~~Finley hadn't been back to school for a while but today was her first day back. The cuts on her face and on her arms were still here but they were better than they had been. The bags under her eyes from lack of sleep were still there too, no matter how much concealer she put on. The nightmares, the flashbacks would wake her frequently after it had first happened but had become less so as time went on but the accident was still clear in her mind.
Her mother had apologised so many times, too many times, she had brought her things she didn't even want. Finley didn't blame her, it wasn't her fault but she knew she had been withdrawn. Today was the day that Finley Todd had to face the world.
Kate felt guilty for the permanent scar that now marked her daughter. She had promised to keep her safe, promised to protect her but she had failed. She had new scars herself but she was used to the bruising and the cuts and the pain and the hurt but Finley wasn't and Kate hoped she would never know pain but because of her she had.
Guilt racked her whole body and she hated herself each day for what had happened. It hadn't been her fault, not in the eyes of the many but in her own eyes she was to blame for the hurt she had caused her daughter, for the pain she had endured. Little did the two of them know that there was greater pain to come.
Kate wasn't at work today and he knew that, he knew it meant that Finley was going to get the bus. He had been watching them for a while now, he knew the schedule. When she walked out of the house he smiled at the beauty he saw. She was more beautiful than he had ever imagined his daughter to be.
He watched from the shadows as she walked down the drive and up the road. Then she was gone. Now he would make his move, now he would strike. He had waited years for his moment and he had spent weeks planning it. He pulled the whisky flask from his old coat pocket and took a swig of the contents, then another and another, then he decided to just allow what was left to pour into his mouth. The liquor burned his throat as it went down but that was what he liked, that was the wonder of such a strong drink. He ran his sleeve across his mouth before taking a step forward. He had enough alcohol to fuel the burning fire of anger inside him but not too much so that he couldn't hit straight.
This was what he had been waiting for. He rang the doorbell. He heard the footsteps of his wife drawing nearer and nearer. She had no idea what lay in store for her. She was in for a surprise when she opened that door.
"What have you forgotten this time?" He heard her muffled voice on the other side of the door. She thought it was their daughter who was ringing. He heard the sound of the latch being unhooked and the door being unlocked, she was cautious with security, but not cautious enough otherwise she would have looked though the spy hole first. The door opened and there she stood: his wife. She looked the same if you ignored the wrinkles that aged her, she looked older than she was, then again so did he. Hygiene was something that slipped when you had nothing much to life for.
"Hello, Katherine" An eerie smile spread across his face as hers ran away from her face.
"No" The word was so slight of sound that he barely heard it.
Kate rushed to slam the door but he was quick to respond, despite the numerous studies that indicated that alcohol slowed down react time. He pushed against the door and forced his way into the house. He grabbed her by the shoulders and slammed her against the mirror on the wall. The reflective glass shattered everywhere and cut into the back of her head. She felt the blood trickle down her neck. How could this be happening?
"Surprised to see me Kate?" He emphasised her new name.
"How did you find me?" She managed to squeezed words out despite the fear that pulsed through her entire body.
"When a drunken copper causes a five car pileup it tends to make the national news. The rest wasn't too hard. You took your mother's maiden name very smart but not smart enough"
"What are you doing here?" It was a stupid question as she knew the answer.
"You took her from me!" He spat at her as he spoke. "You ran away and you took her! "He released one shoulder but only to free up a hand that landed and powerful punch to the right side of her jaw. The pain shot from her. The heard the crunch of bones, whether it was her jaw, his hand or the two coming into contact.
"You took may baby girl" This time a sickening punch to the ribs. She jolted in pain and bent in half. He continued to throw punches and spit nasty words at her and she thought it would never stop. She wished it would not have if it meant what happened next did not happen.
Finley had only walked a little way before she realised she had forgotten her essay which she was already late to hand in. So she headed back home but found it odd when she found the door open. With caution she placed one hand on the door and pushed it open. What she saw made her pulse race. Her heart pounded in her chest, her eyes widened. Her mother was held against a wall, blood on her face, barely standing by herself the man holding her up only to hit her.
Her mum lifted her head only for a second but that was all she needed. 'Run' she saw her mouth, there was no real emotion in her voice but she pleaded with her eyes and Finley had no choice; she dropped her bag and ran.
Michael hadn't seen Kate's warning but he had heard the bag drop on the wooden floor. He turned to see Finley running. He let go of Kate and she slumped to the floor and took off after his daughter. It didn't take long to catch up with her. He grabbed her with one hand around her waist, pinning her arms to her side and the other over her mouth to keep her quiet. It had all gone wrong. This wasn't how it was meant to go.