"Buenas Noches mi hijas." Mami shuts the light off and closes the door. I jump up from my bed and climb into Ahmity's. She covers me with the blanket and strokes my hair. "When is Daddy coming back?" I ask her. She stays quiet for a minute, than says "Soon Mama's." He's been gone for 3 days. Him and Mami have been fighting a lot lately. This time he left and hasn't come back. Mami told me he's working somewhere out of town, but I know the truth. She thinks that lie is going to work, just because I'm 6. "What if he doesn't?" I ask her. "Callese ya hermanita, no hablas asi." She tells me. I obey, curling up closer to her. She fixes the delicate silver chain around her neck. I run my finger over the heart pendant hanging from it. Papi gave it to her for her 8th birthday. "Vas a estar conmigo todo el tiempo, por que tu eres mi corazon hermanita." She says, hugging me tight. I cry silently in her shirt. She's my securtiy. She's my rock. As long as she's here, I'm okay. And nothing, not even Papi gone, can hurt me.
A tear manages to escape and roll down my cheek. I wipe it away. I squint up at the light, and wish they would turn it off. I've been sitting in this 'interoggation' room for 2 hours. The walls are a pale light green, with the paint chipping off and I'm sitting in one of two chairs with a table in between. I look up at the mirror on the wall and I know they're watching me. I hug myself and stare at the table. After a minute, I hear the extremely loud buzzer and a different guy walks in. I don't want to talk to anybody anymore. I just want my sister. He sits down, and smiles warmly at me. Such a change from the last jerk that came in to talk to me, or yelled at me I should say. "I'm Doctor Neil..How are you Lena?" He asks. I glare up at him. He looks down at the papers in a folder he has. "When can I go?" I ask him. "I just need to ask you a few questions first." "I'm not lying! Why would I do this to myself!? I've been telling you people, he's crazy! You can't believe anything he says, no matter how sane he looks!" I scream. He remains his composure and waits for me to calm down. "We've had several people talk to Mr. Lawson, including therapists specializing in bipolar disorder. They've all said the same thing. They don't see the capability in him to do something like this Lena." I shut my eyes. "I wouldn't hurt myself on purpose. I'm not the crazy one!" I'm tired of repeating myself. I can't believe he's getting away with this. I can't believe he turned this whole thing on me! "Why is my sister missing!? Why is her boyfriend in the hospital!? I would be there too if not dead if I didn't get out of that house!" I scream at him. He nods his head, writing. The buzzer sounds, and the door opens. "Mr. Lawson would like to talk to you and the suspect Doctor Neil." The officer says. The suspect. I'm the suspect when I've done nothing wrong. My whole body starts trembling and I curl myself up in a ball on the chair. "Doctor Neil." I hear him say. "Lena..." I start rocking back and forth. I want to wake up from this nightmare. I feel someone's hands on me and I start flinging my fists. "See what I mean? She would do stuff like this everyday, and there was no way I could stop her." He tells the doctor. "FUCK YOU!" I spit at him and he backs away from me, his eyes wide like he's scared. "Lena, You calm down or we'll be forced to put you in restraints!" Doctor Asshole tells me. I glare at him and sit in my chair normally. I stare at the bruises on my arms, and tears roll down my eyes. "I wouldn't do this to myself...I'm telling you the truth." I say again. I don't know what else to do. I told them the story from the beginning, but it's not good enough. He has them wrapped around his little finger, with his false charm and fake innocence.
"We need to call the cops." Preeti tells me. I don't know why I don't want the cops involved. He clearly needs to be take away, but something keeps me from calling them. "How else are we going to get your sister?" She asks me when I object. I sigh. "I know, you're right." "I'll do it." She says, taking out her phone. The whole thing is like a blur. The only thing that I clearly remember is getting to the house only to find Brendan seemingly-innocent, sitting on the couch, watching t.v. He looked surprised, but as he walked past me in handcuffs, he smirked with that sickening gleam in his eye. I remember running upstairs, frantically searching for my sister, but she was nowhere to be found in the huge house. Preeti held me as I screamed until I got dizzy. The cop helped me down, took me to the police station to ask some questions. But it completely flipped, when Brendan started lying his ass off and made me sound like the crazy. So now, I'm here in risk of being taken to a mental hospital when the real physco is free and roaming.
