Trust Me

When an independent girl is faced with the demanding task of solely raising her young sister while maintaining her fast-paced, hectic life, she barely manages to glue things together. She suddenly crashes into a man that can either make or break her situation, depending on one imperative thing: trust. Can she pull enough trust together to save both her and her sister, or will things tumble down from above, engulfing her in the shattered pieces once again? Is this an escape to recovery or just another all-too fresh wound in life?


4. Chapter Four

"No!" Lily screeches at the top of her lungs.

I see dad hovering over her as she trembles in the corner of my room.

He found her.

The sentence replays over and over like a dark cloud cursing the sky with its thunder. He shoves her shoulder against the wall, pinning her there. I wince as the look crosses her features.

I know that look; I've worn in countless times before myself. It's the look you get just before he hurts you. The sadness, hopelessness, anguish, rage, and dread all crosses over as you brace yourself for whatever form of torture he chooses to attack with.

She shouldn't be wearing it though, I should.

It's my fault it has gotten to here; it really is.

I'm supposed to protect her. I'm supposed to be the forcefield around her, deflecting off dad's arrows of harm and violence.

It's my job--but no.

She has now taken on my role in this play. Now she's being bombarded with the arrows of life; now she's being abused; now she's being beaten; now she's suffering from the knowledge of his cruelty.

It's all my fault.

"NO! YOU CAN'T DO THAT! NOT TO HER!!!" I scream.

My words seem to echo, and neither my dad or Lil seem to hear.

I desperately try to reach out to them, to her. I reach out, wanting to shield her again, ready to accept the poisonous arrows, willing to do anything to be the curtain that guards her from the hurt and heartbreak of the world. However, I can't move; I struggle only to find I'm immobile.

Tears stream down my face and blur my vision as I thrash around. I choke out a muffled, "YOU CAN'T!" in such a loud screech that it physically hurts my throat.

He can, and he does. I witness it. The blurry figure whom I vaguely make out as my dad slaps Lily square across the face.

That's it; the first arrow of distress has torn a hole through the veil I have worked so hard to sew together. A stream of darkness has now entered the otherwise light-filled room. Now Lilyanna has seen this darkness. The arrow I was supposed to deficit has punctured her fragile skin.

I cannot fix this. I will never be able to fully patch the curtain and fix the dark light from seeping into the bright room; I will never be able to fully heal the wound Lily has now obtained from my careless mistake. No matter how many band aids I use or stitches I make, there will always be marks left to asses for the damage created.

"NO!!!" my voice shatters an invisible glass, yet is ineffective.



It seems as if I am a prisoner in my own floating bubble, and the words I utter only act as knives to join the horror I see in slicing my body in way that can not be put to words.

The worst happens now. She stops struggling. All the noises of agony and thrashing of limbs cease.

She's given up, I breathe, stunned. She's accepted it.

If there is one thing I am not expecting, it is this. Lily is a fighter; she keeps going, no matter how tough things get. She does not simply accept things; she challenges every fact that exists. I admire that about her... And now he's sucked it out.

He's taken her from her. All the vitality she brings, all the joy she radiates to everyone else, all the energy, all the fight--gone.

I look closer and force my tears to clear just enough to make it out. She didn't give up. It's worse than that. It's much worse than that. Her head snaps back; her eyes go shut.

NoHe's done it now; he's--

The slight movement in chest evaporates, and I know it already:

She's gone.

All at once, I piece it together. She never gave in or gave up; he came out from behind the curtain and dragged her into the darkness.

A video plays on loop in my head of him extracting her from my light. Her arms flail everywhere. Noises I didn't know were possible come out of her. Then with one solitary motion, he causes her to go limp. Then he takes her freely and ventures fully into the dark.

I shake the cruel images away. It doesn't leave though, not fully.

I choke on the substance that is air. The ability to breathe has drowned out of me. The room mixes together in color as I begin to see it.

The colors swirl to form her: the woman I once knew and still love. Her soft eyes are agua; her hair is crispy brown like a leaf in the middle of Autumn, framing the side of her face in crinkled curls; and her pale lips still capture the edge of a smile.

The invisible bubble breaks as I delicately clasp her hand in mine.

"It's okay," I promise in a not-so promising voice, "I'm here now. I'm here for you."

"Bridget," her voice crackles my name.

Then I'm aware of it. The blinding light behind her, the ashen cheeks she has, the distant look of confusion in her exhausted eyes--I'm suddenly staring face-to-face with it all.

"You have to do it."

Her voice is so rugged and course that any other answer would be an impossibility.

But I can't, I think. I can't make that promise.

have to though. I know I have to. I know by not just the look in her eyes, but the way of her being, that this is not negotiable.

The trembling words escape my lips before I know their meaning. I move my lips to hover over her cheek, whisper, "I will." Then I lean down and kiss her plush cheek.

