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– Anna’s POV –
Sometimes the world doesn’t need a hero. Sometimes it needs a monster.
It needs someone who causes destruction in order to clear a path. It needs someone who will do anything in order to get what the monster desires. It needs someone who tumbled through life cutting down trees, only to avoid wildfire. Someone who sacrifices something good for something great.
Because this world, whether anyone wants to hear it or not, sucks. It’s a hell hole full of people who will do whatever it takes to clamber to the top of the ladder. But once they get to the top, all they find is a desk. A simple desk on the middle of the roof.
They eagerly run to this desk, expecting something amazing since they kicked everyone behind them on the ladder down and into the pit full of starved snakes and lions. With a glimmer in their eye, they peer onto the tabletop, only to find a glass of whiskey. They drink the whiskey, hoping for something in the glass. All they find is the bottom of it. Just like the bottom of the ladder, there is death. Except for lions and snakes, there’s poison.
In the end, we all die. It doesn’t matter who makes it to the top. As long as someone lives happily content in their lifetime, it doesn’t matter how it ends. People just need to live happily, because we all get the same outcome.
And in order to live happily, you have to go through some sort of pain and strife to understand what happiness is. That’s where the monster comes in. Because without him, no one would understand.
I’ve had many monsters in my lifetime. But they weren’t the good kind that I speak of. More specifically, he wasn’t the good kind. My father. He was the bad kind, the one that you never get over and never forget. The kind that leaves bruises on the mind and scars in the heart. He was more physically abusive than verbally, but the words often hurt more than the wounds. The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. It has no bones, but it can break a heart.
Maybe it was because Mom left us, and she’s God knows where, roaming the earth on her bike. Maybe that hurt him so bad, that is destroyed every part of him, and he just took his alcoholic behavior out on me. But you can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else.
I sigh and look out the window pane as the SUV rolls into my new neighborhood. Little droplets of rainwater tap-tap-tap at a peaceful beat against the body of the car, and I watch as darker shades of grey clouds conform as they crawl closer to the city. Soft sounds of thunder caress my ears into a roaring symphony.
Change isn’t something that’s uncommon for me. Or, at least it hasn’t been uncommon for the past two years. I’ve been constantly moved around in different foster homes for years. Somehow, my father always finds me. But I manage to get away somehow.
The car comes to a halt with a quiet squeak in its step. Or…wheel. Whatever. I get out, going to the back of the car as the back pops open. Two suitcases and a duffle bag carry my belongings inside, and I grab them by the handle. When my escort, who’s name I don’t know, tries to take my backpack from the back seat where I originally was, I rip it from his hands.
“Not that one,” I mutter, eyelids lowered and brows knitted together.
He releases it with ease when I take it from him, and instead goes for one of the suitcases and the duffle. His movements are hesitant, as if he’s silently questioning whether or not it’s okay for him to take them. His eyes glance between me and the bags to prove my point of his nervousness further. I nod in approval, and he picks them up with ease.
Rain begins to occupy my skin like it’s its home. But it drenches my clothes and hair like it wants to breed an entire generation. Goosebumps cater to my arms, looking like little dots that could be connected with a line.
We both hurry inside of my new house, a lady who I assumed would be my “mother” opening the door for us. Our clothes drip of sky tears and fall onto the hardwood floor as the woman smiles warmly at me.
She claps her hands together when my escort leaves with a curt nod. “Hello. You must be Anna.”
“Did you read the papers wrong?” I ask her, tone flat.
“My name is pronounced [ Aw-nuh ], not
[ An-nuh ].“
“Oh…” The woman trails off, unsure of what to say.
“Where’s my room?”
Hesitance follows my question before my caretaker points up the stairs behind her. “Just…up there and two doors on the right.”
I don’t even bother to thank her as I begin lugging my first two bags with me upstairs. Why should I? I’m just going to be rid of anyway. No one wants me. I’m unloveable.
Take my father, for example. He never hurt or emotionally bothered to scar my brother. Yet he acted as if he hated me. Like I was nothing but something to be wiped from the bottom of his shoe.
So here’s my point with that: If my own father can’t love me, then no one can. I accept it just fine. I won’t be anyone’s first choice. I’ll never be anyone’s favorite. People may come and go and tell me I mean a lot to them and that I’m special to them, but I know that there will always be someone who is chosen over me by that person. It’s all lies.
I throw my bags onto the bed. I hate my father for being an abusive drunk. I hate my brother for receiving a better life than me. And I hate my mother for abandoning me.
I realize that I’m not the only girl in the world that has problems, but I never find that it makes me feel less alone. I’ve always been alone. And I don’t want pity. I’m just stating how it is.
When I go to get the other two of my bags, I’m met with another girl bringing them to my room for me. She’s tall – with beautiful tan legs exposed by a pair of denim shorts (and I don’t know why she’s wearing shorts when it’s raining hardcore, but whatever). She’s smiling with these perfect white straight teeth, and eyes are shadowing the same warmth. I can’t spot a single flaw on her style, looks, or honest expression. If her personality matches her smile, then I’m sure girls are extremely jealous of her.