Brendan shakes his head. "She hasn't been right since she got home." He says. Doctor Asshole looks at him. "Home from where?" He asks. Brendan turns to look at me. "L.A." He says, with that damn gleam in his eye. I curl my lip and if looks could kill, he'd be dead. "Mmm." The doctor says, nodding his head, and writing again in the folder. He comes by me and tries to touch my hair. I jerk away from him and he pulls back his hand. His expression is one of hurt, but I can see straight past it. He blinks a couple times, and his lip sticks out. "I just want her to be okay. I want her to get the help she needs. I miss my girlfriend." His voice cracks and tears roll down his face. He hits the wall, making it look like this really tears him up inside. I want to kill him. "I understand. Why don't you go sit in Officer Mark's office for awhile, and get yourself together." Doctor Dumb Ass tells him. He nods his head, sniffing. "I love you Lena." He says, before he walks out the door. I flip him off and spit. "I hate you!" I scream at him. He shakes his head, and disappears. "Keep it up and we will detain you in a cell, is that clear?" He scolds me like a little kid. I roll my eyes, and look away. He leaves and the door shuts with a loud bang that echoes through the small room. I pull my knees up to my chest. I start humming the melody to "Today My Life Begins" and my voice cracks when I start to think of Bruno. I let the tears fall. BZZZZZ! I jump. The door opens. Preeti! I run and squeeze her with all my might. "They think I'm crazy! They don't believe me, I told them everything but they don't believe me!" I desperately cry out. She strokes my hair. "Calm down my love, just breathe." It doesn't work, and I keep crying. She sits me down. "These people are assholes! Since when don't they just ignore a case where a girl has been raped!" She yells, angrily. "How can they be so stupid? He's not that good of an actor!" She spits out. I can see the rage in her eyes. I realize I'm shaking and she kneels in front of me, holding my hand. "I'm gonna get you out of here love, okay?" "H-h-howw?" I ask, my voice trembling. She gets a far away look for a minute, than she snaps out of it. "Sonia." She says. The buzzer goes off. "Time's up" The guard says. "What about Sonia?!" I reach for her as she stands up. "She's our only hope--" "TIME'S UP!" He grabs her arm and drags her out. I have so many questions. I'm left sitting wondering and more confused than ever. The time passes so slow. Or maybe it's going by fast. I have no sense of time sitting in this dungeon room. Ahmity. What did he do to her? Where is she? I clench my fists. He won't get away with this. I stare at the mirror, wondering who's eyes are watching me. It creeps me out knowing they can see me, but I can't see them. It feels like hours pass before another human being comes back through the doors. It's the guard. He grabs me by my arm. I immediately resist and he squeezes and drags me like a rag doll. "Can I least know where I'm going since you wanna rough handle me?" I ask, looking at him with my eyebrows furrowed. "Holding" He replies shortly. Great. He throws me in the room with a bench. Again I'm alone. I curl up on the bench and try to sleep so at least time will go by faster, but there's no way that's possible. I have too much running through my mind and being in this place sucks all emotion out of you.
* * * *
I sit across from Sonia. Her eyes are big and she looks like she's about to cry any minute. Doctor Neil is sitting off to the side, on the couch. Officer Mark is asking Sonia the questions. "How long have you known Mr. Lawson?" She gulps. "4 years." She answers. "And what was your relationship to him?" "I was his girlfriend." She says, softly. My jaw drops. She looks at me for a split second, than looks back down at her hands. "How long were you in a relationship with Mr. Lawson?" "Um, almost 2 years." She says. "When you and Mr. Lawson were together, was he ever agressive or controlling?" He asks. Sonia plays with her fingers. I'm on the edge of my seat, waiting for her to say yes. "No." She says. What?! I close my eyes in dismay. "Did he ever put his hands on you in a violent way?" "No." She says. "So Mr. Lawson has never hurt you physically?" He asks. She remains quiet. I see her eyes well up with tears. "Yes.." She says, her voice breaking. Officer Mark turns quickly to look at Sonia. "Yes?" He asks. She breaks down sobbing. Doctor Neil kneels down to comfort her. My heart flutters with a twinge of excitement, but I feel sick knowing what he did to me, he did to Sonia. She was the one Phred was telling me about. And Preeti knew! She knew if Sonia came forward, it would 2 against one and I would be free! "I know this will be hard for you Sonia, but for the record, you have to tell me what he did to you." Officer Mark tells her. She wipes her tears and nods her head. "He--he used to hit me--" "I'm sorry Sonia, you're going to have to go into detail." He tells her. I close my eyes in empathy. I want to go and squeeze her, but I'm not allowed up from the chair. Tears fall down her cheeks. "He used to slap me, and punch me...and kick me." My body gets chills and I have to shake my head to get the images of him doing that to me out. "He used to lock me in a room, and I was only allowed out--" "To use the bathroom." We say at the same time. She looks at me and our eyes hold the same sympathy for each other. "Did he..rape you?" Officer Mark asks her, and I can tell it's hard for him to ask her that. "Yes." She whispers. The following events happen to quick to wrap my head around. Sonia is released and so am I. I run out in the lobby to find Preeti standing waiting for me. I tackle her and cry and cry in her shirt. She squeezes me and kisses my cheek. "Thank you! Thank you!" I say over and over. I see Sonia sitting in the corner in a chair. I walk up to her and put my arms around her. "I'm so sorry." I tell her. She hugs me back and she's shaking. She smiles through her tears. "It's okay. As long as the bastard gets what he deserves, I don't care how many times I have to tell someone my story." She says. Just as the words leave her mouth, 2 cops walk by, with Brendan who's in handcuffs. He smirks at us, with that sickening gleam in his eye. Sonia stands up. "I hate you! You fuckin worthless piece of shit! Burn in hell where you belong!" The gleam vanishes and he scowls before they turn the corner and he's gone. His green eyes that I once loved, disappear and relief fills my heart knowing I'll never have to see them again. She turns to look at me with a smile. "Felt good?" I ask her. "Not as good as kicking his face in like I want, but it'll do." She says and we laugh. Laugh. Haven't done that in 9 days. "Let's get out of this place." Preeti says. I agree and lead the way. I step out into the sunlight and fresh air. I breathe it in. I feel good, for 2.5 seconds. My sister is missing and I need to find her.
