I stood there, clutching my small bag as tight as I was clutching onto the memories. The lady walking in front of me had a sad smile, the kind that had seen too much pain but still held on to hope. I liked this lady, the way she looked at me made me feel like she looked past my situation and saw right into my soul. There were kids everywhere, and they all had the same, tired look in their eyes. Did I look like this too? I hadn’t slept in almost three days. Sleep brought out the monsters, and I knew I needed to keep them as far away as possible. Sometimes they came around even when I wasn’t sleeping. They were loud, loud enough to shake my whole body. They clouded my vision, made my mind race and wander to awful things.
When we arrived at the door, the lady gave me a sweet smile and led me inside. The room was colorful, it reminded me of happy summer days. But then everyone began asking me questions, and it turned into a rainy, stormy day. It was constant looks of pity, constant attempts at understanding what should have just been left alone. I understood what happened, but these people didn’t. I wasn’t mad at the driver of the other car. They merely tipped the scale, what happened after was completely out of anyone's hands. I think the tracks from the tires on my mothers car are still on the road. I still remember the drive to the hospital, my dad’s knuckles white from holding on to the steering wheel like it was the only stable thing he had left. Which I guess was accurate. I didn’t cry when I first heard the news. I didn’t cry when I saw my mother lying there, looking like she’d fall apart at just the sound of my father’s cries. I didn’t cry when I held her hand for the last time. But that night I let the tears fall, for hours and hours, until I was empty. After that, I didn’t cry anymore. My soul was empty of all emotions, and I knew I was too young to want to die, but I felt that way anyways. My father, however, was old enough to feel that way. And even after all his tears, I guess he still wasn’t empty. Because his soul wasn’t empty, instead it was filled with the awful monsters I now experience. I’ll never forgive myself that I wasn’t enough to leave the monsters behind, to not let them take over. Each day was worse than the day before. I knew what was coming. But I clung on to the sliver of hope still left. Funny thing is, though, that hope kills.
My father’s funeral was only 12 days after my mother’s. I sat in the first pew, looking down at my folded hands and praying to God that I wouldn’t end up in that casket for the same reason my father did. My head was filled with awful memories now, playing like a slideshow. My mother’s wrecked car, her wrecked body, the wrecked mind of my father. His gun, lying on the floor, his body lying right beside. I understand what happened, I understand the pain. But I will never understand why I couldn’t fill the empty spaces.