The next couple of days pass by quite slowly. I haven’t talked to Scott yet, although he does attempt to bring it up whenever we’re in the same room. My college gang popped up yesterday cause I guess they missed me. Victor told me about how boring he thought it was since I haven’t been on campus and that led me to explaining to them how I was in the process of trying to see if I could just continue my education online at least for the time being. I’m pretty sure my parents know that I can’t stay with Scott and his family for too much longer. It would feel like too much of an intrusion, especially considering I’m not even with him anymore.
Liam has been popping up a lot lately. He told me it’s because he doesn’t want to go back to his parent’s house but also because he’s been hanging around with Daniel whom I still haven’t had the chance to even have a conversation with. But even if he is here because of his parents or Daniel that doesn’t explain why he’s been in my room so much lately, or why he’s suddenly become tolerable for me to talk to.
Right now I’m sitting in the guest room on my mom’s laptop as I try to figure out how to sign up for this online college thing. I didn’t exactly get a vote in whether or not I should start doing the whole online thing, but everyone is doing what they think is best for me so I really can’t blame them.
While I’m googling different things about online colleges my door opens and I don’t bother looking up at who it is. Scott comes in at random a lot so it really doesn’t surprise me. But what does bother me is when I hear the lock on the door turn.
I look up and am immediately surprised when I see my older sister standing there leaning against the door. I set the lap top off to the side as soon as I see her face. Tears are streaming down both sides of her face and she looks like she’s struggling to hold in a sob. I stand up when I realize that she isn’t just crying, she’s hyperventilating like crazy. She looks like she’s having a panic attack.
I’m fairly surprised to see her here right now considering the last time we hung out properly was technically when we were at the mall and she told me that she was going to be marrying Falon. I guess we’ve both been doing stuff, well kind of, I’ve been mentally breaking down and she’s been...well I’m not exactly sure what she’s been up to but I’m sure it has something to do with the wedding.
I stand up and rush over towards my sister who has slid down the door and is now curled on the floor in a ball. I kneel in front of her and brush her hair out of her face, she’s shivering like crazy.
“Anne listen b-breathe,” I say to her slowly and she looks up at me. When we were in high school Anna used to get really stressed out and have panic attacks but it’s been years since she’s had one. But even so I remember every word her Doctor told me to do if I was ever with someone when they had one. “Just breathe in and out slowly. C’mon breathe just like me.”
Anna looks up at me and as soon as her eyes meet mine I frown at the terrified look in her eyes, but I continue to breathe in and out slowly. And she gradually begins following my lead.
“Try c-counting backwards f-from one hundred,” I tell her once she’s calmed down a little bit after several minutes. She shakes her head at me and it looks like her breathing is even and the terrified look that was in her eyes was still there, but I don’t think she’s having a panic attack anymore. I sit next to my sister and slowly rap my arms around her and she immediately throws her arm around my waist and grips me. It reminds me of when we were younger and she was terrified of thunder storms so every time we had one she would climb into bed with me and squeeze me all night. And believe me I wasn’t always comfortable, but I let it happen all through high school because I knew I’d feel like a bad sister for making her sleep alone.
“Anna w-what happened?” I ask looking down at her and she looks up at me as if she’s about to break down again.
“I saw him,” she says and I tilt my head looking at her with a confused look. “I was with Falon and we were in the kitchen and I looked out the window and he was just standing there Abs..there was someone with him and I dont...we should’ve believed you-”
“Who d-did you see?” I ask having a feeling that I already know who she’s talking about but not wanting the name to come out of her mouth.
“Parker,” she whispers his name with such hatred that you’d think it was her that was locked in that basement instead of me. “I tried to tell Falon but he wasn’t looking and he kept talking about some stupid football game and when he finally listened to me and rushed over to the window Parker wasn’t out there anymore.”
“W-what’s Falon doing n-now?”
“He got Scott and they ran outside a couple of minutes ago,” I breathe in and out deeply as what Anna is saying slowly sinks in. Someone other than me saw Parker.
“Are y-you sure it w-was him?”
“Positive,” she says staring at the wall across the room. I have a bad feeling about this. If Scott and Falon come back empty handed will our parents think that both Anna and I are nutcases? “Abby, I got so scared. I th-thought... I thought he came back and got you. And we haven’t seen each other so much lately that I just...the idea of that monster taking you again. I think that’s what triggered the panic attack.”
I look away from Anna for a moment and she doesn’t seem to mind as I think. If Parker is truly here he’s clearly playing with our minds, trying to make it out like I’m crazy and now maybe he’s targeting Anna? Or maybe we’re both just crazy?
But my heart nearly breaks when I hear Anna start crying again and I suddenly feel like the worst sister in history. I can’t help but to remember the night that I had met Becca and she was talking to me about Anna.
Well, your sister is going to want to party, and find a boyfriend, make new friends. She wants the whole college experience. Soon enough she’ll forget about you.
Maybe Becca had it backwards. It wasn’t Anna who ended up forgetting about me and getting tangled up in having new friends and a boyfriend. Maybe it was me. I can’t remember the last time I actually reached out to hang out with her, she was the one who had wanted to hang out with me at the mall. I had made such a big deal in the beginning of the semester about how I wouldn’t be able to survive here without here and the I just kind of cast her aside.
Had I reached out more maybe she wouldn’t be trying to get married in high school. She’s made so many questionable decisions and I’ve always been the one that was there to talk her out of it. I think I was wrong when I said before that I lived in her shadows because she was the popular one. In a way we both live in each other’s shadows because without her creative ideas I would probably be a very anti-social idiot who left college because she had to room with a guy.
And whether or not she wants to admit it I know that she needs me too. Because without me I’m sure there would have been several times when she would have either been arrested or hurt.
And you know the shittiest thing about all of this? I probably wouldn’t have realized any of this had it not been for Parker. Even though I don’t know if he’s real or not real Anna seems to be fairly convinced that he is. If I ever see him again I’ll remember to thank him for this. And hopefully when I’m doing that it will be on different sides of a wall somewhere inside of a jail.