The past two years have been really tough, honestly, I say two years but my grasp on time feels foggy as of late. My sister and I graduated from high school but didn’t move on as most normal kids would. There were no part-time jobs, cute prom dates or thoughts of university.
It wasn’t so much that we weren’t allowed but fear of leaving each other behind and a mixture of low self-esteem. The fear of leaving felt justified when my mother was murdered, our stepfather had always been controlling and abusive but murder was something we had never considered.
Maybe it was a form of Stockholm syndrome, I’m not sure. I try not to dwell on the past as it hurts too much. The murder was brutal, I found it hard to believe all that blood came from one person. Admittedly, some of it came from me and I have the scars on my face as proof.
I miss her, I really do and it makes it all that much harder to move on with my life. I don’t know what I could have done differently but I know that I could have done better. My sister and I were without any extended family or close friends you may call Aunty or Uncle. The only silver lining was that we owned the house and continued to live in it.
It sounds crazy when I put those words to paper but where else would we go? The house was cleaned by a group of workers in hazmat suits. They reminded me of something straight out of a science fiction movie. You know when the alien falls from space and they are worried about some new space disease?
I guess it’s similar right? Our house was a crash site and the situation left behind is alien to most of humanity. Sorry, I’m rambling, I don’t talk too many people. Everything had been covered in blood so we didn’t have much furniture, the hazmats took it all.
My sister stayed with me in the house for a while but she mostly stared at the walls or paced the house. I think she was more broken up about it then I was but I guess we all heal differently. My sister started to speak with me but our conversations were few and far in between.
She would do most of the talking and I would just listen. I don’t know what got into her but one night she said it wasn’t right that either of us stayed in the house and she wanted me to move on.
It was in her words “morbid and sad to say the least”.
She said she could no longer stay with me and needed to find peace outside of this sad existence. I tried to stop her, I begged and tried holding onto her as she was leaving but it was no use.
She walked out the door and left me alone, I watched from the hallway as the headlights from her car filled the house and signaled her departure. I was left alone, really alone. I cried for days, I cursed her and myself for staying.
I ended up with some roommates that my sister had organised. She didn’t even ask me about it, I knew I couldn’t pay the bills but it was my house too. I didn’t understand how she could leave me with this family.
A symbol of what we had lost and would never regain. Sometimes I’d just watch them living their lives and imagine it as my own. There was a mother and her daughter who was a few years younger than I. My imaginary life had me as the mother of a teenager.
I had so much love inside of me but no one to give it to. No one loved me anymore and I think that’s why I wanted to love and care for another so badly. I made desperate attempts at building a relationship with my new roommates but I was just some scarred, emotionally damaged girl with a dead mother who they ignored.
The only positive of having them around was that I didn’t need to work to pay the rent. I could endure my solitude without having to fear the outside world. I’d been an insomniac since the incident and didn’t sleep all that much during the night.
The teenager, Michaela never left her room but she was up all night too. Sometimes I would watch the light shining from under her door and debated whether I should talk to her. I knew it was late but I only really walked around the house at night when everyone was asleep.
Most days I’d feel so alone that it hurt but there was a sense of safety in my bubble. I didn’t want to add the rejection of my new roommates to that list. Eventually, after weeks of agonising over it I finally knocked on her door and tried to make friends.
At first, she thought it was her mother, I opened the door with a weak smile and opened my mouth to talk with her but she screamed at me so loudly that I ran away. I should have known better, I was just another tragic story.
Someone you’d see on Dr. Phil put on display for everyone to point at and tell how brave and amazing they were. How many people would actually befriend that person? Would you go to coffee with a girl who has scars that give the impression they might burst apart at any moment? You’d probably say yes in an effort to look compassionate in front of your peers.
But if I asked you in an empty room the reality would be much different.
After that night, the sadness I felt turned to anger. They lived in my house and treated me like I was nothing. I was sick of being alone, I was sick of being like this.
I’d never done anything people would deem “bad” before. I’d never stolen, barely ever lied and was raised to sit quietly and keep my mouth shut. I had to start small with my revenge so I could build up to a grand finale.
At first, it was small things, I pulled a fish from the fridge and hid it in Michaela’s room. For days I watched her try to find the smell. I laughed as she gagged while her mother scolded her for leaving food in her room and forgetting about it.
I stepped it up and started stealing things from her room, I’d hide them in my closet and sat with a smug look as she looked for it. I stole the mother’s jewellery too but I flushed it down the toilet. My mother never had nice jewellery so why should Michaelas? Some nights, I’d knock on her door and make scary faces when she opened it.
In a sick way, her screams felt like encouragement. Her mother would scream at me to stop it but she still couldn’t make eye contact with me. I was too ugly for her and it was too late to stop it now. I continued this for months, don’t ask how many.
They were scared of me and their fear felt much better than the rejection.
Eventually, they hit a breaking point and I heard Michaela’s mother on the phone to the real estate agent. I was ecstatic and sure my sister would come back soon, if not to stay then at least to visit me.
She never visited me. Knowing that they might be leaving soon, I pulled all the plates they had out of the cupboard and started smashing them. The mother rushed out of her room and screamed at me to stop.
I screamed at her as loudly as I could to leave and she scrambled to find her car keys as I held the last plate above my head. Michaela screamed for her mother who rushed her out of the door. Admittedly, I had gone too far but that didn’t stop a smile spreading across my face.
After two days they returned with a moving truck and a greasy looking man in a suit. I figured it was her lawyer and hid in my room when I heard her scream something at the grease ball in the suit that confused me.
She screamed, “A family was murdered here?”.