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The Night Everything Changed
Something was wrong- very, very wrong- and I had no idea what it was. I’d just finished work, and I unlocked the front door. Ignoring the police sirens that I heard, I stepped into the living room and realized that the carpet was damp. When I flicked the light switch on, I discovered that both Mr. Browne (I never got over that) and mom were on the ground- and both bleeding. Somehow, I had stepped into the river of red that was draining from my mother.
My immediate reaction was taking the shoes off and grabbing a different pair, avoiding the blood. It smelled horrible- like rust and salt… or something. Anyway, the stench was nauseating- and I actually threw up for the first time since the flu. Remembering that reminded me of Ethan and the car accident- and remembering that reminded me that I was wearing the same black shirt from that fateful day.
As soon as I finished getting sick and finding shoes, I stepped around again, noticing my mother’s necklace. When I touched the pendant, it was still fairly warm. Without thinking, I undid the clasp and slipped it beneath the shirt quickly. I didn’t know why I was taking it- like someone else was in control of my mind- but I was already walking away and heading to my room for emergency packing. The first thing I did was grab my case before I heard sirens.
Crap. I’d left my shoes there. And who had murdered the parental units? I could only come to one conclusion- Jane. I’d seen the look in those hazel eyes recently, after disappearing over the summer and coming back angrier than before. It was Jane- it had to be. There was no room for any other choice in my mind.
It was raining cats and dogs- I mean, seriously horrible weather. If I got soaked, I’d get sick. I snagged a white Volcom jacket (not the best choice when you’re on the run but the first thing I saw) and slipped it on clumsily while attempting to open the window. I got extremely lucky- I was only about three yards away when I heard my bedroom door open. I ran faster.
Where was I going? What was I doing? Was this truthfully any worse than my own life- running away with no direction or aspiration? Why was I running? I was innocent, and I knew it. So why did I run away?
The good thing about rain is that no one can tell if you’re crying. But as the rain pelted me on a late summer night, I found the action impossible. I almost felt as if I couldn’t speak again- almost. But even though I had been weakened, I had come out of it stronger than I had entered. And besides, what did my parents mean to me? I still had my father and Jaymee- I could live a happy life there too, couldn’t I?
Yes, I could call Mrs. Browne Jaymee. It was somehow easier than her ex-husband. I held onto my violin case, grateful that I had thought to pack it before work, and kept running. I’d be closer to my neighbor’s house anyway. I wouldn’t have to deal with Jane- and speaking of her, I had no idea where she was. I realized abruptly what she had probably done- killed the other parents too. Well, I’d have to get there to find out. Jane just had to take the car. (I had noticed that it was missing from its usual spot in the driveway.) Hopefully, what was starting to feel like a marathon run would somehow allow me to beat Jane there.
When I stepped into the house (after fumbling to find my keys practically forever) I knew that my hope had been useless. Careful to keep my shoes clean since I didn’t have another pair, I entered and knew that Jane had come here first. Why hadn’t I seen her entrance through my neighbor’s window while I had tended to the plants? I had had full view of the house then.
Simple- this was Jane, and Jane was no amateur. She’d probably planned this meticulously before action- as if she was out to ruin my life or something. What had I ever done to her to deserve this blame? I honestly didn’t know.
I made a quick exit again and just ran- even more aimlessly than before. Where could I go that wasn’t jail? Even I had no desire for death- not after Ethan’s sacrifice. And any amount of time in prison certainly didn’t sound fun either.
My inner instincts told me that it was a bad idea to be out here- but listening to myself tended to have negative results, so I told my head to shut up so that I could decide where to go. I only looked at the ground, but when I lifted my head, I saw a sign- a sign welcoming me to Fillmore. I had never been there, but it would be a place where I could start over- away from all this… crap. It was the only word I could think of to describe it. I couldn’t stay in Littlebrook- even if I had buried my memories, they would resurface again if I wasn’t cautious. I had to do this.
The case in my hand lent me limited strength as I debated this. A flash of lightning lit up the sky, and I halted, finally able to quit running. No, this couldn’t be the end. I couldn’t let it end this way. As pessimistic as I had become a new town meant a new chance. I wouldn’t seclude myself this time. I would be careful and either not make friends or make friends that were actually what they called themselves. Yes, this was just the start of a new beginning. I would have been on my own really soon anyway. This was for the best.
Somewhere inside me, I managed to summon the courage to do what I thought I would find impossible- I took a tentative step across the border. As I tried to go further, I realized that I had bumped into something... someone. I crammed my apology down my throat- the man in front of me overrode my words. Didn’t everyone?
“What do we have here?” I couldn’t help shuddering- not from the cool precipitation, but from his ice words. I tried stepping to the right, but my path was blocked. In confusion, I studied the man before me.
His black hair- rather lengthy but not woman-length- was shaggy and uneven. When another bolt of lightning struck, I saw the malice in the young man’s dark brown eyes- even darker than mine, not that I stare into mirrors looking at my eyes. He seemed to be in his mid-twenties- but experiences beyond his years.
“You’re mine.” The words were deadly, like a bomb. “Tonight, in place of your sister.”
My sister? I had no sister- just Jane. Despite my efforts, I didn’t have the ability to protest. I tried half-heartedly to escape futilely. The man before me, as inhumane as he seemed, laughed maliciously, cruelly, and sounded so very, very real to me. I resigned myself to the fact that everything I did ended this way- and that I had just been taken prisoner.