It’s my sister’s tenth birthday today. It’s also been ten years since the first time I saw him.
This is where I could angst about how I never got a normal childhood, but that’s not gonna happen. I don’t even remember most of it. After the first time that blank white face appeared in the window of the maternity ward, everything turned into a horrible blur of nightmares and sickness and seeing things that weren’t there, or maybe they were, I don’t want to think about it. Sis got the worst of it. He was there for her entire short life, and…
god, she was so sick. My parents didn’t even notice and I spent three years trying to take care of a sick baby and myself and those were the best years of my life. Because at least I wasn’t alone.
It was her third birthday when I came home from school and no, no I can’t talk about it I don’t want to talk about it. I came home and they were all gone.
(He always shows up on her birthday. Every time.)
I couldn’t even recognize them as my parents anymore. Just a bloody mess on our bedroom floor. They died trying to protect her but they couldn’t. He always wins in the end. And my sister, my little baby Allie, was just gone.
Nobody ever found her body. The police came, the police left, the police convicted some innocent man of my parents’ murder. The newspaper had an article about a couple killed in their home. There was never any mention of a baby. Nobody believed me.
Did you hear that? Nobody ever believed I had a sister.
of course then they sent me to doctors and stuff. They tried to tell me I’d invented the Man because I couldn’t cope with my parents’ death. I…started to believe them, I think, in the end. He stayed away. There were a couple years where I didn’t see him at all, where I lived with my grandma who was nice enough but not really the mothering type, where I was almost happy. I was starting to get better, just a little bit. That should have been my warning sign right there. Maybe if I’d stayed on my toes, expected the worst, I wouldn’t have woken up at four in the morning last year on Valentine’s Day to the smoke alarms and flames.
It’s been a whole year. How has it been a year? It’s like a movie in my head, jumping out the window with nothing but my coat and shoes and glasses. Leaving everything behind. There was one moment where I turned around, I could have saved my grandma, but I just. I just didn’t. He wanted me to run, so I ran. I couldn’t stop.
I can never stop