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Ani felt a hand like a feather touch her shoulder, and turned, only to find the wind calling her to the window. She was shaking, white like a ghost. What had just happened? 


The last thing she could remember, she was walking into the garden near the forest near her back yard. Now, she had just gotten out of bed and went to look out the window at the starry night. She looked down at her hands. Blood covered her, head to toe. She looked at her reflection on the window. Her normally perfect hair was now an unkempt mess that was wriggling like copper snakes, and her usually flawless clothing was torn. Her mind was racing, and she was sure her heart had skipped a beat when a dog barked outside. 


She turned and began searching frantically for her things. She had to do it, she had to run. 


This was not, after all, the first time that something of this sort had happened. There had been other times, periodically, that she had found herself in this state after long periods of time. But what scared her the most was that she couldn't remember what she was doing during those times. She went blank. And always, she returned looking as though she had gotten into a brutal fight. 


Ani often tried to convince herself that she was simply insane, that there was nothing more to it. But she knew better. It was to real to be fake. It was as simple as that. 


Another possibility she considered was that she was simply depressed, and because of this state, she was forgetting the highs of her life. Yes, even she admitted that this was a poor explanation, not only because it made absolutely no logical sense, but because she knew she had nothing to be depressed about. How could she be, when her life was perfect? 


Well, almost perfect. There was just one flaw, and it was the one that had shaped her life. 


When she was seven, her father moved out of the house. Not willingly, though. 


Ani remembered the night like it was yesterday. She had been in her room, watching television when she heard her mother screaming down the hall. Ani edged out slowly, carefully, trying to make out what she had been saying. It was things mostly along the lines of, "You can't stay here anymore." and "You've hurt her bad enough already.". Ani thought that if her mother had been referring to her, than she'd been terribly mistaken. She had always loved her dad, and could think of nothing he had ever done to her.
 

And still, there was that one remark that was the clearest in her mind..."You've already ruined any chance she'd ever had to be normal. You've turned her into a freak, just like you!". 


The last explanation Ani had come up with had everything to do with her dad's departure. She had thought a lot about those words, analyzing them over and over again, and she had finally come to some conclusion. She thought, no, knew, that these monthly mishaps were related to her dad leaving. It was her mom's comments that made it so clear. 


"You've already ruined any chance she'd ever had to be normal. You've turned her into a freak, just like you!" 

The only piece of the puzzle that Ani had not yet figured out was what kind of freak she was, exactly. What it was that she was doing during her times of unawareness, and what her dad had done to make her like this? 


So, thrusting her PJ's into her duffel bag, she darted down the stairs and out the door of her house. She had no idea where she was going, and she had no idea how she would get there. She just knew she had to do it - she had to leave.

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