After all that happened today, I almost forget to pick Beau up from school. I couldn't say I was looking forward to it. Just as we were trying to figure out what to tell her, Theo came home from the studio.
'Hi guys.' He says while entering the room excited. I can see the expression on his face change when he sees ours. 'Something wrong?' He freezes and looks first at me and then at Niall.
I look at Niall too, waiting for him to explain what happened. When I realise he's waiting for me to do it, I decide to just tell Theo.
'There was as shooting down town.' I say while he slowly sits down on a chair beside me.
'Yeah I thought I heard a rumour about it. What happened?' He says curiously. I shrug. 'We were there in the Starbucks and sudde-.'
'Wow, you guys were there?' He interrupts me. His eyes widen. 'Yes, with the kids.' I take a sip from my tea before continuing. 'Suddenly we heard a gunshot and screaming on the street. We're still not sure what happened.'
I say, looking at my hands. 'Did someone get.. you know?' I knew that question was coming. It's hard to talk about it, even for me. And I only met Demi briefly. 'One of the girls I was talking to before it happened was killed.' I whisper, still looking at my hands.
'Jesus..' Theo breathes. I stand up and walk to the kitchen, not wanting to answer more questions. I don't want to start crying.
'We're going to Tur-' A loud bang interrupts my announcement. The bang is followed by a scream and complete silence for a few seconds. I can feel something is coming, but I'm not sure what. It's a bad feeling. The window shatters in front of my eyes as a second loud bang can be heard only a few meters away from us. Everything seems to move in slow motion. Around us people start screaming and bumping into each other, trying to get on the ground. Why does it feel like I've been here before? I look at my daughter, who is sitting beside me. She has a terrified look on her face and is staring at the seat in front of her. Niall is sitting there. But he wasn't sitting there two seconds ago. Or was he?
'D- daddy?' She stutters. I look up at Niall. His face is slowly going pale while blood spills out of his mouth. His head falls on the table. I jump up in disbelieve. Only then I see the red liquid coming from a gap in his head. Both Sascha and I start screaming loudly.
'Kim!!' Someone behind me is screaming my name but I can't stop screaming. My gaze is still locked on my husband. 'Kim! Wake up!' Someone do something. He's death, he's dying. Why are they yelling at me.
'Kim!' The image of Niall and the shooting scene suddenly fades. 'Kim!' I can now hear my name clearly. I open my eyes only to look up at Niall pulling my arm. 'Jesus Kim.' A sigh of relief escapes his mouth as he moves away. I realize I'm panting and try to catch my breath.
'You had a nightmare.' Niall explains when seeing my confused and terrified look. 'You were screaming and talking.' I lie back down on the pillow and close my eyes. 'You were death.' I manage to bring out, a sob leaving my mouth. 'I dreamt you were dead.' my hands cover my face as I silently cry, lying on my back. I feel Niall move around on the bed and pulling me close to his chest. 'It was a just a bad dream baby.' He whispers. 'Nothing happened.' He kisses my hair. I let out a few more sobs. 'I'm not going anywhere, Kim.' I listen to his breathing while he falls asleep beside me.
* 2 weeks later*
'How are they doing?' The young woman smiles at me politely from behind her desk.
'They're doing very good her. Especially Aiden, I feel like he's ahead of Sascha.' The woman, Rosalee, is leader of Sascha & Aiden's daycare class. She asked me if I could come over, after school. I'm not sure why, but I suppose it has something to do with the shooting. She's always very interested in Sascha & Aiden.
'He's always been ahead of her. I hope it doesn't bother her though?' I asked worried. Rosalee shakes her head. 'Oh no, she's always just playing with the girls.' She pauses, clearly thinking about something before continuing.
'Aiden... he has always been more of an outsider. He likes doing things by himself.' I understand what she means. He's a bit like me. I've never really been someone to go with the group. I'd rather have some time alone, without being bothered by people. I take my thoughts back to the classroom.
'Lately he's been.. more on his own than usual.' There's a thoughtful look on Rosalee's face. 'I'm not sure how to the describe it but, he usually just sits at a table and draws things.' She leans back in her chair to reach for a cabinet. A few papers appear from underneath her desk. 'Most of them are just houses, animals, you know the usual things.' She hands them over to me and I take a look at them closely. This one is probably a cat, although I'm not completely sure. I look at the rest. An elephant, kind of thing....Our house..I stop at one, coloured in black and grey.
'That one in particular, caught my attention.' Rosalee continues, pointing towards the drawing I'm looking at. I can see why.
It's a house, all black. Even the grass and trees around it. All the other drawings are coloured. Why is this one so sad? I notice something about the drawing. He drew a person in front of the house. It's a woman, looking at the long dark hair he gave her. Who is she? It's not me, my hair has always been blonde. The woman has an angry expression on her face. Why would he draw something like that?
'I thought maybe you knew what this was?' Rosalee waits for me to answer her. I look up. 'I have no idea what this is. I've never seen him draw like that.' I frown and look back at the drawing. Aiden what's going on?
I walk back to my car, thoughts floating through my head: Beau, the shooting.. Something changed over the past two weeks. I haven't noticed anything weird though, since the shooting. Sascha and Aiden seem to be over it. They're just the normal children they were before. Beau and Niall also seem to have forgotten about everything. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I worry to much and try to find a reason for everything that happens. I don't know.
The weather changed a lot in the last weeks. It went from sunny to grey and sad, back to sunny. Let's take that as a sign that things are going great. I mean, Niall is doing great at his work, I'm flying to New York in a few days.. Well, I'm not sure yet. Niall has told me everything will be fine and I can just go and have fun there, but I have a strange feeling that I can't leave now. I don't want to leave them.
The ride home is silent. I don't even bother to put the radio on. The sun shines down on me when I get out of the car in front of our house. It's just after lunchtime. I asked Theo to look after the kids as long as I'm gone. I hope he survived that..
I unlock the front door and step inside. The first thing I notice is that Beau's shoes are all over the place. How many times do I have to ask her to put them away? Someone is seriously going to break something when they trip over them. First place I stop by is the kitchen. As I expected, it's a mess. Plates and glasses are lying around on the counter and there's sugar on the floor. Judging from the empty, Dutch pancake-boxes, they've made pancakes for lunch. (Yes we have that in Holland:D)
I sigh deeply at the thought of having to clean up everything and leave the kitchen quickly. Where is everyone?
'Guys?' No answer. Maybe they're outside. I cross the living room and go outside into our backyard. We have a big lawn with football goals and a playhouse. We had that one made when Beau turned 5. She had been complaining about wanting one for ages, so Niall said we should get one. Although I do have the feeling he did it a bit for himself. He'll probably deny it but I know he loves playing in them with the kids.
'Mum!' I turn my head to our terrace next to the pool. Theo is sitting on a chair with his guitar. He turns around when Beau calls me. 'Hi Kim.' Beau, Sascha and Aiden are all sitting at the wooden table. 'Hi guys, what are you doing?' I come closer to see what they're doing.
'Look what I've made mum.' Sascha holds up a drawing. I'm not sure what it is. 'It's a dolphin.' She explains. 'Oh, wow. That's beautiful.' I say, to please her.
'So I saw that the kitchen is a bit of a mess.' I say turning to Theo, who didn't change his position in the chair. 'Sorry, I'll clean it up.' I shake my head. 'No don't worry. I'll do it.' He shrugs and starts playing some chords.
'Theo played us a few of his songs. They're really good.' Beau tells me excited. 'Beau, I want you to put away your shoes in the hall. They're everywhere.' She sighs and stands up. 'Alright.'