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Chapter 1 Lost forever

My eyelids fluttered open as the sunlight beamed in through the large glass windows. I slowly removed the duvet and headed straight for the balcony, as the fresh morning air blew through my face, I felt fresh and alive.

Alive, yes alive I was, only a part of me was dead. A part of me that could never be replaced, it was gone forever. I had every thing I wanted in life, I never asked for any of these, this gigantic room, a king size bed, expensive dresses and cosmetics or this luxurious life. I never wanted thousands of servants running after me the whole day. I never wished to go in a BMW, and that too with a driver. Aunt Sophie is the CEO of 'Fantasy Alive' ,the top advertising agency of the country. Uncle John is the commissioner of the New York police department. They are very rich Altogether.

My heart lurches in pain whenI think about how happy I was just a few days back.It was my seventeenth birthday, I woke up rather cheery, anticipating what faith had in store for me on this wondrous day.

I hastily got off the bed, freshened up, threw on the cute blue skirt my mom had brought me recently and matched it with a white floral top and went down to only find that both of them had already left for work. I was dejected but didn't hold it against them. We weren't rich and my parents worked their ass off to make the ends meet.

I grabbed my bag but after locking the door, decided against going to school. Instead, I went to the large oak tree, behind our house. It'd been there for a long time, even before I was born.

I climbed up the tree and sat on my usual spot, actually our usual spot. Tyler and I always used to come here. We would sit on this branch, with our feet dangling. This place had so many memories attached to it. We even wrote our names on the bark of the tree, Tyler and Ari, best friends forever. We also hung a swing from another branch. We always fought to have our turn first.

As I looked down the familiar wooden bench came into view. Tyler had built it for me, when I fractured my leg in second grade and was unable to climb the tree. It would be improper to call it a bench, it was just a simple log of wood he found from somewhere. But what I cared more was that he went through all of that trouble for me.

We lost track of each other after one year. There was a police firing outside their house, we didn't know for sure but they may have died. Or else why wouldn't they try to contact us. We only heard the news on television after five days. We tried to confirm with the hospitals and the police station but they had no information either.

Unable to hold back any longer, a drop of tear fell from my eyes, followed by more. I missed him so much. It was my eleventh birthday, and they were heading here when the firing broke out. It was concerning David Evans, the international mafia. The police got information from somewhere about some meeting he was attending there. Though they caught him red handed dealing drugs but couldn't arrest, kill or even hurt him. However, a massive firing broke out between them, where David Evans was not even scratched but many innocent people were killed.

Dad said they couldn't have survived when everyone around were dead. Where would they have run to save themselves. They was firing from everywhere. There's a part of me that considers him to be dead, and then there's another part of me, that wishes for him to be alive and well.

My phone buzzed in my pocket, breaking my train of thoughts. I took it out, it was Mike. He seemed frustrated, " where the hell are you, Ell? You have not come to school and you're are not even answering your phone. We have been so worried. Savanna is just in the process of dialling 911. Are you alright? Is everything okay? "

" yes, I'm fine. Sorry to have worried you. I'll explain it to you later. Anyways, you didn't tell my parents right? Because if you did my mother is probably horrified and they must have already dialed 911 by now."

"No, we didn't, but we were just going to; Call your parents, the media, the press and even the president if required. We wouldn't have breathed a sigh of relief until we found you.", It calmed down my wretched nerves. My parents would go crazy if they know I didn't go to school. I never skipped school. I was an A grade student, I couldn't compromise with my grades. Therefore, they'll probably think I'm kidnapped or even worse, dead; Lying somewhere, alone, cold. They've grown very protective of me after the whole David Evans incident.

" Don't worry, I'm fine. Don't call anybody, I'll explain everything at school tomorrow. " I hung up and jumped down the branch in one swift movement, without falling flat on my face. I've grown accustomed to such things from the numerous times I've come here, with and without Tyler. I've never told Mike or Savanna about this place, even though they're my best friends, they could never replace Tyler. No one could ever replace him. A place in my heart will always be reserved for him. It was our special place, our secret hideout from the rest of the world.

I walked towards my house at a rather fast pase. I wished my parents weren't home before me. I didn't want them to find out that I skipped school.

Luckily the lights weren't on, and the door was locked too,which was a good sign that they weren't home yet. I went straight towards my room, to change and freshen up, before they arrived, for we were going out for dinner.

I decided to wear a green cocktail dress, I left my hip length black hair in loose curls and applied very little make up, I didn't want to look too fancy or too simple; just normal but pretty. I looked at myself in the mirror, and was satisfied with the girl who looked back at me.

