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 slumped over the table in the kitchen, every now and again being shaken 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, storming into her room and slammed the door shut behind her. It made the dust glide into the current of the air around me. I swung my head back around to the dragon I call mother, but before I could get a single word out of my mouth. 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; I swallowed hard and started to sweat with fear. As 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. Her perfume caressed my face and filled my nostrils soothingly, calming me down enough to try and comfort her. I reached my trembling hand towards her arm. Her skin was like cold expensive leather.
“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 mid-sentence
“ Just take this...” she reached into her coat pocket to pull a small shiny object out, it glint in the light catching my eye, but by the time she did two men came stampeding into the room. One of them kicked me on to my side 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 just carried on going round and round in my head. Everything else in my life just seemed to fade away into nothing 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 that hovered over the icy river on the edge of town. I hung onto the wrong side of the barrier. I lent precariously out, arms stretched behind just barley hanging on. I felt total peace wash over me while the wind blew my short hair out of style and across my forehead. The light rain tickled my face. My whole body relaxed and I could feel my fingers loosen my grip very slightly every time I played her words over again, desperately trying to figure out what her thoughts were.
The words haunted me, 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 pulled me back. A hand slipped into mine, prizing it off of the barrier.
I almost lost my balance so i swung around to grip on to the bar with my free hand. At first i was shocked and frustrated that someone had disrupted me, but then all of those emotions melted away when I gazed into his kind eyes.
His coat revealed only a hooded silhouette and the sparkle of his clean white teeth decorating his smile perfectly, covered his face.
I ducked under the bar feeling so embarrassed that I thought I might explode right there and then.
Looking back on it now I never wanted to fall. All I wanted was to fade away 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. I just knew that standing there made me feel real happiness again for the first time in what seemed like forever. It was personal; I didn’t want anyone to see me there. I frantically tried to explain my self somehow but I just tripped over my words and couldn’t help but stutter. He seemed to have that effect on people anyway though, well on me anyway..
I looked at him, “i-i- I wasn't-” I burst out suddenly.
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. My heart rose to the top of my chest and my body relaxed, I felt something I had never felt before.
“Its saff’ by the way” he said smiling at me “ I know...”
I whispered back 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 at the ground, It felt like a shot of electricity just went through my whole body, like I was walking on air. I could hardly control my breath.
“ some other time mayb-” he continued.
“no please” I yelled. He stopped suddenly, holding onto his motorbike. He opened his mouth, but before he could say anything curfew sirens interrupted him. I panicked. I knew that if we were seen, we would have a guaranteed night in a prison cell. “ Where do you need to go?” he shouted.
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, I looked up at him grinning, he grinned back at me like a Cheshire cat. I didn't know what we were going to do, but i was excited to do it.