Perhaps I will never fully be able to recognize how much these words impact my life. There is no time to analyze it though, because the piercing shriek fills the air. The shriek is the signal of everything in my life collapsing--hope, fight, strength, sanity, longing, love, everything of even mild significance--because I know that when her life has finished swirling down the bathroom drain, it drags half of mine down with it.

I back away. I let go of her ice-cold hand.

It's done now; they're both somewhere down the drain. They're together. They're happy. They're probably both frolicking around in the flowers by now. I wonder if there are flowers in heaven. There has to be; everything good is up there. Her, my sister, both well, both good.

She'll will twirl Lil by her her feet. Lil will giggle that cute little laugh and hold her arms out like an airplane. They'll close their eyes, breathing in the glorious scent of fresh plant life. There will be a pond nearby. More laughter will come at the splashes they'll exchange. The water will soak their dresses as the sun beats down on them. Sun shining, water glistening, them both smiling at each other...

Yes, I'm sure of it now, I must join them. The pain should've killed me by now. I don't know why isn't hasn't.

I'm back in my bubble now, rolled in a ball, grasping for air. I close my eyes, trying to escape. I concentrate on the blackness before me, striving to reach past it.


I press my eyes tighter together in struggle.


The concentration makes my head twist in impossible ways. A light. A small light pierces through the darkness. I reach for it.




It's getting bigger now.


The whole room illuminates at once then goes dark.

No, I panic. Come back.

But it's gone. It's like it was butterfly that you creep up on, getting closer and closer to its beautiful colors. Just when you're about to capture it, it vanishes. The light was my butterfly, and it just vanished. The light was more than just my butterfly thought, it was the thread of hope that I should stop clinging onto. The thread broke; the butterfly disappeared. There is no escape.

I hear something now. It sounds like a voice, but I can't make out the words.

Maybe the light isn't gone, I hope.

I try again.


I can almost see it.


It's right before me.


I reach out and-- The room fills with light again. It doesn't vanish.

I'm beaming inside my head. I have finally caught the butterfly! I want to examine it, to take its beauty. Yet I can't, for two reasons, (1) because I'm afraid it'll fly away as soon as I un-cup my hands, and (2) because a feeling I can't place surrounds my body.

I try to get up from wherever I am; however, I find my shoulders being pushed back down with exclamations of protest. I blink a few times to clear my foggy vision.

I realize now: I am (unfortunately) still alive; the feeling that consumes me is excruciating pain; there are a bunch of strangers around me, all wearing of concern or worry; I have no clue where I am or what happened.

I must look as oblivious as I feel because the boy with the thick Irish accent provides, "You passed out."

My eyes widen in the initial shock.

I actually passed out.

I zone out. Things are being done, people are speaking to me, water is being pressed to my lips for me to sip, but my sole concentration is in my thoughts. Thankfully, the strangers seem too relieved and happy to notice.

Passed. Out.

I play the words in my skull. I can't decide on a meaning, because there are too many to grasp; I can't formulate a logical sentence, because there are too many pressing against my lips, yearning to still out; I can't breathe, because the words have driven the life out of me.

I feel like the bubble is back around me and has separated me from them with an impenetrable layer they could never comprehend. Even I fail to fully grasp the concept. Perhaps I am not meant to understand. Perhaps nobody is meant to understand. Perhaps nobody--even I--ever will.

I shake my head, ignoring everything that longs to gnaw at my brain, and focus back on reality.

"Do you remember your name?" one of the hovering lads ask me.

I take a shaky breath but reply none.

"Your name, love?" another prompts.

I don't respond. I can't respond. My brain has already been overtaken by the thought that has gnawed on me sense the beginning:

If that was just a dream, what is really happening to Lily?

Before I can help it, a tear slips from my eyes. The tear screams the answer:

I. Don't. Know.


After some of the boys kindly run over a more in-depth version of what occurred, I recall the whole incident. However, I recall the incident along with making remarks alongside about my own stupidity. It goes like this:

First, a random boy showed up on my porch--and I answered.

Why did I answer?! What idiot says 'Oh, yes! I don't know you at all, but I am totally going to answer my door right now so you could potential rob or kill me!' Nobody does that!!! No one!

Second, I said yes.

Does this really need explaining? Really?! How much of a moron can I be?! One: I left Lily. Two: I could be killed. Three: I left Lily! Four: Lily was alone. Five: Lily would not be alone for long. Six: I LEFT LILY, AND SHE WOULD NOT BE ALONE OR LONG!!!

Yup. That pretty much sums up my lack of brain.

After their recollection, they help me sit up. The blond one goes off to fetch some medicine, and others scatter off to do other trivial things like make soup and such.

While they're gone, I take the opportunity to plan out how to fix things. I have one and only one goal in mind: I must get Lily; I have to keep her safe.


The word tastes funny as I chew it over.

She's not safe, I realize. She will never be safe as long as he is there. As long as he is waiting on the other side of the curtain, the threat of a beast coming out and capturing an innocent deer is still ever present.