I heard a car pulling in the driveway, I didn't need confirmation but just for the satisfaction of my eyes, I checked out the window, and surely it was them,my parents. I ran down the stairs and opened the door even before they had the chance to knock. They seemed taken aback by my sudden burst of excitement, trust me, I was more surprised than them, for the reason of my sudden happiness. It may be for the fact that I hadn't seen them the whole day and after a long time, finally we would get to spend some quality time together. I'm a very cheerful person throughoutthe year, but you would never find me too happy on my birthdays, they always reminded me of Tyler.

Dad spoke first, "You're ready!?"I could see the little hint of joy and surprise in his eyes, after all, it's not every year on my birthday , that you find me in such high spirits. Mom added, "Ell, you're looking beautiful! Not that you're naturally any less stunning. " she could never stop rambling about how pretty I'm. I have been told numerous times how stunningly gorgeous I'm, even by strangers. However, I never happened to find anything extraordinary I possess, which other's lack of, except for my violet eyes.

Dad cut in ,"let's get ready then, we don't want to miss a single moment of this auspicious day with our beloved daughter, now do we?

And like that, after a few minutes, we hit the road.We had been in this car ride for almost ten minutes and yet it seems never ending. I was not aware of our destination, they said it's a surprise and I'm not very good with surprises. The anticipation would kill me, I would ask every fifteen seconds where we were headed until they gave in.

Dad turned his head towards me, so that I could get a glimpse of the left side of his face, he scratched his nose with the index finger of his left hand,his right hand was on the starring, which meant that he was getting frustrated with my restlessness and I really needed to shut up, like right now,"listen honey,if we tell you, it will no longer be a surprise "his said, slightly irritated now.

I was about to protest but a bright light coming from the front caught my attention and before I could comprehend what was happening, it hit us and we were upside down, my head hit the window, making me scream in pain. However, I'm sure, it remained unheard because of the surrounding noises.

I had to force my eyes to remain open, but I wasn't sure for how long I would be able to keep them open. I could feel blood dripping from my forehead, I was going to lose consciousness very soon. I looked around but everything seemed blurred. However, I could somehow make out two figures in the front.

I looked at myself, my arms and legs had gashes all over, I tried to move, but the seat belt was preventing me from dislodging myself. I couldn't manage to open the seat belt, it was draped tightly around me. Fortunately, I found a broken glass piece of the window and continued to strike it, how strong was that stupid belt! I caught the smell of gasoline, which indicated that the car would go up in flames very soon. I kept striking on it, with all my strength, what ever was left of it and somehow managed to slash it open.

I pushed the door, but it wouldn't open, I somehow managed to get out the window. I walked towards the passenger side, and kneeled down, mom was facing towards me, but her eyes were closed, her seat belt was easy to open since it wasn't as messed up as mine. I took out my heels and thrashed the window, it broke into pieces. Luckily, I got her out of the window as well. I took her a little further away from the car, so that if there was an explosion, she wouldn't get any more hurt than she already was.

I went to the other side to try and get dad out. But the pain was unbearable, making it difficult to stay awake. My head was spinning a thousand miles per hour, and my vision was getting blurred every passing second. But I had to get him out anyhow, I couldn't let pain hinder me from saving my family.

I crouched down by his side, the smell of gasoline was getting stronger, I looked around, the car was already on fire, I had to get him out before it would go up in flames. But I couldn't, his right side was completely squashed, his hands and limbs were a tangled mess. I moved a few steps back to grasp something, I didn't know,anything which could help to get him out, when the car exploded.

That's the last thing I saw before I was completely enveloped in darkness.

I woke up three days later in the hospital only to find out that both of my parents were dead. Dad, I was undeniably certain, couldn't have survived the explosion. But I never anticipated mom to be spot dead.

Aunt Sophie and uncle John were there in the hospital the whole time with me. When I was discharged after three weeks, they brought me to New York with them. I told them that I could manage on my own but they wouldn't leave me all alone. Mike and Savanna visited frequently as well.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like them, they are very nice and I've stayed with them before too, on vacations and holidays. But this was different, I had to leave everything behind and start a new lifestyle. But wasn't this the point of bringing me with them, so that I could leave behind everything and start afresh. But was it really possible to leave a part of me behind.

This house, this place, it had so many memories attached to it, I just couldn't leave them all behind. We wanted to cherish this place throughout our lives, and since, they were no more I wanted to cherish it for them. I'm just a simple girl from San Francisco and I was afraid I couldn't make it in such a large city.


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