Snow fell slowly on the cold evening of the 14th December. It had been raining for the past five days so the snow wouldn’t lay. A 10 year old girl, with pale sking and her hair tied in two braids on her head, walked into her home after spending some time with her friends for an hour or so after school. She had just gotten home. She removed her yellow bobble hat and placed it on the coat hook with her thick blue wintercoat. She held onto her red book bag and walked down the hallway to tell her Mother she had homework.
The scene which unravelled was one that no 10 year old should ever have to witness.
A man’s body was slumped across the coffee table. He was faced down on the table, a pool of blood pouring from him. All that the girl could see was the back of his head. She dropped her bag and ran towards him in shock.
“Dad?” She asked and shook him, getting his blood on her hands and school uniform. “Daddy?” Tears started to well up in her eyes and fall.
The blood dripped down to the floor. It was too late to do anything to save him, not that a 10 year old would know what to do. The child wasnt thinking for a while as she cried, but eventually she came to her senses and called 999. She didn’t know whether to ask for the police or for an ambulance so she just started to speak.
“999, what’s your emergency?” A woman’s voice said through the phone. The girl began to cry again, making the woman awkwardly try to calm her down.
“My Daddy,” she said, “my Daddy is bleeding. He won’t wake up. I think he’s dead.”
“Okay,” There was the sound of typing coming from the other end of the phone “can you tell me your name and address, the police and an ambulance will be on their way.”
“My name is Amy Sanderson. I live at 14 Pearson Avenue. Please hurry.” The line got cut off and Amy had no idea if the woman had heard her or not. She looked back at her father. He now had a note stabbed into his back. That wasn’t there before. Amy looked around in confusion. There was a figure of a person but Amy blinked and it vanished. She figured she must have imagined it.
She looked at the note.
We are watching you!
Her heart started to beat very fast. So fast that when the police eventually did arrive, she couldn’t hear the knock at the front door. Clearly the woman had heard her say the address. The police came in quickly, not that Amy had noticed. She’d subconsciously folded the note up and put it in her pocket.
A scruffy, old policeman knelt down besides her. He said something, but Amy never heard it because of the sound of her heart beat in her ears. He placed his hand on her shoulder, which snapped her back to reality. She jumped.
“Who are you?” She asked in shock.
“Hey. I’m Michael. Do you know where your mother is?” The officer questioned. Amy shook her head. She hadn’t thought about her mother, she didn’t know where she was. The officer said something into his walkietalkie. Amy didn’t hear it because he said it quietly, but she did make out the word ‘kidnapped’. “Do you want to go for a ride in my car?” He asked her. Amy didn’t want to but she shyly nodded anyway.
“Is my Daddy dead?” she asked. The policeman pressed his lips together into a straight line. He was unsure as to what to tell her.
“Your daddy… He’s gone to sleep. He’s gone to stay with the angels for a while. Do you understand?” He didn’t know what else to say. She nodded. She knew he was dead. She was 10, she wasn’t dumb. “Do you have any other family members? Someone who can look after you while we get this all sorted out?”
She nodded in response.
“Linda.” She mumbled. Amy had an Auntie who she saw once a month. Her auntie loved her, but she didn’t have any kids of her own and often had a lot of boyfriends. The officer, Michael, walked into his walkie talkie again and then someone told him an address for Linda’s house.
The drive to Linda’s house was the longest car journey that Amy had ever been on. She held onto her backpack. It had a few items of clothing in it, her toothbrush and her hormework. She had been told that she didn’t need to go to school until she was ready but Amy wanted to. She wanted to see all her friends and she wanted to learn. She wanted a distraction.
The officer got out of the car and told Amy to wait there while he spoke with Linda. She nodded and did as she was told. She stared out the window and watched as the officer went to up the long path, not stepping on the any of the grass which was at either side of it. Amy gazed at the flowers down at the front of the garden. They were colourful and Amy always liked them, but at the moment they weren’t bringing her joy. They seemed obnoxious, like they were laughing at her.