There is no debate about what to do, when I know the steps that must be taken. The beast cannot feast on the deer; my dad cannot torture Lilyanna.

I'm going to escape.

The only question is how. Correction: The only huge question is how.

I have no idea how, I wince. No. Idea.

I place my head in my hands--partially because it's still pounding--and try to think.

What does every good escape plan need?

I attempt to recall threads of information from any mystery book I have read before that may help. One thing does manage to surface:


The word could mean the difference between success and failure. I have to concentrate on this. It has to be good, easy, and above all, it has to be fast.

I can't just ask to leave after I accepted an invitation in; they'd get suspicious, I groan. What in the world can I do?

Before I get the chance to stumble upon an answer, the boy referred to as Liam comes into the room and plops himself right beside me.

Great, I sarcastically remark. Planning time's up.

"You okay?"


I nod yes. He smiles.

"That's good."

I fake a grin back.

"Don't worry, love," he consoles.

My eyebrows crinkle in confusion.

Why would I worr--

His next sentence provides the dreaded answer:

"They're calling you some help."

My breath hitches. I imagined the questions I wouldn't be able to answer; I imagined the concern they may have; I imagined the stinking roof falling and trapping us all--but I never imagined this.

They can't get help.

I am on the edge of panic.

They can't.

I already knows what will happen if they get help. Help means doctors. Doctors mean an examination. An examination means... I shiver at the thought.

It won't happen, I shut the thought out. I won't let it.

Liam takes my hand, gives it a friendly squeeze, let's go, and joins everyone else in the other room again.

Plan. Plan. Plan.

My brain goes into overdrive. I've already plummeted far beyond panic.

I begin to pace the room in thought. Before I can formulate any remotely effective plan, something gloriously unexpected happens.


I hear Marshmellow's barking from all the way inside the house. A huge smile appears. I have never loved that dog more than I do right now. I'm suddenly glad I let Lily adopt the big fur ball we call out pet.

I glance out the window and see confirmation of my suspicions: Lily is chasing after a rampant little fluff of white like her life depends on it.


Contrary to what one may assume, Marshmallow wasn't actually named for his fur color. About a year ago, Lily begged me for a dog for Christmas. She cried, she pleaded, she clung to my leg and promised to never let go until I got her one. Me, being the sentimental lump I am toward that little stinker, got the darn thing. Life would never be the same again. Now Marshmallow clings to Lily like it's his job to be her body guard (or as much of a body guard as the equivalent of a little piece of cotton could be).

One night, not soon after we got the dog, Lil and I were making rice crispy treats in the kitchen while dad was out. We had the ingredients all set out on the kitchen's island--rice crispy cereal, marshmallows, you know the lot. Anyways, Lil and I were about to begin constructing the concoction, when suddenly, music started playing from outside the house. By the type of music, you knew exactly what it was: the ice cream truck. We didn't really have the extra money for it, but the way Lil's face light up, I just couldn't help but to cave in.

"Come on," I sighed, leaving to retrieve my wallet from my bedroom, "let's go get some."

She squealed in excitement.


She skipped down the driveway to meet the truck on the curve while I rolled my eyes playfully and shut the door behind me, jogging lightly to catch up with her.

"What'll it be, ladies?" the man in the truck asked.

He was slightly heavier with an oversized gray shirt on that proclaimed "American Idiot" on the front in some kind of manly font. His hair was dark and cut short on both his beard and head. He reminded me of all the over characterized southern people with his features and shirt. The ones in the black-and-white movies that smoked all day and constantly mispronounced the words you and all.

After scanning the menu, my sister told him, "Strawberry shortcake, please."

I honestly don't know why she ever bothers to look at the options on ice cream; she always orders the same thing. Granted, I ordered the same as her myself, not even bothering to scan for what I normally get.

The man retreated further into the truck and came back ten seconds later with two strawberry shortcakes and napkins.

He smiled a pleasant, "Here you are."

I grinned back dutifully, took the ice creams, and paid. I handed Lily hers, and we returned to the house.

Once we returned back to the kitchen, we saw the mess that had awaited us. Lily's dog--which neither of us had been able to think of a satisfactory name for yet--had gotten ahold of the marshmallow bag. Marshmallows were everyone, and the dog was frolicking around eating them.

Probably attempting to hide the evidence before we got back, I remember thinking, crouching down to clear the mess.

Lilyanna just burst out laughing though.

"Oh, silly," she told the dog, embracing it in a hug. "You're just a big marshmallows, aren't you?

Hence the name Marshmallow was born and stuck.


I stare out the window again, pulling the blinds up just enough for me to gaze at the sight from below them. The boys I met come parading out of the house like it's their dog too. I let out a small giggle as they all fall over each other to see who can get to the fluff ball first, my sister included. He gets out all the time, but never has it been the cause of this much fun and elation.

Oh, boys, I smirk, if only you were a little less caring. Then maybe, just maybe I wouldn't have to chance out.

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