Morning couldn't come soon enough for me. I tossed and turned all night, my thoughts plagued with images of Sophie's dirty little face. I look over at Zayn who's still sound asleep. I throw back the covers, jump out of bed and sprint to the bathroom. After a quick shower I glance at my watch, 7:45 am, Zayn is already up. He must of gone downstairs for breakfast. I look outside, it's kind of grey, so I decide to put on my red skinny jeans, my favorite "One Direction" concert t-shirt and my Toms. I throw my hair back in a pontail and head down for breakfast. Zayn, Liv, Niall and Harry are all sitting around the table eating breakfast. "Hey there, love. What took you so long?", Zayn teases. I smile and make myself a cup of tea.
"Who's coming?", I ask.
"Id like too...", Liv says.
"Us too...", Niall and Harry say in unison.
"Count me in, love..." Zayn adds wrapping his arms around my waist and planting a kiss on the back of my head. While I wait until everyone is ready, I grab myself a toast. Butterflies erupt in my stomach. I'm so excited to see Sophie again.
After arriving at the shelter, the others all make their way to different areas to help out. John pulls me into an office for a private conversation before I'm allowed to go see Sophie. "I just wanted to fill you in on some things", he says, sighing.
"About Sophie?", I ask. John nods his head.
"It's not good, Mia. There is evidence of healed multiple breaks throughout her body, and of sexual abuse. Her mother died when she was 2, and her father is in police custody. She has no other family that we can find...", he says.
As I listen to him talk, my body goes numb and I get a sick feeling in my stomach. "Jesus...", I whisper.
"Her father's trial is next week and we're petitioning the court to terminate his parental rights. She's in a fragile state right now. We had to sedate her last night..." he says.
"You drugged her!" I snap.
"After you left last night we couldn't calm her down, we were worried she might hurt herself...", he explains.
"She's just a little girl for fuck sake. Where is she?", I say.
"Come with me", he says, leading me down to another section of the shelter. "This is like our medical ward. In here...", he says, opening a door for me, revealing a small room with white uninviting walls, a small sink and cupboard in the corner, and a bed on the opposite corner. I walk over to her bed, she's quiet. All the dirt has been washed from her bruised little body and hair. She has auburn reddish hair with soft curls, and the longest eyelashes I've ever seen. I take her little hand in mine and look at the bruises that cover her arm. Tears flood my face. How could anyone do this to her, she's so beautiful. I lay down on the bed beside her, wrap my arms around her and cry for her. John leaves.
It isn't long before I feel her move in my arms. "Sophie? Are you awake?", I ask.
"You came back..." she whispers.
"Of course, I promised you I would...", I say.
"No one's ever kept a promise to me before. Please don't go again..." she whispers, as she curls herself into my chest.
"Ok, I won't...", I say.
"Are you hungry? I can get us something to eat and we can have a picnic on your bed", I offer.
"Do you have to leave to get it?", she whispers. Thinking fast I take out my phone and send a text to Liv.
"No, I don't have to leave. I'll have it delivered by my big sister!", I giggle. Sophie looks at my phone and watches me as I type in a message and hit the send button. "Do you like hamburgers?", I ask, as she shakes her head yes.
"Can I see?", she whispers, pointing to my phone. I unlock the screen and hand it to her. I show her all the different games I have on it and let her play. She plays for a good 45 minutes before I hear a soft knock on the door. Sophie jumps and drops my phone.
"Mia?", Liv says.
"Sophie it's ok, this is my sister, Olivia and she brought us our picnic food..." I explain as Liv stands quietly at the end of the bed.
"Hi Sophie, it's very nice to meet you. Mia has told me all sorts of nice things about you...", she says smiling.
"Hi", Sophie whispers.
"Sophie, would it be alright if I ate lunch with you and Mia?", Liv asks. Sophie looks at me with her little green eyes and rosy pink lips.
"Will you be mad if I say 'no'...", she whispers.
I shake my head, "Nope. Liv and I don't mind", I say. She looks at me for a minute and then back at Liv.
"Ok, she can stay...", she whispers. I listen while Liv coaxes her to eat a bit of her lunch and even gets her to play a game of 'I Spy'. "Who's that?", Sophie asks pointing to my shirt. I forgot that I was wearing my 1D concert shirt.
"They play music...", I cue up 'What Makes You Beautiful' on my phone and play it for her. She giggles.
"Well, I am so glad that I finally got to meet you Sophie. I'm going to leave now so you can have Mia all too yourself", Liv says, as she winks.
"Sophie can I tell you a secret about my sister?" I say. I see a little twinkle in her green eyes at the mere mention of a secret. I lean in close and put my mouth to her ear. Her eyes get wide.
"Really? In there?" Sophie says pointing Liv's tummy.
"Really..." Liv says.
"That baby's really lucky..." she whispers, before curling herself back into my chest and drifting off to sleep. Tears run down Liv's face as she turns to leave. I know how she feels, my heart is breaking too.
"Liv, I'm not coming home with you guys tonight...I just...can't...", I say through my own tears.
"I'll take care of it...", Liv says, giving me a careful hug before walking out the door. I snuggle around Sophie's warm little body, and drift off to sleep.
I wake with a start, and hear a commotion outside the door to Sophie's room. I glance at my watch, it's well past 10 pm. Sophie's still asleep on the bed beside me. Realizing I have to go to the washroom I quietly get up, trying not to wake Sophie. That's when I hear the shouting. "Sophie!", a big man's voice is yelling through the halls.
Fear grips me and instantly, I know who it is.
I turn and grab Sophie off the bed. I open the cabinet under the sink and lay her inside. I'm glad the drugs they gave her earlier are still in her little body. I cover her with blankets and whisper in her ear, "Sophie, don't make a sound..." I just have time to close the cupboard doors, stand and turn when the door to the room swings open.
"Where is she?" this big man screams at me.
"Who?", I ask.
"Sophie! She's mine and I want her back..." He towers over me standing at about 7ft tall, he's plastered with tattoos and his greasy long hair is pulled back in a ponytail.
"I-I'm part of the cleaning staff. The room was empty when I got here. They must of transferred her somewhere else...", I say thinking on my feet.
His hand flies up just then and smashes the side of my face. I hit the floor hard and my insides explode in pain as he makes contact between his heavy boot and my rib cage, repeatedly.
That's the last thing I remember before getting swallowed into the darkness.