She didn’t feel the stickiness on her hands and in between her fingers. She didn’t feel the ache in her knees from falling to the ground. When was that? Hours ago? Days? She ignored the wet feeling on her face. Blood? Or tears? All she felt was the numbness coursing through each of her muscles. She blocked out the sounds around her, the voices that were trying to coax her up. All she heard was the ringing in her ears and the disturbing thoughts swirling in her mind. Why won’t they stop? Please, somebody, help me. She didn’t know if she said it out loud or not, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. There was no one left who cared for her. The one person who did was now gone – the only one who loved her in this world full of hatred, misery, and pain. Alyssa’s mother was gone, and it was the fault of the man she called her father. Was it? A treacherous voice whispered. No, Her father may have been the one who delivered her mother’s death, but she was the one who caused it.

She killed her mother.

The thud of her mother’s body falling rang through her ears as she stared at the blood pooling beside her. How could a colour so beautiful trigger such horrid memories? Now every time Alyssa would see that enticing scarlet colour, she’d remember the gasping noises her mother had made as her father’s arm tore through muscle, tissue and bone to reach her heart. She felt as though her mind was torturing her, every time she tried to get lost in thought about anything else, her mind would pull her back by her hair, kicking and screaming.

The image of her father holding her mother’s heart in the palm of his hands played in a loop in her head. He’d held it with such care, love and tenderness. Feelings he had never directed towards her mother when she was breathing. Alyssa laughed, a sound so hollow she could hear its echo through her heart. Of course the only time he’d feel anything resembling love would be while holding the bloody heart of his wife, the woman he had ignored for more than 15 years. It was poetic if you thought about it. That a man as heartless as her father, a man so full of bitterness and hatred, was given the ability to rip others’ hearts out. He’d done it because he was threatened. Because he had a thirst he needed to satiate. He’d done it because he couldn’t stand the thought of anyone being more powerful than him. The worst part was, she knew her mother was taken from her because Alyssa couldn’t keep her mouth shut. She had believed that deep down, her father loved her. She was a fool to think so. A foolish girl who had wanted her father’s love. The same father who’d proven to her from the day she was born that Alyssa was unwanted, and yet, she’d held out hope for fourteen years. Not anymore. Never again would she let her emotions blind her from the truth.

She hated him. She had never hated anyone as much as she hated her father. Alyssa wanted to dig her nails into his cheek until she drew blood. She wanted it to be his blood that coated her hands, not her mother’s. She didn’t do any of this though. Alyssa knew she had to think rationally to beat her father. She needed to be manipulative, cruel, and heartless. She needed to be him. She would make him pay for what he did because if there was one emotion Alyssa was capable of feeling, it was the sweet thrill of revenge. And, so, she allowed herself to share one similarity with her father. That cavity inside her chest, the place that was built to hold the beating organ that made her capable of love, was replaced. And in its place was one that was steadily being conquered by darkness. That day, surrounded by death and sitting in a pool of her mother’s blood, a fourteen-year-old girl vowed to never trust her father again. For she never met a man more selfish and cruel than him.

Photo: Arianna Jadé on