency I finished my shower, wiping the water and tears from my face. I stood at the sink knowing I needed to move, there were things I needed to be doing. Instead I wiped my hand across the fog covered mirror and just looked at myself.
I was almost shocked to see I still looked the same. Same auburn hair that hung it wet curls down to the middle of my back, same pale skin, same brown eyes staring back. My face was a little more drawn, but it was still my face, same sharp cheek bones, and pointed chin I had seen in the mirror all my life. I felt like I should be looking at someone else entirely. That the emotional changes I'd undergone last night should have also had some kind of physical effect.
Oh well I thought, knowing that I would have to change my appearance soon anyways. After I left this room I wouldn't be coming back. When I left here I would no longer be Aubrey Lexington, I couldn't be.
I don't know who I'll become, but I do know that whatever name I take, whatever choices I make, I'm coming for them.