Time Will Destroy Us

January 20, 2009
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“Time Will Destroy Us”
A few years ago in a small little town called Hutchinson, there was a baby born in the nearby hospital. Aurora Rose Withers, a beautiful, blue eyed, brunette baby girl, was the daughter of Jack and Rae-Anne Withers. Born on August 31, 1993, Aurora was a surprise to her extended family. Jacqueline and Jackson, her older twin brother and sister, took very good care of her.

Aurora, Jacqueline, and Jackson grew up together peacefully until one fateful Monday afternoon. Aurora, at the time, was only five years old while the twins were almost sixteen. When the twins got home from school that day they came in to find their beautiful mother lying unconscious on the floor, a pill bottle in hand. Jackson quickly ran to the phone and dialed

Jacqueline, in shock, yelled to her brother, “Where’s Aurora?” Jacqueline started running into all the rooms. “Aurora! Aurora, where are you?” Jacqueline finally went into the little girl’s room to find Aurora hiding in a corner in her closet clutching her baby blanket and her favorite stuffed cat named silver.

Several years later, the memory still haunts the now fifteen year old Aurora. She looks at herself in the mirror as she brushes her short brown hair and she vividly remembers the horror of seeing her mother lying on the floor looking almost dead, not knowing what to do, and running off to hide because she got scared. Maybe, she thinks as she gets ready for bed, maybe that’s why mom doesn’t love me or help me out, because I didn’t help her. She completes her bedtime routine by downing a few Benadryl to help take the edge off of her rough day. She climbs into bed already half asleep and drifts off into what she hopes will be a dreamless sleep.

She thought she had been asleep for days when she woke up to voices yelling at each other. She looked over at her alarm clock which blinked 4:00 A.M. angrily at her in red. Kind of looks like blood if you stare at it long enough she thought as she tried to decide whether to get up or try to fall back asleep. She decided to get up and take a long, hot shower. She rolled out of bed and walked out into the hallway. The bathroom is so far away. She decided to go for a little detour into the kitchen to see what was wrong before she took a shower.

In the hallway she heard her mother scream, “All you need is time?” She paused to compose herself, “If you get any more time, all you’ll end up with is jail time!”

Jacqueline yelled back at her, “Mom, just shut up!”

Aurora walked in just in time to see her older sister, and now current hero, slap her mother across the face.

“Jacqueline Rae!” Her father’s voice boomed through the whole house, “Don’t you ever treat your mother like that! Do you-”

Jackson interrupted her dad’s finishing point, “Like what, dad? Huh? Like the way you treat mom?” He paused when he saw Aurora, but decided to continue anyways, “We see you hit mom and push her around! Yeah, we know how you treat her!”

Uh-oh, Jackson is a dead man now. Aurora now feared for her brother’s life as well as her mother and sister’s.

“Jackson Anthony!” Her mother started, but didn’t finish because Jack was already on top of his son hitting him as hard as he could.
Aurora didn’t have time to think before she realized that she was in front of Jackson trying to protect him from her father. Before she knew what was happening, Jack Withers was holding his precious little girl against the wall by her throat.
She started to black out and realized her feet weren’t touching the floor. “Aurora. Rose. Withers.” He paused between each word making them sound like threatening sentences, and adding more fear into her mind. She could barely hear her father over the loud beating of her heart. It was almost a constant thrum because she was so afraid. “Don’t you ever,” He paused to calm himself, “Jump between your brother and I, or it will be you next time instead of that worthless boy!” She started to black out and realized her feet weren’t touching the floor when her father finally let go of her. She fell to the floor with a thud, rubbing her throat and gasping for air. She stood up slowly. Her whole body was trembling and it was hard for her to stand up and walk to the bathroom to take a shower. When she got to the bathroom she slammed the bathroom door behind her.
When she arrived at school the first thing on her mind was to find James, her boyfriend. It wasn’t hard for her to find him. James had dark hair and thick facial hair and stood a hair taller than everyone else at the school. He was by his locker talking to a few of his friends. He looked up and saw her standing at the end of the hallway. He said bye to his friends and walked towards Aurora. She clung to him as he enclosed her in his arms. His sideburns brushed her forehead as she looked up into his loving chocolate brown eyes. She hadn’t realized she was crying until he wiped away a tear that was rolling down her cheek.
When he spoke his voice scared her, “What happened to your neck?” She looked away when he asked her that.
Instead of answering him she just said, “Let’s go somewhere where we can talk in private.”
They walked outside into the cold, snowy December day to his brand new black Ford Focus and got inside. James started the car and asked, “Aurora, where do you want to go?”

