Happiness can be found
even in the darkest of
times, if one only
remembers to turn on
The sky was gray and the spring air was humid. I could smell the rain and I knew that shortly most of the people gathered here would be running to their cars to take shelter from the coming storm. I didn’t care. The rain was fitting for a cemetery and I would stand here with my crutches biting into the sensitive flesh under my arms for as long as I wanted.
The service passed by quickly and, as I predicted, everyone rushed to their cars. Once I heard the first car door slam, the sky opened up and the icy rain poured down, soaking my black clothes. I knew I should probably get out of the rain because of the cast encasing the lower portion of my leg, but I didn’t bother moving. I continued to stare at my parents’ graves.
As I studied the tombstones, I felt something salty entering my mouth. When I raised a hand to my face I realized I was crying and tears had slipped through my slightly parted lips. I wiped the tears away and continued staring at the freshly dug graves.
The stitches along my upper leg throbbed as memories that I wished to keep buried rose to the forefront of my mind. I shoved them away quickly. I refused to think about what he made me decide. Today was a day to be sad and mourn his death.
I clutched the butterfly necklace that hung from my neck. A small, dark part of my mind whispered that he got what he deserved, but I banished the thoughts quickly. I refused to think badly about him, no matter how hard he made it not to. After all, he was still my father.
Suddenly, the rain stopped hitting me. I looked up into the face of my older sister that I had not seen for almost nine years. Her blonde hair, similar to my own, was pulled back in a bun while her chocolate eyes were lined with tears. “Come on, Seanna,” Charmian whispered, staring at our parents’ graves.
She kept pace with me as I struggled to walk across the saturated ground with my crutches. Once we made it to the car, I slipped into the passenger side seat as best as I could. As Charmian shut the driver-side door, she turned towards me. “I went by the house and already got your things.”
I nodded my head, but I didn’t respond. I stared at the rain running down the window. Charmian sighed and started the car before driving off.
I reached up to hold the necklace around my neck.
We drove for hours before we crossed another state line. I remembered that the last time I had contact with my sister, she said that she had found her new home two states over. I supposed she hadn’t moved since then.
Three hours later, we pulled into the parking lot of some nice apartment buildings. I stared at the sign that was at the entrance of the parking lot.
The Moore Apartment Complexes
“Moore?” I whispered, my voice hoarse from not being used. I had barely spoken since the accident two weeks ago. I didn’t even speak at the service.
“Yeah. I bought this land shortly after I graduated college with a loan and built these complexes after convincing some investors,” Charmian responds proudly.
“Cool,” I whisper before falling silent again.
We parked in the space reserved for the landlord before getting out of the car. The warm night air caressed my face. She glanced at my crutches with a frown on her face. “Maybe I should install some elevators…,” she trailed off.
“I can walk up some stairs. It just takes me a minute,” I assure her. She nods her head, doubt etched on her face as she led me up the stairs.
After several minutes that felt like hours, I was standing in front of Charmian’s apartment door, sweating. She frowns at me again, worry clouding her eyes.
“I’m...fine,” I say, breathless. She nods her head and opens the apartment door.
The inside of the apartment looked clean and organized. On the left side of the door was a modern living room and on the right side was a white and black kitchen. “I’ll show you to your room,” Charmian whispered. I followed her through the kitchen and down a hall. At the end of the short hallway were two doors standing opposite of each other.
“That door leads to your room,” Charmian points to the door on the right before pointing to the one on the left, “this is your bathroom. Tomorrow I’ll take you into town to get any toiletries that you need.”
“Thank you,” I muttered and headed into my new room for the next year or so. I stared at the double bed with a dark green spread before glancing at the dark oak side tables and dresser at the foot of the bed. Directly across from the dresser was a mirrored vanity made of the same dark wood. Beside the vanity, at the base of the large window, was a dark oak desk. The decor of the room was nice, but I didn’t bother gushing over it. It would never be like my old one.
I shuffled to the bed and sat down on it, sitting my crutches to the side. I shimmied out of my black skirt before throwing my black button-down on the floor beside the skirt. My clothes were still in the car but I would worry about them later. I reached up and unclasped my necklace. I stared at the silver butterfly, the wings decorated with tourmalines. I swallowed thickly as I pressed my lips against the L carved onto the body of the butterfly.
With a heavy hand, I placed the necklace on the bedside table and then started the struggle of getting my leg onto the bed.