When she looked back up to the police officer and her Auntie Linda, Linda was crying. Amy could understand that. She felt like crying as well. Michael headed swiftly back to the car and opened the door for her. Amy stepped out and looked between the two adults.
“Why can’t I stay at home? Mum will be home soon right?” Amy didn’t fully understand what was happening. 10 year olds usually don’t understand though. For all they knew, her Mother could be dead, but Amy didn’t know that. Amy didn’t know or understand anything that had happened, and that was probably or the best, her Dad was dead and her Mother was missing.
Linda made Amy food and helped her with her homework that night. Amy’s thoughts were about her friends throughout that. How just a few hours ago she was with them and looking forward to being home with her Mum and Dad. Her mother would help her with her homework while her Father looked over the complicated Math problems in his little black book. Amy never understood the Maths though. Life like that was good. But life wasn’t going to be like that any more and the thought of that made Amy’s chest hurt and her eyes well up.
She went to bed early that night but she couldn’t sleep. Instead she listened to Linda cry. Amy had almost forgotten that Linda was her Father’s sister. She left her room and went to comfort her grieving Auntie. When Linda saw her, she told her to go back to bed but she didn’t say no when Amy cuddled up to her.
School the next day was drab. Amy was wrong about feeling ready to go back. Everyone kept asking her if she was alright but she wasn’t alright. She felt empty. She felt like a piece of glass which had been thrown on the ground. Broken. Shattered. She got to the poingt at school where she snapped at her best friend and just ran out of the school crying. Her head and chest hurt. Her eyes were foggy. She ran home- her home, not her Auntie’s. She pulled the yellow tape off the door and entered. Her Father and the coffee table was gone. As she looked around she sat on the floor and curled up into a ball.
Hours later, Linda appeared at the house. She looked at the little girl who was curled up in a ball asleep on the floor. She let out a sigh and came over to scoop Amy up. Amy stirred a little but she didn’t wake up. Linda knew that it was going to be hard for her. She also knew that Amy was either going to start misbehaving and playing up for a lot of her life now, or she was going to grow up way before her time. Linda hoped it was the latter because she didn’t know how to look after a kid. She’d rather a 10 year old that was going on 20 than a 10 year old going on 3. And so she was wishing that Amy would grow up fast.
And that is exactly what happened. By the time Amy was 12, she was going out and doing all the shopping. She was cooking for herself. She was taking care of herself. Linda was worse than what Amy remembered. She soon came to realise that the drink which Linda was always drinking was not juice, and the boyfriends she had were not boyfriends. Amy was used to playing music in her room to drown out the loud noises. There was no point in Amy doing her homework because Amy focus on her studies and she was failing a lot of subjects. Shaking off her Father’s death was not something she di, especially after the police had said that her Mother was probably dead as well. It had been 2 years, Amy knew that it was probably so. She gave up hope about a year in.
By the time Amy was 16, she was packing her bags and moving out of Linda’s house. She was making money working a part time job. It wasn’t much money, but it was enough to afford the rent for a crappy room apartment. She would be sharing the apartment with anothger girl, one she knew nothing about. It didn’t bother her much, she was ready to move out.
Linda didn’t say goodbye to Amy because she was bust with some random bloke she’d met at the bar the previous night. Amy didn’t care though as she was pretty sure Linda had forgotten that Amy was even living there. She hauled her suitcase out of the door. It was a brand new case, cost her a month’s wages. She was vert proud of it until she realised that she didn’t own enough stuff to fill it out. Most of what she had was paintings. She’d gotten very into art and drawing within the last 2 years.
She had ordered a taxi earlier on in the day and it arrived just as she left the building. An ugly car. It was a yellow KIA. She put her suitcase in the boot then sat in the front seat next to the driver. The driver was a young man with a tattoo of a snake on his neck. He looked at her.
