Prologue: Two Years Ago
It was a cold Christmas night. I laid in my bed, staring at the ceiling. I could see the shadows of snow flakes falling outside the window on the wall. I moved my head over towards my bedside table to see the time. Ten thirty. Most Christmas nights around ten thirty my parents, my younger sister,Hannah, and I would be wide awake, whether it be washing dishes from diner, picking up scraps of wrapping paper or ribbons, or deciding where in the world this new dress or that new dollhouse will go. But this year, it was different. Mom had sent both of us to bed much earlier than we ever would on Christmas. She wouldn't tell us why, but we both knew. She and dad were going to have a fight. It wasn't unusual. They had fights a lot back then. At first, it scared Hannah and me a lot, because we had never seen them yell like that at use when we were ten and seven years old. Now, it just seemed like a normal thing we just tried to ignore. But even though they had been fighting for the past three years then, they never fought on Christmas. Never.
I couldn't hear exactly what they were yelling about now behind my thick oak bed room door, but I could tell it must have been over something important. It was the loudest they had ever been then, and again, the first they ever had on Christmas. I wanted to know. I wanted to know so badly what caused them to fight. And to this day, I still don't. I never had the heart to go up to mom and say 'What happened that Christmas night?' After a few minutes, I looked at the clock again. Ten forty four. I thought for a minute, and then I leaned up. I sat upright on the side of my bed, and I took a breath. I stood on the hard wooden floor. I listened, to make sure if mom was still talking. I held my breath again, and took a step. I listened. I took another, and listened. I did that until I had made it half way across the room. Then, I paused. Mom stopped talking. I stood very still, to hear if she was starting to walk up the stairs, which were just across from my door. She started talking again, but I heard my door open a creak. I took two big steps backwards and leaped onto my bed as quietly as I could. I got under my pink and purple patch-quilt comforter to make it look like I was asleep. But then, I heard a little voice come from across he room.
"Bekah?' said the timid voice. I turned over a bit to get a better look of the person. The light from downstairs blinded me a bit at first, but I could make out the outline of my little, eight year old sister Hannah standing in the door way.
"Close the door,' I whispered to her. She nodded, and turned around and shut the door. "What is it?' I asked.
"I can't sleep,' she said to me, "Can I please sleep with you tonight?' I sighed. She had been doing this often over the past couple years. She would get nightmares when dad and mom fought, and she would crawl into my bed at night. It seemed a bit childish for a ten year old to do, but I didn't refuse. I nodded and she walked across the room into my bed. We both laid there, staring at the ceiling on that cold night. It felt like hours, just laying there looking at the shadows of the snow flakes on the ceiling. I leaned to look at the clock again, trying very carefully not to disturb Hannah. Eleven Eleven.
"Make a wish.' I thought to myself. I didn't believe in wishes, but I always liked the feeling that if I did, than maybe it would be more likely for that wish to come true. I made my wish, and I turned over and tried to finally sleep. But just then as I was going to go to sleep, with the warm thought of the wish in my mind, I heard my parents yelling the words that haunt me to this day.
I heard my dad say calmly, and then shout, "You know, sometimes I just kinda wished I could leave this damn house!' He shouted. I froze. I held my breath. It seemed like those few seconds, the whole world stopped turning on its axis, but it started again, when my mom replied back.
'Then why the hell don't you ?' It got quiet. Quieter than it had during that entire fight, quieter than it ever had in the whole house. I heard my dad say something, and again, I never found out what it was, and then a few foot steps, and a door slamming. I sat upright, and got out of bed. I walked across the floor, but I didn't try to quietly. I opened my bedroom door and leaned over the railing where I could see at the bottom of the stairs, my mother. She normally beautiful short, straight auburn hair was frizzy, and her face was red from shouting. She looked up at me, and I could see her eyes were also red from crying, and tears were causing her mascara to start dripping down her flustered cheeks.