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I smiled as a warm breeze woke me up form a deep sleep. Then as soon as the smile had come it was gone. I had nothing to be happy about. I lived in the house that previously held my family and I, or at least the old me, the one that could have smiled when “she” woke up, the one who played soccer, had many great friends, loved to wear dresses and obsessed over boys giggling with my friends.
But that was me before everything happened. Now I don’t smile and wouldn’t be caught laughing. Whenever my friends try and get in touch with me I just ignore all the calls or texts. I don’t care about boys, soccer or dresses anymore. I now think of only sadness, hurt and guilt, with no way to get it out.
I get out of bed and walk past the mirror that hangs on the wall. I see a girl that I used to know. A girl with fiery red hair, tall with a petite face that all fit together perfectly. I used to spend long periods of time in front of this mirror making sure everything was perfect, but now my hair is pulled back into a tight and messy bun. I used to love having these blue eyes that would sparkle but now they look like the deepest ocean floor full of sadness and guilt.
I should have died along with them. But I just had to go to that stupid party. No matter how many times mom and dad said no.
“You never let me do anything ugh!” Those were the last words I ever said to my parents. I snuck out that night and went to the party. But when I got home. I will never forget that moment. I had walked in all giddy from having fun at the party and I was very careful. I didn’t even give a thought that the front door hadn’t been locked.
I had quietly run up to my room only to see my parents bedroom light on. Scared to get caught I ran and put my pajamas on. Messed up my hair a little to make it look like I had been sleeping and walked in. I still can’t get that image out of my head. Mom, dad and my brother Matt. All lying on the floor hand and feet bound and gagged with a small towel. And the worst was the blood. So much blood. And as if the sight of it all over the walls, floor and bed wasn't bad enough the smell was indescribable, I don’t know how I had missed it on the way to my room. For some reason my mind switched off and I grabbed trash bags and turned on the water in the tub. I threw ‘them’ all away and scrubbed the floor clean. I got rid of everything. And when I was done you couldn’t even smell they vile stench that they had reeked of.
After everything was gone I pulled my hair in a bun and got in the car. I called Mike, my other brother and Matt's twin. Only some of their closest friends and family could tell them apart. They were in 8th grade while I was a sophomore. Mike had gone to a friends for the night. “What do you want?” said a groggy Mike.
“I’m coming to get you now, get ready don’t ask questions, make up some excuse to get out of there now.” Sensing the urgency in my voice he sounding very scared said,
“Ok... see you soon” When I pulled up the front door was open and Mike and his friends mom was walking to the car.
“I think he will be okay he might just have had to much to eat” She said.
“yea thanks” Mike got in and she stepped away from the car and I pulled out.
“Liz?” Mike whispered, “whats going on? Is everything ok?” I didn’t know what to say so I just sat there silently until we got home. When we walked in the house I flicked on the lights and burst out crying. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Mikes face become pale white, “Lizzy,” Mike called me by my childhood name, I didn’t remember the last time he had called me that, and it made me cry even harder.
“I-I didn’t know what to do, I just I- I had to I didn’t know what to do...”
“Liz what is going on I’m so confused, take a deep breathe and explain.” I took two deep breathes and started to speak.
“Remember the party?”
“Well I snuck out and when I got home-” I did m best not to cry but it was hard. “I cleaned it all up...”
“Cleaned what all up?” he looked so scared.
“Mom,Dad and Matt”
“Wait they-” All of a sudden his face turned green and he ran to the bathroom. I walked to the couch and sat down waiting for him while he vomited. When he came back I motioned for him to sit down next to me and we sat there together silently crying until Mike finally said, “What are we gonna do? Should we call the police?”
“No! We can’t tell the police Mike do you know what would happen? They would take us apart, I would never see you again! I can’t lose you too.” I started to cry again. Mike looked at me with sad eyes,
“Liz, then what are we gonna do?
“Well we are gonna stay here, and we aren't gonna tell anyone, we won’t leave the house unless we have to.”
“Ok so now what?”
“Well we should check on food and we could go stock up tonight so no one we know will be there and we can search the house to find any money we have too, remember we have the credit cards and all the stuff in the bank too. Hey are you alright?” Mike looked at me and then he hugged me and said,
“We still have each other don’t we?” And I hugged him back so tight never wanting to let him go, afraid that if I did I would lose him too. “Ok lets get to this” He sounded so normal like everything was ok, he was trying to be strong, for me. I looked at Mike. He saggy brown hair was out of place as always, he was tall for his age, and loved sports, we used to play soccer together all the time even though his best sport was basketball because of his height. He looked just like Matt and it was sometimes hard for even me to tell them apart.