“Where are we heading?” He asked in a deep yet cheerful voice. Amy gave him the address and they set off.
As the world rolled by through the window, Amy thought about her Auntie Linda. The woman was kind to take her in and keep her out of care or keep her off the streets. She was kind to give her freedom and a room. Amy knew that she could look afterself now. She knew she’d be safe and it was all because of Linda.
She walked up the wooden stairs towards her apartment, excited to meet her new flat mate ad to start her new life. She didn’t know much about the person she was sharing with, just that she was called Symphony Adamms and that she was a year older than her. The two of them would surely get on. They had to. The thought of them not getting along was a scary one.
The girl felt the same way that Amy felt. She sat in the front room, sitting up straight with nerves when she heard the front door click. She watched it open. Symphony was beautiful and that shocked Amy when she saw her. She had ebony hair and almond coloured skin. Her eyes were dark but reflected her beauty well. When pale skinned ginger Amy walked trhough the door she blushed.
“Oh wow, you’re…” but Amy didn’t quite have the words.
“Black? Mixed race? What are you going to say?” Symphony assumed. The tension was thick, it could be cut with a knife.
“Beautiful…” Amy finished.
“Oh.” For some reason Symphony was shocked to hear that. Amy figured she must be used to people telling her she’s beautiful, but evidently that wasn’t the case.
“I’m Amy.” She smiled and held her hand out to her in hope to create peace. Symphony shook it.
“Symphony…” She replied. “Um. I took that room so the other is yours. They’re identical.” She pointed to the room which she had claimed for herself.
Here’s the floorplan of the house which Amy had just moved into:
In Amy’s and Symphony’s rooms there is a window on the side and the bed is laid under it.
Amy looked at her room. The whole apartment was pretty plain but that just meant that Amy was going to get to decorate. She was excited to live here and Symphony seemed really nice. She put her bags down on the floor of her room- she was planning to sort them out later. She then went into the living room to spend some quality time with Symphony. She wanted to get to know her.
They spent the night talking. Symphony had brought a bottle of wine. Aparently she didn’t get IDed when purchasing it. Amy had never drank before so that was a new expierence for her. The sweet wine sort of burned as it slid down her throat, but it was fine as it still tasted nice. She actually enjoyed it, which was strange to her because she always thought alcohol was going to be disgusting. The Two of them got to know each other that night. They laughed and they talked. Just talked. No tv. No music. Just walking. For Amy, it was the best night she’d had in a long time.
After a month of living together, Symphony and Amy had pretty much developed a good rhythm for living; Amy woke at 7, she used the bathroom and then she went to the kitchen to make breakfast. Symphony would then wake up at 8, use the bathroom and join Amy in the kitchen now that breakfast was made. They’d talk to each other and laugh for half an hour and then at 8:30 Amy would leave to go to work. This system worked for them.
Symphony worked from hom. She was an aspiring author and was currently writing a fantasy novel. It was a good story and Amy had read it. The two of them worked very differently. Amy worked on the check out at the nearby supermarket. As it was, the two of them were doing just fine. They had enough money to pay the rent and enough money to eat, but they weren’t getting many luxuries any time soon.
After a long day at work, Amy came home and laid on the couch. One arm dangled down the side of the couch, the other arm was laid over her face, covering her eyes. As Symphony exited her bedroom she saw Amy and let out a small laugh.
“Oh no. Where ever wil I sit now?” Symphony said in a very loud monotoned voice. She then sat on Amy’s legs. Amy let out a squeek as Symphony’s weight was placed on her. She quickly pulled her legs out from under her, making Symphony fall back on the couch. The pair of them burst out into laughter.
“You crushed my legs.” Amy complained with a massive smile on her face.
“You took up the full couch.” The two of them were happy. They were good flatmates. They enjoyed each other’s company and got along very well. They seemed to complement each other very nicely. They just… worked.
