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I guess I never thought this would happen; at least not at such a young age. Not to me and defiantly not to my family. My parents went through so much to give us a life we could be happy in. They didn’t deserve this. Then again, no one ever deserves this.

The shrink says there are five stages of grief that you go through after someone dies: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. I never knew there was a something like that, not until last New Year’s Eve. Let alone, that I would be stuck in the first stage, just days before my fourteenth birthday.

But who would expect that? Or that my Uncle Harry would knock on the door, asking to see my parents? You never expect it to happen to you; those stories of women on the news, found murdered, sometimes raped. It wasn’t meant to happen to us; it was meant to be someone else’s life destroyed; someone we didn’t know.

What made it worse was that I was one of the first to know. Well, apart from Uncle Harry and perhaps even Aunt Ginny. Then there was that guy who tore my family apart. And I guess Rose herself, as she watched the man walk towards her, the light turning dark.

It was the way he looked at me, his face blank of any emotion. But his eyes; his such wonderful green eyes, were filled with tears.

Uncle Harry never cried.

It didn’t make any sense.

It had been New Years Day and I was home alone. My parents were doing the usual; spending time with the grandparents. Normally, I would have gone with them, but for once, I couldn’t handle two days in a row with Grandma Molly telling me I need to eat more; that I was far too skinny. I was doing the usual, sitting in front of the TV, watching mindless game shows until my brain hurt, while eating the nutella mum had left for me. (See, who said I didn’t eat enough?).

This never came into my usual routine after a big party the night before, one where I drank way too much coke and slept in really late. When Uncle Harry came, asking for my parents, I didn’t feel my world collapse around me. As soon as my parents came in, distraught, I guess I went into denial. I wouldn’t believe it until there was proof. I blocked it all out.

But now, even after a year and a half, I can say that I have been able to tick off the stage one through to three. By now, they say that I should be on stage five.

There are times, like the early mornings, when I settle down on stage four. This normally happens when the house is quiet and all I can hear is my father’s snoring from the room down the hallway. Depression creeps in as I think about that night, a year ago. The night she walked through my bedroom, in the early hours of New Years Day. I was awake, unable to sleep due to the party still going on downstairs.

She had crept in, as she usually did when she snuck out to spend time with her boyfriend. When she had seen me awake, she pressed her long, red nail, so like her hair, to her mouth and motioned for me to stay quiet. She had then progressed to the glass doors that separated my room from my balcony. With well-formed eased, she pried the doors opened and escaped to the tree by my window. The large oak tree, planted years before my birth, was her way out of this happy family. She was a rebel and needed to spread her wings. I guess dating a man that was almost a year older and a man that my father told her not to get too friendly with was the beginning of her spiral out of control.

I sometimes like to let my mind wander, thinking about all the things that I should have said to her; that I had told her not to go; said something smart or even important. Told her, without any doubt, that I loved and that she was the best thing in my life.

But the truth is, I didn’t tell her. I just rolled back onto my back and watched her disappear.

How was I supposed to know that would be the last time I saw her alive again?

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