But the one thing was different about Mike tonight, his brown eyes that usually shined with laughter were dark like a dark brown mud, full of sadness and despair, I don’t know how it would feel to lose your twin it would be like losing half of yourself. I couldn’t imagine.
So he went and checked the kitchen while I went through every room and found every cent I could possibly find. Mike made a list of food we would need for the next few months which included:
When I saw it if I hadn't know what had happened, then I would have known something was wrong he didn’t have any surgery snack food on the list at all. I found 4 credit cards, and $1767 in cash, my parents always kept some cash in the house for an emergency. I would look online later to find out how to get into the accounts online and everything.
We both got in the car and by then I realised how late it was, it was 1:30 in the morning. When I pulled up to the grocery store neither of us moved.
“Ok grab what you think we need and put it in a shopping cart and meet me at the front ok then we will go through it and buy what we need, ok?”
“Deal” Then we both got out of the car and ran. On any other normal circumstance this would have been fun but this was not a normal circumstance, and we grabbed exactly what we needed. When we were finished we bought everything in the two carts which came up as a total of $234.58 I paid with one of the credit cards and we were gone.
When we got back to the house we put away all the food silently each enveloped in our own thoughts. After everything was put away I sat down and looked at Mike he walked upstairs and went to his room. After a few minutes of just sitting there in a daze I slowly got up and went upstairs. Mike’s door was closed so I put my ear up to it to see if he was sleeping, I didn’t hear anything so I quietly opened the door.
Mike and Matt shared a room because they were twins their room was always half a disaster and half perfectly clean. Mike wouldn’t clean his side if you payed him and he wouldn’t let anyone else touch it either. Matt’s half of the room though was always in absolute perfect shape, never even a sock out of place.
But tonight as I looked at Mike’s side with his laundry all over the floor and Matt’s perfect side, I saw Mike laying in Matt’s perfect bed his face wet from tears. His eyes were closed. Usually Mike looked peaceful when he slept but tonight he looked worried and scared even in his sleep. I quietly closed the door behind me and went to my room. I cried myself to sleep that night as I have every night ever since.
It had been 3 weeks since then and Mike and I hadn’t left the house since we had gone to the store on that horrible night. I had found all the money looked online at bank accounts and everything with money was being handled, I was even ready to pay the bills on time. I had emailed, from my fathers email, his resignation and I had stopped talking to all my friends. My phone remained permanently off as did Mike’s. The only phone that ever rang was the home phone, and every time it did Mike and I would sit silently, waiting for the voicemail were we would hear our family.
“Hi you have reached” my dad would start,
“the Hill’s” my mom would finish,
“we aren't here now” Mike would say,
“but leave a message” Matt stated,
“and we’ll call you back as soon as we can!” I finished. Those were the moments in my days that I looked forward to the most, and day by day we had been getting less and less calls.
I walked downstairs and paused as I looked at my parents closed bedroom door. I felt like I should cry but the tears had gone away a long time ago. They just wouldn’t come anymore as sad as I was. As I walked into our brightly green colored kitchen, I saw Mike sitting at the table staring at a bag of chips. Mike and I didn’t talk much anymore after that night, only when we absolutely had to.
“We need more food.” he stated blankly
“No way we have tons...” I started to argue then opened the pantry. Nothing. The fridge. Empty. “I guess we have to go to the store.” But neither of us moved.
“We can’t let people see us.” he looked up at me, his eyes glazed over not a single emotion in them.
“We can go tonight. No one we know goes out that late anyway, plus we can drive a little ways out of town, were no one from here shops.” I said and it almost sounded normal as if this was something everyone said.
“Fine.” He then got up and walked out without a sound. All that was left was an unopened bag of chips on the table.
I sat there for a few minutes just sitting there. I then jumped up and ran out the front door. It was a beautiful bright summer day. I looked around not having been outside since The Night. I looked around, we lived by a small town, a little bit further away from everyone else though. Out in a wide spreed of five acres of trees. It was perfect, we were near town and the rest of the fast moving home but also worlds away on our property.
I stood there taking it all in. And then I started to run. I past all the trees that sored into the sky, I ran away from my house and my brother, all my worries. I ran away from the world. Then I turned around and ran all the way back home. I couldn't just run away from my life. From my brother, the only family I had left.
When I got back though there was a car in the driveway. A police car. The lights off and no one in the car. I sprinted to the house and flung open the door. Standing right in the center of our living room, was a policemen.
I stopped dead in my tracks.