12. all gone.

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The house was abnormally quiet without Amiel. Normally, there'd be neverending shouts about how I didn't deserve to live and that I was a useless, vacuous rat. Now, it was just silence. Plain old silence, and I wasn't sure if I liked it or not.

I sat on top of my bathroom sink and poured a fair amount of foundation onto a beauty sponge to apply on my face. The punch from Amiel had caused a great deal of damage on the side of my cheek. It was swollen, making me look like a half chipmunk, and there was a dark purple welt that was going to deepen in the coming days. Even with gentle blobbing, the sponge making contact with my skin hurt.

When I finished caking myself, I threw on an oversized hoodie some baggy sweats along with fuzzy socks. I looked like a complete mess even with the pounds of makeup on. I really don't understand how artists are able to create a whole different look with a couple of products, but I'm jealous!

I peeked at my phone. It was only 7:30pm, so I had some time to spare. I grabbed my lab notebook and a pen, as I assumed that was what Augustus and I were going to work on, before walking downstairs and stopping by the fridge to toss the expired bag of peas back in. I hopped onto the crusty, old armchair that was stained with beer and pizza and turned on the television, flipping through channels to see what would catch my eyes. But there was nothing due to the fact that we didn't have cable. There were only black and white shows, the news channel, and outdated lectures.

Instead of pretending to be interested, I skipped back upstairs, throwing my materials on the dining table, and grabbed the first part of my mother's journals from the busted up box. When I got home the other night, I figured out the number after her name was the order she wrote each one. I had been meaning to read it but didn't have the time to. I flipped the journal to the first page and sat beside my bed.

     January 28, 2014
     This week, I may have done something completely witless. Something I had no way out of now, and so, I am writing this if anything were to happen to me or my family.

2014: that's a little more than a year before her death. Reading this, set off the fire in my chest, once again. I wasn't entirely sure as on why I was still furious, but I was. Maybe it was because I could've prevented her death if I had noticed the little events that were out of place. I took a deep breath and continued on.

I thought I was helping a little boy who reminded me very much of my own daughter, Jami, but I'm not so sure if it is worth the danger and suppression anymore.

A lump formed in my throat and tears began welling up, replacing the growing rage. I fought back the urge to cry. I couldn't. Not for her, not anymore. She was only trying to help, right?

The past few days, I've been followed everywhere, yet when I turn to look, there's no one. At first, I believed it was just paranoia, but yesterday, I left my research book back at the office. Today, I came back to it opened with a light brown stain on it.

I closed the journal and placed it on my nightstand. That was the end of the first entry or at least I think it was because the bottom half of the page was ripped off. The endless amount of questions and thoughts running through my mind brought me to exhaustion. I hunched over my knees and shut my eyes, dozing off to a world of uncertainty when I was jolted awake by the annoying sound of the doorbell.

I ran down the stairs for the bajillion time today, picking up my materials and shouting, "I'm coming!"

Pulling open the door, I expected Augustus to be standing there, but it was Kian. He had a leather jacket on and a grin so wide on his face that you would think he was a statue made by some artist to bring awareness towards those with big mouths. I stared at him with shock clearly shown through my eyes, and he burst into laughter.

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