After a few moments of struggling, I managed to get the cumbersome thing onto the bed. If I never ended up in a cast again, it would be too soon. Throwing the blankets over half of my body and leaving my encased foot uncovered, I stared at the ceiling hoping that the nightmares would leave me alone tonight. My therapist said that nightmares were a part of having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but I wished that they weren’t. There were only so many times I could relive the same experience over before it drove me insane.
The next morning, I glanced at my face in the vanity mirror after dressing in the clothes I had discarded on the floor. The bags hanging below my eyes showed how little sleep I had gotten the few hours I laid in bed. I hobbled into the kitchen to find Charmian arguing with a tall, brown-haired man.
“I never said she could stay here,” he snapped at her, his voice low.
“This isn’t even your house. And she’s my sister for all things holy. I’m not going to toss her out,” Charmian hisses back.
It was clear to anyone who they were arguing about. I cleared my throat loudly. I stared at the brown-haired man. He had a look of surprise, irritation, and regret on his face. I straightened my shoulders and raised my chin. “If I am that much of a bother, I will be out of Charmian’s house after I graduate,” I say in a monotonous voice.
“No! You don’t have to go anywhere. Parker is just being a fussy husband this morning,” Charmian turns and glares at Parker. I glanced down at her left hand with a small amount of surprise and found a golden band around it. When I looked back up Parker narrowed his eyes at me and I knew he had caught me looking at my sister’s wedding band.
“You didn’t even tell her we are married?” he snaps at Charmian.
“It may have slipped my mind,” Charmian mumbles, looking down at her feet. I watched as Parker scoffed before he grabbed a jacket off of a coat rack by the door and stormed out of the house.
I turned towards Charmian and found tears lining her eyes. I gave her a worried look but she just shook her head and gestured towards the kitchen table. “I made pancakes and bacon. Feel free to dig in. Parker and I have already eaten.”
I stared at the food. Normally my stomach would growl at the sight but right now I didn’t want to eat anything. “Can we just go to the store now? I’m not hungry,” I whispered. I felt bad for wasting the food, but I knew if I ate something I would only be sick and empty it into the nearest trash can or toilet later.
“Sure,” Charmian replied with a frown.
I was unpacking my bags when Charmian came into the room. I looked up from the floral shirt I was putting on a hanger as she shut the door behind her.
“Dinner will be ready soon. Why don’t you come out and eat?” she whispers.
“I’m not hungry. I’m going to go to bed after I finish unpacking. Thank you, though.” She nods her head sadly before opening the door.
“Once your cast comes off, I’ll take you to a dealership to get you a car. And I’ll give you an allowance every month. Not too much, but it will be something,” Charmian smiles. Before I could protest about what she just told me, she shut the bedroom door and left me gaping like a fish.
That night I was sitting on the bed, holding a picture of my parents. They were smiling at the camera. They looked happy and carefree. My eyes slammed shut as the image of headlights flashed through my mind. I tried to stop myself from crying, but eventually let the tears fall.
“How are your grades, Seanna?” Dad asked.
“All A’s. Still at the top of my class,” I responded, sighing. No matter how perfect my grades were, Dad never seemed to think it was enough.
“Leave her alone, hon. Let’s just enjoy tonight,” Mom laughed, easing the tense mood. She always had a way to do that. Whenever my father and I would get into a fight about school or about my personal life, she would calm both of us down before walking off with Dad.
I stared out of the car window, watching the street lights passing by in a blur. I was sitting behind Mom while Dad was driving.
“After what happened, I don’t want her to get into any more trouble-,” he was cut off by Mom’s scream.
“Watch out!” We all turned to look at her, but she was staring out of her window with her eyes wide with a hand resting against her throat in panic.
It was too late for Dad to react though. The headlights grew brighter and brighter before the sound of crunching metal and glass breaking filled the car. Followed shortly by the loud sound of the airbags going off.
My head banged against the side of the door as the car flipped and I fell unconscious.
I put the frame to the side as sobs racked my whole body. I choked on the tears as I brought my good leg up and rested my head on my knee. As terrible as it was, I missed my mother more than I did my father. We had never had a good relationship. He had wanted a son and they got me. It wasn’t the only reason we had a bad relationship, but it was a large part of it. I expelled my thoughts with a heavy sigh.
I rubbed my eyes as I got under the blankets. I hoped that tonight, I would be able to get more sleep.
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