“HOW DARE YOU!!” came a scream from above me, it had already begun. It seemed that before I had even opened my eyes that mourning my body had continued on without me and I was already down stairs slumping over the table in the kitchen, every now and again being shook by the screeching of voices and smashing of possessions above. Then I realized something that struck fear into me. I noticed that the small trilby hat wasn't hung on the rack in the corner; my father must have already left that mourning, he was not apart of the situation upstairs. This left only three possible options to why my mothers’ yelling was echoing around me. Either my mother had gone completely insane, the slut had overstayed her welcome by a long shot, or Raven had finally snapped. None of which I hoped for. I instantly ran upstairs coming to an abrupt halt. When I reached the doorway I saw a scene that I found hard to understand. My sweet aunt Wendy huddled up in the corner clinging on to her scruffy handmade dress that she scrounged together material to make earlier that week.
She had always been an inspiration, she had never given up on beauty, or life’s possibilities, she would wear or do what she wanted, what she needed to do, no matter who was watching, but it was this moment when I realized that she was slowly dying, the aunt I knew and loved was fading away and the woman who was doing this to her was stood there, right in front of me, eyes beaming at my aunt with a cracked vase in her hands ready to throw against her helpless body. My sister with old tears covering her face and arms folded, doing nothing to help at all stood at the other side of the room lent against the rotten peeling wall.
Then it all froze, for just a split second until everyone found themselves again. Raven pushed past me viciously and ran into her room and slammed the door shut behind her, making dust glide into the current of the air around me. I swung my head back around to the dragon but before I could get a single word out I heard a car screech to a stop in front of our house then a bustle of movement below. I watched her intently to see her reaction; she smirked and dropped the vase onto the floor with a dull thud. I panicked. I knew something was wrong, she took several paces towards me and lent into my ear intimidatingly “say goodbye..” she hissed, leaving her words lingering in the air I breathed. She brushed past me muttering “Its her own fault” over and over. She sprinted down the stairs. I immediately fell to my knees next to where Wendy sat, the only person that I cared for, who in return cared for me as well. “I’m sorry,” she whispered softly to me. I could hear people running towards the stairs but I could only focus on her, “I ripped Ravens dress” she explained, “I didn't mean to I tried to explain to them but-“ she stopped herself, “ just take this..” she reached into her coat pocket to pull it out but by the times she did two men stampeding into the room one of them kicking me to the stained carpet get to her, they grabbed her roughly by the arm. She threw the tiny object to her side and it slid under the bed. “What are you doing?” I screamed, there was no answer, so I screamed again “why?!” I would of carried on all day if given the chance but before I knew it they were gone, dragging her down the stairs with them.
She went silently with them, completely accepting her fate as if it was the inevitable. But I couldn’t accept it at all. I don't remember much of the rest of that day. That mourning went round and round in my head. Everything else in my life just seemed to go completely blurred in front of my eyes. But it wasn't until that night when the first tear hit the ground next to my feet. That's when I realized where I was. Stood in the freezing cold wind, on the bridge hovering over the icy river below on the wrong side of the barrier. I lent precariously out, arms stretched behind just barley hanging on. I felt total peace wash over me as the wind blew my short hair out of style and across my forehead, and the light rain tickled my face. My whole body relaxed and I could feel my fingers loosen very slightly every time I played her words over again, desperately trying to figure out what her thoughts were, they were whispered in my ears over and over again on top of every other voice trapped inside my head all saying different things I could feel my self slipping from the cold steel bar that kept me from the sharp pain of rocks below but my body refused to pull me back.
Then something extraordinary happened, someone else did pull me back. A hand slipped into mine. I almost lost my balance and swung around to grip on to the bar with my free hand. I was shocked and frustrated that someone had disrupted me at first. But then all of those emotions melted as soon as I saw him. Looking back on it now I never wanted to fall all I wanted was to fade into the riverbed beneath me. I never wanted to die just to stop this life for a while. I didn't think about what I was doing, just that standing there made me feel real happiness again for the first time in what seemed like forever.
