“Okay, now tell us what happened, from the beginning”
I inhale and unleash a quivering breath, letting the cold vapor escape from my chapped lips as I struggle to formulate a proper response. “From...from the beginning,” I repeat trembling, trying to avoid the man’s gaze. Truthfully, I had heard him the first time, but I was attempting to stall because I just couldn’t face the dreadful events that occurred that day, not again.
“Yes Valerie, from the beginning, as much as you remember,” the man across me slowly nods, not taking his eyes off the notepad on the table, as he motions towards someone behind the one-way mirror to start recording.
I reflect his nod, looking down my arms as I pull the sleeves of my purple sweater over my hands because of the freezing temperatures in the interrogation room, or maybe just out of the need for comfort. After a while, I finally gained a small amount of courage to begin talking as I slowly look up and close my eyes. “It all started on the morning of Friday the 13th”.
The quiet small town of Bellcore had been met by a tumultuous and immense thunderstorm that day, just as the clock had struck 2 AM. Most of its inhabitants were all peacefully asleep, well except for my parents, but I didn’t know that.
At early dusk, I was returning home from my friend Jackie’s party and admittedly; I was terribly sick. With each step on the sloppy-wet grass, my stomach tightened and ached more and more. The world had spun around me while I tried to keep the warm liquid from rising in my chest, swallowing and clenching my throat, but I couldn’t stop the vomit no matter how hard I tried. Just as I began to taste it in the back of my mouth, I tried pressing my hands over my lips, preventing the disaster that was about to spill and dashed. I found a slippery-drenched rock while dashing into the forest and lurched over it, vomiting everything I had eaten from the previous day.
Soon after, my senses had slowly returned as I slithered back down the rock, letting out an unsatisfied groan and wincing from the burning within my throat. The weather had not been so merciful with me that day either, with the rain causing me and my clothes to become more and more drenched. I slowly pressed both of my shivering pale hands against the wet grass, careful not to slip as I pushed myself off the ground. When I finally had gotten a hold of my balance, I looked down and noticed my ruined muddy jeans. Annoyed, I had begun to walk as fast as possible back home, despite the throbbing pain in my legs and arms. Right then, I felt that I had bigger problems than my ruined clothes, such as getting back to my room before my parents would wake up and realize I was gone.
Ironically, my parents were awake and just waiting for me as I had quietly opened the backdoor, trying not to make it creak. I had looked into the kitchen, when I noticed my mother sitting with her head and hands on the kitchen table, looking worried and exhausted, while my father was on the other side of the room, trying to call the cops on our landline. When they both looked up and noticed me as I got halfway through the staircase, I knew I was done for. “VALERIE WRIGHT,” my father shouted and there began our long and brutal argument.
We fought so much that morning. No one understood what the other one wanted to say because we kept on interrupting and talking over each other through the whole thing. It was like there was a demonic presence between us because we couldn’t stop. I was so stubborn then and felt ashamed of myself, yet I wanted to prove that my parents wrong, wrong for caring about my safety and wellbeing. It got so bad to the point where my father had to have me grounded me till college and my mom had grown so weak, that she begged me to go back to my room. However, instead of listening to them, it blew for me, causing me to say the 5 words that I regret because I could never take them back.
“I WISH YOU NEVER EXISTED,” I screamed, causing my burning throat to swell up and hurt even more as my voice cracked. Silence ensued between us and before I could even see the look on their poor faces, I stomped back to my room and slammed the door shut, causing my bedroom mirror to crash and break into small pieces all over my desk. I paused for a moment from shock but being filled with rage, I didn’t care. I walked over and fell into my soft purple velvet bed, feeling surprised that I didn’t hear my father walk up the stairs to give me another lecture. I turned around in my bed and picked up a broken piece of glass almost cutting myself from our sharp it was. As I looked deep into it, I dropped the glass immediately in fear as I recoiled away from it. What I had seen on the glass wasn’t a reflection of myself, but something so horrendous, grinning back at me with the evilest intentions.
I scampered off from my bed and rushed to open the door. “Mom, Dad!” I had cried with tears forming in my eyes as I dashed back down the stairs, “I’m sorry, I was--”, I paused. They were nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere for them and checked every possible place they could be, but they were gone. I helplessly waited for them that whole night, hoping they would come back, but they never did.
The cold interrogation room grew so quiet that the only noise one could hear was my hopeless and pathetic sobs. My whole complete body shakes as I try to contain myself. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. How was I able to lose the one thing that I loved and cared about in this cruel and unfair world? The man stopped taking notes and glanced at me with pity. I despised his sympathy towards me and almost gagged because I didn’t deserve it. I knew he probably thought I was going to end up being just some other abandoned kid, but I knew deep inside that couldn’t be true. I mean my parents would never leave me like that, right? I gasped for air, realizing I forgot to breathe from the pain I had felt after getting reminded of the horror that had occurred. Suddenly, something came to mind. That mirror, that wretched mirror must have had something to do with their disappearance. I quickly looked over to the man pleadingly as he nodded and let me go.
As I open the door from the police station, I walk outside, feeling the cold breeze against me. While taking a deep breath to calm myself, I look up to notice the grey clouds growing and forming together over me as they prepare to spill their tears across the town of Bellcore. I grumble not wanting to get soaked again as I try hailing a Taxi. I was still upset with the sudden disappearance of my parents, so I didn’t pay attention to the car that stopped in front of. Just as I was about to get inside, I noticed that it wasn’t a Taxi driver at all. I quickly mumbled an apology as I try to close the door, but the driver prevented me from doing so. “I can help you”, I hear a feminine voice as I look up and notice an old lady. She looked to be somewhere over 90 years old, yet she seemed to move very well despite her age. She opened her car door once more, “I can help you find your parents''.
Broken Mirrors and Broken Bonds
BY Anna Milicevic