1. Prologue: 13 Years Old
Irwin had to remind herself to breath even though it felt as if a brick was lying across her chest. She closed her eyes and took a breath through her nose but she didn't let it out, she let it sit inside her stirring her feeling like a tornado. She couldn't place what she felt; anger, sadness, relief. She let out a shaking sob as she sat in her closet with fresh blood blossoming on her forearm. She could hear her mother's cries from the room next to her even with her doors closed. Her brick walls didn't seem so thick anymore. They seemed to become paper thin, deteriorating away with every sob.
Irwin finally came out of her closet and put on a sweater. She wiped her tears and opened her bedroom door. Taking all her courage with her she walked into her mother's room. Irwin laid down next to her mother letting her body sink into the mattress and pulled her into a side embrace. She prayed that her strength would somehow be given to her mother. She laid there as minutes turned to hours; she finally felt her mother's body relax and lull into a slumber.
Irwin got out of the bed and settled into her own. Her hands found the blanket she had had since she was a child. She squeezed the blanket tightly and placed it to her cheek that was stained with tears. She prayed again; she clasped her hands together so tightly that her fingernails formed crescent shaped carvings into her skin. To Irwin, it started to feel like her faith was all she had. After all, how could someone so young be so brave on their own.