My dad grabbed my upper arm and jerked me sharply backwards. "Liz."
I stared at the house I've grown up in, being devoured by hungry fire, with tears blurring my vision. My whole body was trembling with fear, and panic was racing through my veins.
"No," I cried and ripped out of his grip. I swirled to look at him and was only momentarily taken aback by the matching fear on his face, before I pointed towards the house and cried, "Is mom in there?"
"I'm gonna call 911," my dad answered, his voice raspy and unrecognizable.
I found myself frustrated and angry with his reply and I repeated with a tearing sob, "Is she?"
"You need to wait here," my dad said, still ignoring the question he couldn't answer. "Don't go any closer to the house."
"We have to help her," I yelled and started towards the house.
My dad's arms were instantly around my waist and my back was pressed up against his front. His tight embrace broke the small resolve I still had on my feelings and I went limp in his lock, sobbing uncontrollably.
"Baby," he said against my ear and his voice was surprisingly calm, echoing through my ears as though from a distance. "I'm gonna try and get closer and see if there's anyone at home, okay? And call 911. But you," he placed a light kiss on my cheek and I squeezed my eyes tightly shut against the onslaught of love it brought, "need to stay here. Okay?" He slowly released the grip on my body and I struggled to remain standing as he took a step back. "Promise me?"
I looked up at the burning house, watched small pieces of my home fly off in the morning wind as they burnt brightly with ember, and knew that it wasn't a promise I would be able to keep.
But still, I nodded. "I promise."
"Stay here," my dad repeated with emphasis and I nodded again, my eyes glued to my worst nightmare.
I was partially aware of my dad getting into the car to retrieve his cell phone as my eyes landed on the balcony. My balcony. The one that was big enough to be a terrace, situated on top of the dining area of the restaurant below. My eyes moved to the windows of my bedroom, the intact windows of my bedroom. There was no smoke coming from my room; the fire had not reached it. Yet.
Looking at the entrance to our home, to the side of the restaurant, I realized that the small window next to the front door was cracked letting me know that the heat was too great to be confined. Alas, the front door was not a good way in.
But my room was.
I glanced behind me and saw my dad's back turned towards me, holding the phone to his ear.
The only thing that was going through my mind when I turned my eyes back towards the fire was that I had to save mom. Considering how fast this fire was eating through our house, the fire department would be too late.
I only had a split second to decide what to do, but the promise to my dad was not a difficult one to break.
I took a deep breath and ran. My goal was the ladder going up to my balcony.
I didn't look back to see if anyone (my dad) was following me. Once I got closer to the house, I couldn't hear if anyone was following me; the sound of fire munching on organic material was too loud.
I couldn't tell you how I got up the ladder or into my room, but I suddenly found myself staring at the doorknob separating me from the rest of the house. The smoke was creeping into my room and I was already having trouble breathing.
Coughing, I pulled the hem of my sweater down over my hand (old movie knowledge told me that the knob would be warm) before closing it around the handle. The heat spread through the hem and the lock shivered as I lost the grip, basically propelling the knob out of locked position.
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Unbreakable - A Beautiful Lie · (Roswell Fanfiction) · √Fanfiction
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