* * * *
I have no idea where to look, how to begin, or what to do. Preeti handled the 'declaring a missing persons case' but I'm not going to sit around and wait for the cops, who didn't believe that I was raped and beaten, to find my sister. I'll take matters into my own hands. Preeti suggests driving around first, to see if we can scope her out anywhere. But it's Miami. And it's summer. We might as well be playing 'Where's Waldo?' Something keep telling me to go back to the house, but I push it away. I don't want to see that house ever again in my life. Preeti said she would get my clothes for me so I wouldn't have to go back. "Well, chica..What else do you have in mind?" Sonia asks, when we exhausted all of our ideas. I rack my brain. "Take me to the hospital." I tell her. They both look at me, confused. "I have to talk to Adrian." I tell them. Twenty minutes later, I'm walking down the hall, the same hall I walked down when Ahmity was here. In fact, his room is 4 doors down. I take a deep breath and walk in. He's sitting up, looking at the t.v. on the wall. He's wearing his regular clothes, but his arm is in a cast and his face is almost unrecognizable with all the cuts and bruises. He turns. My eyes well up with tears when I see him. He stares at me. "Lena..." He finally says and I run over to hug him. "OW..careful" He says. I feel bandages under his shirt, covering his ribs. "What happened?" I ask. He kinda chuckles. "I knew the fucker was crazy, but not this crazy." He says, shaking his head. "Brendan did this to you?!" I cover my mouth. Saying his name makes me want to gag. "When they found me, I had stopped breathing. They brought me back." He tells me, straight out. I still have my mouth covered, in shock. He looks behind me. "Where is she?" He asks, and I don't need to say 'Who' to know he's talking about Ahmity. I gulp and my heart beats fast. He looks at me, waiting. "She's...missing." I tell him. He freezes, and I can't tell what he's thinking. "What do you mean she's missing?" He says, monotone. "After I got out and the cops--" "After you got out?! What do you mean? Got out of where?" He says, confused. He stares at me, and than his eyes wander to my shoulders and arms. "Oh Lena...No." He says. He shakes his head. "Why did you come back!?" He yells. "I didn't! He found me and beat and forced me to come back!? You think I asked for this?!" I scream at him. "Okay, okay I'm sorry..." He says, quickly. I calm down. "So wait, you got away?" He asks, in shock. "I had to, I wasn't going to let him kill me." I say. "He wouldn't of killed you Lena..." He says, looking down. "After awhile, he wouldn't have to, I would've done it myself." I say. He looks taken aback and I even shock myself that I said that out loud. "I didn't want to leave her, but I didn't have a choice. And now she's gone!" I say. "Where is Brendan?" He asks. "In jail where he belongs." I tell him. He has happiness and sadness at the same time in his expression. Happiness because of what he's done to me, him and Ahmity, but sadness because at the end of the day, that's his brother. "I know where she is..." He says. "You do?!" I ask, excitedly. "But you won't be able to go and get her. You're going to have to wait until she comes to you..." He says, looking in my eyes. "The fuck I can't go get her! Where is she Adrian?!" I yell. He turns away from me. "I know what I'm talking about Lena, just...let it go." He says. The boy has lost his damn mind! I turn him. "Tell me where she is Adrian!!" He stares at me, very calmly. "If you love her, you'll wait for her to come back." He says. I grab my hair and I want to scream. I walk around in the hall for a minute, trying to calm down. "Where do I wait?" I ask him. He doesn't turn. "Where else? The house." He says. My heart sinks to my stomach.
* * * *
The big white and gold doors stare at me back as I stand in front of them. I look up at the house and all it's beauty, but all I feel is dread. My stomach flip flops as I turn the knob. The house is the same as I remember it. Clean, organized and nothing out of place. The only thing off is a pillow from the couch is on the floor. Flashback of them yanking Brendan off the couch and it falling down zips through my mind. I shake it off and head to the kitchen. I sit at the table. Memories, good and bad hit me. I don't know how I'm going to do this. I go upstairs slowly. I pass by Brendan's room quickly. I stare straight ahead as I pass my room. I don't even want to see the door. I head straight to Ahmity's room. When I open the door, I can smell her flowery scent. I lay on her bed and breathe in her pillow. The tears trickle their way out and make a wet spot on the pillowcase. I hug it tight to me and fall asleep.
* * * *
The doorbell wakes me up out of my sleep. I jump up from the bed and peek out, as if they are already in the house. My heart races as I walk down the stairs, slowly. I'm scared, nervous and excited at the same time. I see the shadow of someone through the thick glass of the front door. Someone short. My heart wants to come out of my chest. I rest my hand on the doorknob. I start to breathe heavy. I pull the door open. Brown eyes......