I clenched the bag containing white powder tightly in my fist. Thoughts were rushing in and out of my head. I knew what I was about to do was extremely wrong, but my body had suffered enough blows.
“Oh God”, I whispered to myself, thinking back to where it all began.
In these seventeen years of my life I have learnt one main thing about my father- he cannot live without a woman.
Since my mother’s death five years ago, dad was constantly in and out of relationships. When I finally thought he had given up all
She was extremely nice and whilst she was around, my dad became happy again.
All was well until my dad met another woman in secret about which I found out. That’s when all the trouble started. Now I was getting the blame for her leaving him. It all happened like this…
“Dad! I can’t believe this. I thought you said you loved her and now you’re cheating on her!” I had just found out that my father had been two timing my step-mum for about a month now. Megan wasn’t home from work yet so she knew nothing about this. Eventhough I felt awfully sorry for her, I really didn’t want her to find out. Not yet anyway.
“Look, I’ll break it off as soon as I can but just give some time.” He looked a bit embarrassed but I thought he ought to. It was his fault.
“Hello! Are you two fighting again?” asked Megan as she entered through the front door. We were arguing so loud that we didn’t even hear her come in. Immediately we both went quiet.
“Oh hello darling! How was work today?” My father was so good at acting that nobody would have the slightest doubt about his honesty. It really made me sick because I knew the truth. Not that many people find mates as decent a s Megan. In the beginning the idea of my dad getting married again frightened me. After all the stories I had heard about wicked stepmothers I didn’t know what to expect. As I got to know her I found that she was someone you could really trust. Now I just didn’t want to see her getting hurt and I knew once she knew she would be more than just upset.
“Oh, hello Megan, how are you today?” I asked. I guess I was acting a bit weird myself. I wanted her to know about what my dad was doing but at the same time I didn’t. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be a secret for long.
* * *
Around a week later, I was walking home from school with a couple of my friends. As we approached my house we heard loud arguing and screaming. I knew she had found out. I excused myself from my mates and went inside. The scene was horrendous. Megan was crying and packing a medium-sized suitcase at the same time. She was screaming stuff at my dad. My dad was standing by the fireplace trying to explain himself. He looked like a young boy making excuses to the teacher for being late. There was a young lady sitting quite calmly on the leather sofa looking out of the window opposite. She showed no real interest in what was going though she looked very impatient. She was extremely attractive. She had dirty blonde hair and deep blue eyes, which gave away no clue to her personality.
I walked up to Megan. Since she had got married to my dad I had become very close to her. She had always comforted me in my silly little teenage problems and now I felt I owed her some support.
As I approached her I felt my dad’s cold eyes staring at me. I didn’t care though. I learnt that Megan was leaving right now and would go and stay with her sister until further notice. She gave me the address and phone number so I could keep in touch with her.
Tears started pouring out of my eyes as I hugged her not knowing if we would ever meet again after this. I was so upset I didn’t even notice the other young lady leave.
* * *
Coming back to the present I have to say that since Megan left, my life has been like hell. For one whole month I wasn’t allowed to leave the house. Not even for school. My dad told the teachers I was severely ill in hospital and when they offered to come and visit me he told them it wouldn’t be necessary and just hung up. He didn’t even go to work himself. He stayed home all day. If I spoke even once in front of him he would beat me until I bled. It got worse overtime. I couldn’t do anything though. I tried using the phone but he had already disconnected it. I felt trapped. I thought he might kill me.
Then one day a miracle happened. My father had to go to a meeting at work inquiring his absence. He couldn’t take me with him so he was forced to leave me at home by myself. About ten minutes after he had left I jumped out of the kitchen window, then walked around the house which took me to the busy road on which I lived. It felt so good to be out of the house at last. I ran straight up to the payphone at the end of the road. I dialled Megan’s number as fast as I could and stood there waiting for an answer. Her sister picked up.
“Hi. Can I speak to Megan please?” I asked politely. She handed it over to her.
“Hello. Who’s speaking?”
“Um, it’s Natalie!”
“Oh my God. Natalie, how are you? I haven’t spoken to you for so long. Is everything okay?”
That last sentence just did it. Out came the waterfalls and the stories. She was so shocked and offered to come and pick me up straight away but I told her it wasn’t safe. After a lot of persuading she agreed but said that she would try to think of something to get me out of the mess. I thanked her for her comfort and hung up. I walked to the corner shop and bought myself a chocolate bar with the change I had left from the phone call. Then I hurried back home.
* * *
My dad has started going to work again. I’m glad. He leaves me with his younger sister who is just as bad as him but at least she doesn’t beat me. My dad is starting to change I think. He has started to do the shopping properly again instead of just getting the neighbour to buy us milk and bread every other day. I’ve got hope again but how many times can I trust the happenings without knowing exactly what is going through my dad’s head. I just can’t trust my thoughts anymore.