Time went by and the grew very close. Symphony had gone out and Amy was sat with her sketchbook, drawing. Symphony came in and peeked over Amy’s shoulder silently, watching her draw.
“Is that me?” She asked, making Amy jump and draw a big thick line across the sketch, ruining it.
“Well… It was.” She said in embarrassment. “Two hours drawing down the drain.”
“Sorry. It still looks good though. Can I keep it?” Symphony never gave Amy a chance to say yes or no before she had torn the page from the sketchpad and taken it.
“It’s not that good.” Amy said, “especially since you ruined it.” Symphony looked at it and then at Amy and then back at the drawing. She just smiled.
“Amy. How long have we known each other?”
“Uhmm… A year?” Amy estimated. “Give or take a month.”
“Okay. And in that year, how many times have I said your art is bad?”
“Then why would this one be any different?” Symphony let out a small laugh and then kissed Amy’s head. Amy blushed, getting highly flustered. “You’re so cute.” Symphony mumbled and walked off into the kitchen.
“I’ll draw you properly.” Amy told her. “But not today, I’ve lost all motivation.”
“Let’s go out.” Symphony said, having just pulled out a bottle of wine from the fridge and pouring herself a glass.
“Why? I thought we were having a night in together.”
“We do that every night. Come on, let loose.” She took a mouthful of her wine. “You need to get laid.” She proclaimed and then sat on the kitchen counter. Amy looked at her. She instantly shook her head. Amy had never done that before, nor had she ever particularly thought about it. “Fine then. I neeed to get laid.” For some reason, upon hearing Symphony say that, Amy’s chest started to hurt. She bit her lip, her emotions having flared up.
“Okay.” Amy agreed.
Sympony let out a bit of a laugh and then smiled. She swalled her glass of wine whole, placed the glass in the sink to be washed, and then vanished into the bathroom. Amy gathered that it was to have a shower and apply makeup. She thought about it and came to the conclusion that she should do that too or at least the shower part. When Symphony exited the bathroom wearing only a towel, Amy then entered.
The warm water shrouded Amy as she stood there. Her eyes were closed. Her head was tilted back so that the water splaced her on her face before pouring down her body. She was in deep thought. She always went into a deep though when she was in the shower or the tub. This trance like state usually meant that she would take at least an hour in the water. Her thought was interrupted by Symphony knocking on the bathroom door.
“I’m coming in.” She didn’t care if Amy was naked. They had lived together for a year now, and they share a bathroom, which meant that they had both seen each other naked many times. Symphony walked in and then stared in the mirror for a moment. “Are you mearly done” She asked and turned around to look at Amy in the streamed up shower cubical.
“You know you don’t have to stare at me.” Amy blushed and covered herself. That steam was not hiding anything. Symphony let out a small giggled. “Please stop looking at me.” Amy started to feel self conscious. It was worsened by Symphony stripping off into her under garments and then joining her in the shower.
“You look beautiful. Have more confidence in yourself.” Symphone told her. Amy turned away from her embarrassed.
“It’s easy for you not to be embarrassed, you’re not fully naked in front of your flatmate. Please get out.”
“I could get naked if it would make you more comfortable.” Symphony suggested. “But fine, I’ll do as you wish. We’re not going out tonight anymore. I want to spend some time alone with you.” Symphony exited the bathroom and Amy felt her face heat up. It had sounded to her like Symphony was flirting with her, and perhaps she was. Whether she was or wasn’t, it had flustered Amy.
Amy walked rigidly from the bathroom. Her movements earning a laugh from the wathching Symphony.
“Symph. Please don’t laugh at me.”
“I can’t help it. You’re just so cute.” She rushed over and kissed Amy. It was on the lips and though it was only a quick peck, it was still a proper kiss. In fact, it was Amy’s first kiss. Symphony ran into her room, leaving Amy even more flusted. She waddled off into her own bedroom thinking about what had just happened.