When I was younger, I wasn’t read all of the fairy tales that most other children were read before bedtime; the ones with handsome princes in shining armor, the wolf and the child in red, of the animals that talk and the little seven men. No, I was never read those stories. I never had the love and adoration that most children got from their parents. No family trips, no being tucked in at night, and definitely I never got told “good job sweetie,” or “I love you”. No, I never got any of that. My dad walked out on my family when I was only four, and when he was there, he abused me and my younger sister Elizabeth. My mom had a major drinking problem and she’d come home late at night drunk, and with one of her many boyfriends. So, when I was just a child myself, I had to learn to take care of one. My little sister Elizabeth was three years younger than I was, and I taught her everything I knew. I raised her, I read her the bedtime stories, I bathed her and got her food, and I made sure that she was loved. We both realized from a very young age that we were not wanted in this world by our parents, and none of our relatives had come to claim us. We used to make up stories when we were a bit older, about how we were princesses and one day, someone would come to our house telling us that out mother and father had been searching everywhere for us; that we would live in a castle, and get away from all this hatred and abandonment. But, that never came true. We were stuck in that tiny, dingy apartment with lice and fleas, all the dirty dishes, unclean rooms and dust lurking everywhere. We went to school, and I helped her with her homework and packed her lunch. We never fit in well at school; we were outcasts. No one wanted to be with the “weird kids with the mom that has a drinking problem”. So my sister and I looked out for one another, because the world had so obviously turned its back on us. But then, when I was fifteen and my sister was twelve, we were walking home from school. We were taking back roads; the slowest way home, because we weren’t in a rush to get home to the empty, dirty house. Elizabeth ran ahead of me, and next thing I know, she’s out of my sight taking a corner. I take my time not really worrying, since she does this rather often. But then I hear her blood curdling scream and breaks squeal. I hear a crash, tires peeling out and then… nothing; silence. I run around the corner and see a scene that will forever be scorched into my memory. I stop breathing and fall to the ground; my little sister is lying broken on the ground; her little fragile body in the most grotesque way. Surely, all of her bones are broken, and her head is smashed. I get up after what seems like hours and walk over to her. I grab her arm, needing something to hold my body to earth, and try feeling for a pulse. I know it’s no use, but I have to try something. There is nothing there; no movement in her veins, her chest not pumping blood throughout her body. All I hear is the sound of my pulse and smell the distinct smell of blood; metallic and salty. I become rather sick and throw up behind a dumpster. My little sister was dead, and there was nothing to do for her now. All twelve years of me raising her amount to nothing but her bloodied corpse on the cold, hard pavement. I’m surprised that no one has looked out of their windows to see the commotion. But we’re in the worst part of town, and no one’s going to care for one more loss. They don’t want to get themselves involved in someone else’s troubles when they have enough to deal with. I Our apartment is only one block away, and I manage to pick up my sister and carry her there with the last of my strength quickly being used up. When I get there, my mom is out cold on the floor with a bottle of booze in her hand. I shake her, hard, to wake her up. She looks at me and says,
“What do you want now brat?”
I could slap her just now, but I keep my temper down; it won’t help me. So I answer in a flat tone,
“Eliza’s dead. It was a hit and run.”
“Oh. Well that’s a relief. I never cared too much for her anyways. Her head was always up in the clouds, and she was too pretty for her own good. Where’s her body?”
I walk out of the room not bothering to answer her. I need to bury my little sister. I grab a shovel out of the shed and start to dig a hole in the privacy of the woods in the back of the house. We lived on the outskirts of town, and we lived right next to the woods. I carry the shovel out deep into the woods and start to dig. I dig in mine and Elizabeth’s favorite part of the woods; a small hill with a large oak tree on the top, with a barrier of trees surrounding us. It was a very dense patch of woods, and it was where me and Eliza used to play tag, and hide and go seek, where we’d play princesses; I fight back the tears but it’s no use. They come streaming down my face, hot and salty. I slump to the ground and the hysterics really start coming. I have nothing to live for now, nothing at all. But I had to get this hole dug and bury my sister properly. I continue digging through the blinding tears and get a hole wide, long and deep enough to put her little mangled corpse in. I go back to the house, wrap her mangled little corpse up into a blanket and carry her out into the woods. She had a rather small body, so it wasn’t that hard to carry her there. I also brought out some of her favorite things to bury with her; a stuffed animal horse that was blue and white and you’d wind it up and it’d play lullabies, a book of fairy tales that I’d oftentimes read to her fall asleep, and last but not least, a picture of me and her so that we’d always be together. I cried for hours straight when the last of the earth covered her, and when stars illuminated the sky, I walked back and packed my bags. I didn’t know where I was going, but I was leaving this place. I grab all the money I manage to find around the house, a small amount of $128.00; all of my own money that I had worked for being a bagger at the general store around the corner. I pack a small knapsack of clothes, a few granola bars that I bought yesterday, a bottle of water, and I get on my jacket, for it’s now beginning to be quite cold outside, in this rather odd, chilly summer. But first thing is first. I walk into the living room where my mom was sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette, and I walk over to her and slap her, hard, across the face.
“I hate you.” I had managed to say through the hot, blinding tears that were now streaming down my face. She was so dumbfounded that she just sat there and stared at me. Then I gathered up my rather small bag, and my little amount of money, and headed out the door. The sky was dark, illuminated by little glowing stars, and I thought to myself, it’s a new beginning.