“Honestly, I don’t really care.” They drove around for fifteen minutes before stopping at a park. James left the car turned on to keep it warm. Aurora stared out the window. Why can’t everything be this peaceful and quiet? Why can’t everything be as beautiful as a snowy day? James looked at her waiting for her to answer the question he had asked before they left.
When she didn’t say anything he spoke up. “Babe, what happened to your neck?”
She talked very quietly while she answered, “It’s all my fault,” She stopped and tried to hold back tears, but she failed and just let them go. She cried for five minutes until she was able to finish her story. “I shouldn’t have run in front of Jackson.”
James interrupted her before she could finish, “Your- Your father did that to you?”
“James, you cannot tell anyone about this.”
“Aurora, you have to let me try to-”
“No!” She cut him off before he could continue, “No! No one can help me or anyone else in my family!”
“Aurora,” He started slowly, “All I want to do is love, help, and protect you.” He paused and she started to say something but he started before she could get the first word out. “No, Aurora, you won’t let me help you and I’m done with this! I’m sick of you not letting me try to protect you! I’m done with us!”
“James,” She could barely get his name out because tears threatened to pour out at any second, “I’m sorry. I love you and I know you want to protect me,” She paused, “But he’s still my dad.”
James backed out of their parking space and headed back to the school, neither of them saying anything. They got back to school right before the first bell rang.
Before Aurora had a chance to walk away, James said, “I just need some time.”
She put her hand on his arm and said, “The only thing that time will do, is destroy us.” She walked away from him and out the door. She walked the mile and a half home in the snow back to her house.
When she got to her house, she unlocked the door. Thank god, She thought, I’m the only one home. She walked inside and went to Jacqueline’s room. She silently shut the door even though no one was home. She opened the closet and felt around on the floor for the loose floor board. She pulled it up and pulled out her sister’s stash of drugs. She rummaged through it trying to decide what she wanted. She decided on marijuana. Aurora rolled and lit the blunt, took a few hits, put it out, and took it with her into her room. She opened her desk drawer and took out her lock box and set it on the floor. Aurora knelt down in front of her mattress and felt around for the key. When she found it she unlocked the lock box and took out her pill bottle and set it on her nightstand. There was an unopened bottle of water on her nightstand that she opened and took ten sleeping pills. A few minutes later, she was very calm and tired. She sat down on the bed as she picked up a blade, rolled up her sleeve, and opened a vein in her wrist. Aurora cut three more times and let the blood drip into the lock box. It pooled onto her journal. She didn’t let the cuts bleed too long. The blood dipped onto her alarm clock as she reached for a tissue to put on the cuts and soak up the blood that was still gushing out of her veins. She stood up to go to the bathroom to clean it when she fell back onto the bed and passed out.
Unconsciousness. It feels like you’re floating in an ocean of blackness. Floating near the surface she heard voices. James. Loud noises. More voices. One? Maybe more? She couldn’t tell. Before she could figure it out, she was pushed back down into the blackness.
Aurora woke up confused in her room. She didn’t know what time it was, let alone what day it was. What happened? Does anyone know where I am? Does anyone even care? How did I?- She looked over at her alarm clock that now had blood dried to it; she could barely tell what time it was because the color of the numbers were the same color as the blood. She looked over to see James sitting on the floor across the room holding his head in his hands. She could her him sobbing. She started to say something to him but when she opened her mouth no sound came out. He looked up to see her looking at him. He stood up and walked across the room to her. She could now hear sirens in the background and realized that he must have found her.
Aurora looked up at him “James,” She tried to say his name but it was very hoarse. She didn’t even recognize her own voice. Didn’t we break up earlier? If we did, then why is he here? She couldn’t remember what had really happened before she came home. She was going in and out of consciousness.
James walked over to her bed and talked to her as she came back out of the blackness. “Shhh. You don’t have to say anything.” He stopped and waited for her to come back to the surface.
When she came back she was awake enough to ask, “Why are you here?”
“I felt bad for what I said to you so I decided to come here and see if you were okay.”
Before she could think about him seeing her like that, she asked a more important question, “James, where are my parents?”
James paused before answering her question, “I-I really don’t know. I tried calling them but they never answered.”
She stared at him in total disbelief, “So, what’s going to happen to me?”
“Well, I called 9-1-1 and you’ll probably have to stay at the hospital……”
He said more but she couldn’t tell what it was as she was pushed further into the darkness than ever before.
She woke up in a hospital confused. She looked around the room to find James. He looks so uncomfortable. Why is he sleeping in that chair?
She coughed involuntarily, accidentally awaking James. Startled awake, he fell out of the chair and scrambled to get back up. He walked over to her, tears rolling down his face as well as hers. She couldn’t stop crying. Must be the drugs they’ve got me on.
Aurora, finally able to stop crying began, “So…I take it that you were the one who found me?”
He looked at her with tears in his eyes. “Aurora, it was- It was just horrible seeing you there on the floor. I didn’t know what to do at first. I was so scared. My head finally cleared up enough that I called 9-1-1.” She felt a tear roll down her face as she stared at him. She watched as a tear slipped from his eye down his face. Had she ever seen him cry? She leaned forward to wipe the tear away. She didn’t get far when pain shot through her body. She winced in pain but fought it to reach James’ face.
“James please don’t cry. I’m fine now. I’m going to be okay.”
“Aurora, it’s not that. Seeing you on the floor and in this room, it’s reminded me of how much I love you and how much I want to be with you.”
“I love you too, James.”
“Aurora,” He looked deep in her blue eyes before continuing, “Aurora, can we please try again. Us, I mean.”
She looked at him like she was seeing him for the first time, “Yes, James, of course we can try again.” She wanted to lean forward, hug him, and never let him go.
James quietly asked her “Can you promise me one thing?”
“Yeah, what is it?” She didn’t know what to expect from him after all that she had put them both through.
He looked at her with the most solemn face she had ever seen on him and she had to look away from him as he talked to her “Never, ever do that again.”
“James, I really want to keep that promise, but you have to help me.”
He kissed her and then said, “I will do everything in my power to help you. But for now, it’s you and me against the world forever.” She smiled and kissed him back.
He hugged her and whispered softly in her ear, “I love you, and I never want to lose you. I never want to feel the way I felt when I saw you lying on your bed and thought that you were dead.”
She pulled away from his embrace to look at him and spoke quietly trying to hide the sadness in her voice, “I love you to, and I never want you to feel like that ever again.

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