His face was covered revealing only a hooded silhouette and the sparkle of his eyes. I ducked under the bar feeling so embarrassed that I thought I might explode right there and then. I looked at him, “i-i- I wasn't-” I tried to explain, he touched my arm and whispered softly, “its okay” he looked at my scar, then back into my eyes, and smiled “ I know how It is” I hadn’t even properly said anything to him, and yet he was the kindest person I had ever met. “ Its saff’ by the way” he said smiling at me “ I know..” I whispered quietly. My mind drifted to the first time I saw him that night while I was stumbling back from seeing Dr. Asshole once again that week, which always put me into an awful mood. It was always such a humiliating experience strolling into the psych ward casually to get told once again to just stop worrying, to just stop day dreaming, to just take the pills that turn me into a robot. The thing was I wanted to feel, and most of all I wanted to dream. I was sent there after the nightmares got too violent, after the voices in my head started arguing to loudly for me to think straight. I knew that sounded crazy but I wasn't, I knew that, but no one else did. So once more after the new pills were shoved down my throat i walked home again but this time instead of my mind drifting, my feet did, I just kept on following the footprints in front of me in the mud, by the time I did look up there he was. He didn't look like much, but there was something, a certain sparkle in his eyes, that drew me in closer, I wanted to open him up like a box and look inside, just to see what I would find, would I be scared or would I laugh, who knows? I often thought like that about people, but usually I could never really imagine that there was much to see. He stood no more than ten feet in front of me, slumped over his phone around the corner of the stone building that I clung onto. I dared to look a little closer and see the man he was talking to, I only got a glimpse but the image stuck in my mind for weeks, I am still sure I am crazy because of it. It was his hair, I just got a fragment of a second before he tucked it behind his ear under his hood, it wasn’t like anything I had seen before, but before I could double check they were both gone, down the path. “Must be the new drugs” I thought, “ I really am mental!” by this time he must have noticed that I had zoned out. “ You know, you could jump… or.. You could sit and talk to me about it..?” he paused “ but I cant now, I’m sorry… this conversations been good though” he laughed and winked at me. I smiled back at him, “ some other time mayb-” “no please” I yelled out to him. He stopped suddenly, holding onto his motorbike. He opened his mouth, but before he could say anything he was interrupted by curfew sirens, I panicked, if we were seen then that would guarantee a night in a prison cell. “ Where do you need to go?” he called, I hesitated to answer and I grabbed my bag that was slumped on the pavement next to my feet.“ I don't really have anywhere” I called back over the screeching. “ Shit, really? You must have somewhere?” shouting now of the revving of his engines “ don't worry, I know a place we can talk, sound good” “umm…” I weighed it up in my head, the decision was pretty scary either way put I didn't really have a choice “sounds great” I finally squealed. I leapt on to his motorbike and held onto him, wrapping my shaking arms around his firm waist. A rush of adrenaline coursed through my veins and I couldn't help but smile.
Before long, flashes of home caught up with me and guilt’s hand gripped my stomach tightly while anxiety whispered doubts in my ear about Saff. Why would anyone be that nice to me? Did he want something from me? I fought back against it, thinking maybe he was just another person with good left in them like my aunt. Then it hit me. I suddenly realized that I had to go back, I had left it there, the most precious thing that Wendy gave me, how could I forget it, it would be right there on my desk next to the window that I clambered out of clumsily earlier that night. Originally i only wanted to get out for a few hours, just to be out of the house but I couldn’t help but drift off into my own world on the bridge. If I didn't get it before sunrise it would be gone forever. They would never let me have it once they got hold of it; it helped keep me sane through everything. But there just wasn't enough time, I couldn't get back there and still get out to get enough distance between them and me to not get caught. I had tried before and it all went ugly very quickly. The fact is my mother wasn't always this bad, she had ups and downs, I do remember the last time she hugged me, cuddled on the sofa, I missed that women, but after my father started sleeping around she turned bitter and twisted, she was full of hate for everyone and she passed it one to my sister, for she was the only idol Raven really had, she couldn't ‘deal’ with Wendy’s schizophrenia and she just wanted to be in a ‘normal family’ where as I didn’t want any of that I wanted to get out and just keep going into the horizon, without a care in the world, but it never seemed that could happen, until I jumped onto this bike, but once again it was all crashing down too soon. When he pulled up the bike I prepared myself to tell him that I had to go, but I could help gazing up into the night sky as he did, “ just look at them” he said as if he was completely content with the world at that moment, it filled me with hope. I lent against the bike with him, and at that moment those stars were all that mattered, nothing else.
But then that moment passed, as all moments do. I reluctantly told him that he need to take me back to 113 church road before sunrise, I could feel tears brimming my eye lids again so I looked away I don’t know what I expected, perhaps for him to take me in his arms and just hug me as if he knew everything was going through, but instead of taking a step closer he took one back, he stumbled over his words, loosing his cool showing a clumsy boyish charm that made me smile,” did I do something wrong..?” he asked me, confused at why I suddenly changed my tune. I just shook my head, “ I just have to…” I sighed. By the time we got there the first beams of light started peaking over the flat concrete road ahead, “goodbye” I blurted out to him, “…not for too long I hope..” he said back cautiously to me as I crossed the grass to my house, I just smiled back to him, and ran up to the wall of my house where I climbed up over the plant pots up to the platform over the front door so that I could stretch into my window, and slip into my bedroom. I peeked out of the window again just in time to see him drive off down the road, and the suns light to trickle on to my windowsill. I let my eyes wander out of the window again, my heart sank to my stomach and the reality set in that, i may never see him again, and I left him, to come back to this place, just because of my ridiculous fear of the unknown and my need I have to keep my memories and gifts physically close to me at all times, as if I could lose them and therefore lose my want to make more, and see the beauty in life.