Erin Lockwood.

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You're a Lockwood now.

Seven years ago.
Several months before Erin Lockwood’s disappearance.

“Mama, please!” Erin tugged at her mother’s floral skirt, “I don’t want to change my surname. I’m a Mizrahi and I want to stay a Mizrahi.” She stalked after her mother who briskly made her way to the kitchen, her shoes clicking on the tiled floors.

“What would papa say if he were here?”

She froze before the island counter, touched her lips with her fingertips, and slowly twisted around.

“Erin….” She dawdled off and sunk down to a low squat and stared deeply into her eyes. “I know this change has been difficult, to say the least. His gone now baby, but we will always keep him alive—” she pats her hand over her heart. “—In here.”

Erin glowered back at her with a seething glare.

“How can he be? When you have replaced papa with Leonard?” she retorted, and her mother’s empathy evaporated.

The outlines of her face hardened with a staid look, “like it or not.” She rose to full height to tower over her in authority. “You’re a Lockwood now. We both are.” She waved a dismissive hand, twirls around and weaved around the island counter to reach the stove.

“Enough, I don’t want to argue with you, Erin. You know what day it is today. Shabbat Shalom. Now if you excuse me, I want to get an early start with dinner. You know how Lenny loves to have his food ready for him,” she chirped.

Erin sat on top of the bright yellow duvet of her single bed. Her legs crossed and her father’s Torah rested on her lap, her eyes examined the little personal notes he etched beside a few scriptures. A lot of them he had linked to his wife, Kathrine and his daughter, Erin Mizrahi.

The soft smile on Erin’s face faltered.

The rebounding sounds of heavy boots thudded on the wooden steps.

His back.

Erin lifted the Torah from her lap to have it placed beside her and braced herself.

The door flung open and Leonard marched inside and wore his trademark stony expression.

“Evening, Erin,” he greeted with unnatural enthusiasm.

“Hi….” She squeaks out.

“How was school today?” he asked but before she can answer, he interjected, “I mean it must have been a tough day today, because why else did you leave that filth in the kitchen?” Raged warped his face, teeth gritted. “The sink is packed with dishes, if you didn’t know.”

Erin’s hands clasped together, the one tautly gripping the other, “I know, “she began and suddenly the inside of her throat ran dry. “Today, is the Sabbath. Papa always said that seven days you can work, but the sixth is reserved for God’s holy day, where you rest and do nothing.”

Leonard scoffed and made his way towards her in a daunting, slow pace. “Sounds like an excuse to be lazy to me,” he pauses, “then again, you never needed an excuse.”

Erin frowns. “Just like you never needed an excuse to over drink, but you do it anyway,” she bit back and instantly regretted it as she watched his face inflamed with the colour of anger.

He lunged for her, snatched her wrist and yanked her upwards to draw her face closer to his, now, they were nose-to-nose.

“You listen to me, and you listen well.” His fingers dug into her skin with each word and she whimpered helplessly. “Since I was kind enough to take you in, the burden of marrying your mother, you will thank me by being obedient. My house, my rules. And as for your papa—” his eyes gesture to the Torah behind her, “—his teaching should die with him."

"You’re a Lockwood now.” His cold eyes bored into hers before he roughly heaved her up from the bed. Her legs wobbled and Leonard shoved her from behind and she lurched forward.

“Go clean the mess you made. And if you ever talk back to me like that again… well let’s just say, you don’t want to find out.”

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