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I remember the softness of her hair. It was golden, at least that’s how I remember it. Her beautiful face almost always smiling. It seems like I’m looking at her through water, through a filter, and I just want to remove it, to be with her again.
“Hazel, wake up, you have to leave in 20 minutes.” That’s my dad. Never waking me up at a reasonable time. I jump out of my bed, knocking my stack of magazine to the already messy floor. I leave them there as I dash around my room grabbing clothes. All exhaustion leaves my body, for now, I know very well it will return first hour. I check myself in the mirror, making sure I look like I didn’t get dressed in the dark. I did a good job for suck short notice. I grab my bag, feeling the weight of the textbook, and unfinished homework. I sigh and march downstairs. My dad sits in his reclining chair in the living room at the bottom of the stairs, drinking coffee, something he got addicted to recently.
“Save any coffee for me?” I asked jokingly as I grabbed a granola bar from the kitchen. We both know that coffee makes me sick.
I step outside, the cold hair flipping my hair around, and I remember I need to put makeup on. I climb into my red car with old written all over it. I pull some of my just-in-case makeup out of the console. I applied it professionally fast, tossed them back where I got them, and started the car. I drove down the street, flicking through radio stations for anything good.
“Did you wake up late?” Rosalyn leaned over in her seat towards me, whispering loudly. First hour was going way to slow for me, and I had my head on my desk, trying to keep my eyes open.
“Yes, leave me alone,” I groaned. Rosalyn was nosey, really nosey. She was in everyone’s business 24-7. I heard her huff dramatically and turn to talk to the girl who shared a table with her.
“Hazel. Are we having trouble staying awake? Do we need to stand in by our seat instead of sit?” Mrs. Broil’s voice called out from the white board where she was working out a problem.
“No,” I lifted my head up, my hands running through my hair fixing it. I glanced around to find people looking at me, some were smirking, well the smirkers were the nerds who made fun of you when you got a problem wrong. The closest one to me sat right in front of me, Renata Argot. Her black framed glasses were perched on the end of her nose, her dull brown hair in two tight braid on either sides of her head.
“Turn around before I yank one of ya braids,” I grumbled at her. She made a face at me and turned back to face the board.
I slammed the front door behind me, dropping my bag on the little bench by the door. My dad would be at work. I remember when I was in like fifth grade, I would come home to my mom taking care of Talia, my baby sister. Now I came home to an empty home. I walked into the kitchen, listening to my echoing footsteps. I noticed my dad’s favorite picture, the one of me, my mom, and Talia. I stared at it and I remember the hot summer day.
“I’m taking Talia over to Grandma‘s house, you can stay here. I‘ll only be 10 minutes,” my mom was putting on 2 year old Talia’s little sandals. I was excited to stay home all by myself, finally.
“Ok! I will be ok!” I was grinning and my mom gave me a hug, then she and Talia left. Only minutes later, my mom’s car broke down on the country road to my Grandma’s farm. Her phone had no service. She waited ten minutes before she decided she would start walking to Grandma’s, only half a mile or so away, but a car was heading towards them. It pulled to the side and someone got out. Whoever got out of that car killed my mom, left her body there on the side of the road by her car, and kidnapped my sister. I like to believe they kept Talia for themselves, and that she was alive and well.
I stared at the picture feeling tears well up inside of me. Why did this happen to them? To them of all people. Why did this have to happen to anyone? Why?