I woke, shooting straight up in bed, my lungs gasping for air until my breathing gradually started to return to normal. When I had calmed down enough that I could think rationally, I glanced around and was unsurprised to find my bedsheets tangled around my legs and my pale, almost translucent skin, covered in a light sheen of sweat that was now slightly chilled from the cool night air blowing through the window.
I lay back down and as I curled into a tight ball, the memory returned, so clear that it felt as though I was living it again.
The sound of scuffling startled me awake and I lay there for a moment waiting for the last remnants of sleep to clear so I could focus on the noises in the room below. At first I was annoyed, did my parents really have to make so much noise when they knew that I was trying to sleep up here? Within a few moments though, I began to realise that the scuffling sounds were becoming louder and louder followed by a sharp slap that echoed through the house. Hearing this left me feeling slightly concerned as to what would cause such a sound to be made.
Silently tiptoeing to my door, I quietly opened it and slipped out onto the landing.
By now I was feeling pretty worried, the sounds had intensified and I could make out someone shouting as well. As I peeked through the first floor landing, my eyes widened in horror as I took in the scene below.
My dad was in the corner of the room, tears of rage and horror streaking down his face, his arms forced behind him by a very tall heavily built man-who I realised was the source of the shouting-his eyes fixed on the sight before him. I followed his gaze and let out an inaudible gasp, my hands flying to my mouth as I stared in dismay.
My mum was curled up on the floor, her face nearly unrecognisable due to the large amount of blood pouring from a deep jagged cut in the centre of her forehead. Her lips were swollen to twice their normal size and her cheeks were puffed out and were a nasty shade of purple from the bruises that covered her face. As I continued to stare at her, my brain still trying to process the horrific images, another man approached-also very tall and muscular-and stepping up to her, he violently kicked my mum in the stomach, eliciting a shriek of pain from her lips as she recoiled away, her hands instinctively grasping her stomach. A laugh escaped from the man's lips and he rolled her over with the end of his shoe causing another groan from my mum.
"I think its time to end this, don't you agree mark? I'd say that we've had enough fun tonight."
With a maniacal glint in his eye, the man next to my mum reached into his jacket and revealed a large black gun, which he pointed directly at her forehead. He turned around to stare at my dad and without breaking eye contact, he squeezed the trigger. Blood flew up the walls and a strangled cry echoed around the room as my dad fell to his knees, his head buried in his hands.
As I saw my dad collapse into a heap, something clicked inside and stifling my own cry, I quickly scrambled back into my room. I dashed for the phone on my desk and fumbled over the numbers, desperately trying to key in the emergency number. By now I was hyperventilating and when the phone was eventually answered I could hardly speak, my words coming out in a garbled mush, meaning I had to repeat myself for the person to understand.
" Please ….please hurry, my mum has been shot…." Another noise resounded through the house and I recognised with horror that someone else had just been shot. Unable to control the cry of terror that welled inside me I began to sob into the phone.
The person on the other end was urgently trying to calm me down and after faintly hearing the shot, managed to extract my address from me before telling me that the police had been informed and were on there way as we speak. I tried to listen but the words seemed to wash over me and I crumpled to the floor, tears streaming down my face as I started to shake uncontrollably. I could distinctly hear the sounds of laughing as the two monsters below me prepared to leave. It was only when I heard the deafening crash of the front door being knocked down and the shouts of outrage from the two men-which quickly turned to yells of panic as they realised they were surrounded- that I gave in to the feelings of grief and terror coursing through me and sank into the swirling darkness of unconsciousness.
For the past two months now I had woken the same way every night, gasping or screaming in terror from the recurring memories that plagued me while I slept. I knew that these memories would forever haunt me no matter how much time had passed, which caused a violent shiver to pass through me. As I lay there I looked at my surroundings knowing that this time tomorrow I would be in a completely different environment. I took in the simple furniture-the desk and chair against the opposite wall, the bedside cabinet next to the bed-and realised that even after two months of inhabiting this room, it still felt as empty and strange as it did the first time I stepped in. I felt a twinge of apprehension for the following day- it would be the start of my new life with the Cullens, I had never met them and so tomorrow would be a new experience all around.
I could feel myself slowly drifting of to sleep, so, closing my eyes, I waited for the inevitable nightmares to begin where they had left off.