“Hi,” she greets. “I’m your foster sister, Hayley.” Her arms extend so she can give me the bags, and I take them much more easily than she seemed to be holding them. I’ve got a pretty strong set of arms and abs due to all the free time I have.
“Hi,” I mumble.
I go back into the room and shut the door behind me, tossing the bags onto the ground without a care about what would happen to the content inside.
Stupid nice people and their stupid pretty faces and their stupid perfect lives.
I spin around in a circle and plop onto the bed, my back resting flat against the mattress. A long breath is released from my lips, a piece of hair flies up a bit and then flops back down onto my face.
How many guys chase after that girl, I wonder. She’s probably got a line of them just waiting to suck her lips right off. I’ve never had any nice guys walk up to me and ask me out. All I’ve gotten are nasty men hitting on me and…touching me. Hurting me. I don’t trust people.
I stare out the window surrounded by blank white walls around it. Rain patters even harder than before against it, making terrifying sounds. I hate thunder. I hate rain. I’m scared of it. Yet I was forced to move somewhere where they’re having one of the wettest years yet.
No one comforts me. I don’t have anyone to comfort me.
I flinch when an uneven sound of thunder rolls through the air and causes the house to shake in its spot. An empty picture frame on the ground, ready to hang, rattles and then falls with a short clank.
I curl up into a ball, hugging my knees to my chest. My shoulder feels cold, as always. And I don’t mean it metaphorically. I mean it in the sense of soulmate tattoos. That’s where mine is located.
Everyone is born with a soulmate tattoo. I refer to it as a mark, just because it sounds less cheesy and annoying. The mark is given to you as you’re body is forming in the womb, in any place where your body feels is suitable enough: big enough, smooth enough, just the perfect spot to create the mark.
Mine was given to me on my shoulder, in the shape of a frighteningly red devil’s wing. It takes up my entire left shoulder, haunting me every time I decide to turn around and see a little of it in the mirror.
This mark will determine who I belong with, that is, if I ever find him or her. Sometimes people never find their lover because they’re so far apart, but that’s the minority of the world.
I guess it’s kinda cool. Your eternal love is supposed to have the other half of your tattoo, or something that pairs/matches. That’s just more confirmation to know that they’re your soulmate. But it’s not that astonishing.
Only at sixteen years of age does the mark begin letting you know if your soulmate is nearby or not. The colder it is, the farther away he/she is. The hotter, the opposite. My mark has never felt anything warmer than lukewarm. But you never really know where your forever person is until it feels like your mark is going to burn your skin alive. And to relieve that pain, you simply touch that person. It doesn’t have to be anything more than the tap of a pointer finger, but you just have to touch them.
But all I can react to that is eye rolling. I’m not going to find my soulmate. I’m unloveable. All my life I’ve been trapped and thrown around without a say in anything. And you’d think that at age eighteen I could just go live on my own.
But no. I am required to stay here for at least another year before discharge, and even then I’ll be under careful supervision of the government in order to be sure that my father doesn’t harm me. It’s like I’m stuck in this endless cycle of pain and misery. I can’t escape it, so how can I find someone special to help me get out of it? It’s impossible.
Another rumble from the sky causes me to cringe and go over to my bag. I find a blanket and run back over to the bed when the floor shakes and causes vibration in my feet. A bright light suddenly flashes into the room, and I shiver in fear.
I want it to stop. Stop. Stop. I hate this weather. It reminds me too much of the restless nights when I was kept in the basement. That was my bedroom. And it had a leaking problem. Whenever thunderstorms or minor floods occurred in Raygus, water would creep into the basement. It sometimes got so high up the short set of stairs, that I was all the way up at the door. Vivid images flash through my mind as the storm continues.
“Please!” My voice cracks as I plead to be freed from the basement. “Let me out! It’s flooding in here! Help!”
Water touches my toes, and I scream as I clamber onto the final stair step. The basement, from the floor to the ceiling, is only five feet tall. I stand at five foot one, so I’m constantly crouching and walking low to move around. When they drag my upstairs (usually literally and with a rope because they themselves can’t fit down here) I have to lie down, and let them drag me up. Honestly it’s more like a large crawlspace than a basement. It’s torture.
I turn around and fist my hands up into little balls. I bang and pound the door violently, needing to escape. “PLEASE LET ME OUT!”
I whimper and shake my head, escaping that memory. I didn’t need to dwell on it. I’m out of there now. I hug the blanket closer up to my neck, trembling only slightly as the storm continues.
Eventually they would let me out, but only when the water reached my neck and I had to kick to stay above the flood. Where we lived before foster care, it rained tremendously and all the time. It rarely was sunny outside. That’s how it’s been here in New York all year. It’s like the opposite of global warming this year, and it’s not normal. But of course it has to happen when I move here.
I close my eyes. Sleep is a necessity, yet I never really accomplish it. It’s filled with restless nights and red eyes. I haven’t gotten real sleep in years.
I’ll try tonight.
Hey! I hope you guys enjoyed this first chapter. I realize it’s kinda slow, but it’s only the first one. You have to let it pick up pace and build character – literally – before continuing.
P.S: Understand that I am an author that will make you pull your hair out with tension and cliffhangers, just for future notice.