I know, I give you one chapter and then I disappear. I know you've heard it all before, but real life comes first. I can't promise a time frame of when I will update. Just know that I won't let this go as long as last time. Thanks for reading if you're still around! I won't continue to put a disclaimer, just let it be known: I do not own the characters or lyrics, but the plot is mine.

The gates are open, my eyes are wide -
Burning the candle that keeps me alive
Going in blind, going in blind,
The waters cold, cold, cold murder,
So bring it back to me, bring it back to me and take me in...

"I guess that's how this all begin. The day I met Jane. She's my best friend. We've been through so much together." I said while continuing to look out the window.

"And when did the drugs start?"

Taking a long drag from my cigarette, I thought back and my knee started bouncing. "Before Jane even came into the picture. Two years before."

"Bella! The new neighbors asked if you could babysit this evening. I have a meeting with a few friends. Your sister will be asleep, so..." My mother waited for a response. She knew already, it's not like I could tell her no. I learned long ago not to even try.

"Do you want me to bring Bree with me?"

"No need to worry about her, she'll be fine," my mother said before closing her bedroom door.

I sighed and went to my room in order to pack a bag for the night. I was nervous leaving Bree home alone, but there was nothing I could do. I couldn't go against my mother. For the millionth time I wished my father was still here with us. But, he remarried and had a new family.

Bree walked into my room with a doll in her hand, "Hi, Bella! Can you play dolls with me? I'll let you be the mommy. You're always a good mommy. Please?" she asked, coming over to my bed.

I reached out for her and she came into my arms. Stroking my fingers through her long brown hair, I kissed her forehead, preparing to hurt her again. I hated telling her no, but I really needed to get her in the tub if I was going to make it to the neighbor's on time. Mom wouldn't like me being late. "Sorry, Bree. Mom's going out for a while tonight. We need to get you a bath now, so we have time for a book."

She whispered, "Again?" I gave her a sad smile, "Okay. I'll get my jammies ready."

I whispered back, "If you hurry, we might have time to add some bubbles!"

As soon as she fell asleep, I walked next door to the Volturi's house. They just recently moved in and had two children - Chelsea who's three and a baby boy named James. Seeing them outside a few times I felt comfortable doing this as their children seemed well behaved. I rang the bell and waited.

Mrs. Volturi opened the door, "Bella, thanks for coming," she gave me a smile and waved me in. "James just had a bottle and should be fine until after we're back. Mr. Volturi is in the process of tucking Chelsea in, so you should have a quiet night."

"That sounds good. I brought my homework and a book. Do you have an idea what time you will be back?" I was nervous leaving Bree for too long.

"We should be back by eleven. I have to work in the morning. Here's the number to where we'll be," she finished as Mr. Volturi walked up to us.

"All set, hon. We'll see you in a few hours, Bella," Mr. Volturi gave me a pat on the arm.

After they walked out the door, I locked up and sat on the couch, ready to do my Math homework. The next few hours went by fast and I didn't even notice falling asleep on the couch until I heard talking coming from the other room.

Rubbing my eyes, I stood and followed the voices into the kitchen. Mr. Volturi was sitting at the table, talking with another man. The man looked up and smiled at me. I walked further into the room and saw Mr. Volturi with what looked a rolled up paper, which he held to his nostril while a line of white powder was on the table in front of him.

Mr. Volturi looked up and waved me over. "Marc, this beautiful young lady here is our babysitter, Bella. Isn't she lovely?" He grabbed my hand and pulled me into his lap. I was nervous and knew this was wrong, but I still needed to get the money for babysitting. My mother wouldn't be happy if I came home without it. Besides, Mr. Volturi was a nice man with kind eyes.

"Yes, she certainly is lovely. Would you like some of this, sweetheart?" He held out another rolled paper. Something was telling me this was wrong, but they both had big smiles on their faces and seemed so happy. I didn't want to make them upset.

"Go on, Bella. It'll make you feel really nice," Mr. Volturi said while rubbing my back. He leaned down, put the paper to his nose and repeated what I'd seen him doing a minute ago. He sat back and wiped off some powder left on his nose. He closed his eyes and smiled.

I looked back at Marc and he gave me an encouraging nod. I took a deep breath, exhaled and copied Mr. Volturi. The powder burned a little, but the burn quickly gave way to a warm feeling. My heart seemed to speed up, and I felt nice, just like they told me I would. My head felt like I was floating.

"Nice isn't it?" Marc asked. I jumped, realizing he was now standing next to me, hand on my arm and winking at me. Mr. Volturi had moved a hand to my knee and was rubbing circles with his palm. His hand slowly inched up and-

I screamed and grabbed a book off the table in front of me, hurling it across the room. I felt a pinch in my right upper arm and then she was speaking into the phone, "A little help in here, please," she hung up the phone, sat back down, speaking to me in a soft, calming voice. I felt the drug coursing through my veins and my harsh breathing slowed and my whole body started to relax. And while the drug always took quickly, bleeding into me with its calming effect, what they didn't realize, what she didn't realizeā€¦it didn't stop the past, my past from slamming its ugly fist into my brain. Nothing ever did.