* * *
“You’re going to school tomorrow and if you let anything out to anybody, watch what I do to you!” It was a miracle. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Not like I really liked school or anything, but the idea of actually getting out of the house after so long was brilliant. I decided I’d just stay on my best behaviour. I guessed my dad now knew that he would be in trouble with the police if he kept me at home for any longer.
* * *
“Oh my God, Natalie, how are you?” All my friends were slowly gathering around me hugging and greeting me. They filled me with so many questions that I didn’t know which to answer first. It felt so good to be around people who cared about me again. I carefully thought over the story I had to follow about my absence. It was pretty simple. I just had to say that I had fallen awfully ill and had been admitted to hospital. I was sort of scared in case I gave something away. I was glad I wasn’t at home though.
* * *
“Oh my God Nat. Why didn’t you tell me before? Look don’t you think you should tell the police or social services or something?” I shook my head. I had given in told my best friend Amy why I was really absent. She had been bugging me all week telling me I looked upset and that she wanted to know why. I trusted her so I told her and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. She wanted me to tell someone but I refused. It was too risky.
“Um…Amy, could I borrow your phone for a moment? I need to make a call. I won’t be long.”
“Yeah sure. Take as long as you like.”
I took out the little piece of paper from my bag and dialled Megan’s number. I had only spoken to her the once since she left.
“Hello. Is that Megan?”
“Yeah. Who’s that?”
“Its Natalie. How are you?”
“Fine but how are you?” I knew what she meant. I had told her about the abuse the last time I had talked to her.
“Okay. I’m allowed to go to school now so that’s a start.”
“That’s good. Where are you now? Shall I come and pick you up?”
“I’m at school so I don’t think that’s a very good idea but if you’re not busy I wouldn’t mind meeting up with you at lunchtime. We could go to McDonalds or something.” She agreed and I told her to not look too normal in case my dad had put spies around the whole of London.
“Thanks Amy. I just called Megan, Dad’s ex-wife. She’s coming to see me at lunchtime. How about you come along too?”
“Its okay. Nick’s asked me out for lunch already. Thanks for asking though.” Nick was Amy’s boyfriend. Unlike her I didn’t have one. It was obvious that any guy would fall for her over me. She was tall and had beautiful long legs. She had a figure that any boy in his right senses would die for. Her hair was brown and silky with dirty blonde highlights. She had eyes the colour of autumn leaves and a clear skin complexion. On the other hand I stood at an average height and was a little on the big side though my weight didn’t really bother me much. My hair was a dark brown matching my small eyes. I didn’t really mind that I didn’t have a boyfriend because I think he would just come in the way at times like this.
* * *
“Natalie! I’m so happy to see you. Where’s your McDonalds then?” I was now sitting on the front seat of Megan’s rather old Honda. I had never been so happy to be sitting in a car before.
“You look nice. So how’s your sister?”
“She’s alright. What about you? You look so pale. Has he been feeding you properly?”
“I think that’s about the only thing he has done. Stuffing food down my throat in every spare moment of his. I’m the one who makes it all as well.”
“Really? I didn’t think he’d let you in the kitchen thinking that you might try to poison him or something.”
“Are you kidding? I’m in there all day making him tea. That’s all he ever drinks.”
“You could poison him you know. Don’t give me such a frightened look I’m only joking! Is that it down there?” I was relieved she was only joking because I had thought of that idea a few days back and scrapped it.
* * *
Since that meeting with Megan, she came to see me once every two weeks. I was happy that I could see her so much but every now and then she would drop in sick-humoured jokes about murdering my dad in some way or another. I actually started taking it into consideration. I was starting to scare myself. Then in one of my meetings with Megan something weird happened.
We had planned to meet at the little corner cafï¿½ in Hammersmith. I reached there on time but for the first time she was late. When she finally came she was very out of breath.
“Hi Nat! I got you something but you can’t open it until you’re alone at home and read the letter carefully first. I’m sorry but I’ve got to go and meet someone so I cant have lunch with you today,” and with that she hugged me and walked out of the shop. It was so strange.
* * *
I know this letter will shock you a little but it’s the only way I can tell you how I feel. I’m sorry I didn’t meet you properly today but I had an appointment with somebody important. I’m afraid you won’t ever meet me again. I’m leaving this world now. I can’t stand it anymore. Don’t even try coming after me because you’ll be too late. Enclosed is a small packet of some heavy drugs. This is to poison your father with. I’m not forcing you though, but decide only after reading all my reasons first.
Firstly I want you to do it to free yourself from that pain. I know you loved your father dearly but I guess it didn’t work out for him. So what is the point of a one way relationship? Where will it get you? Go out and live your life with meaning. Natalie, I am telling you to do what I think is best for you. I’ve lost hope now but I don’t want you to do the same.
Secondly I want to tell you that your dad broke my heart. What I’m doing may seem extreme to some people but to me it seems like the biggest issue. Since I found out about your dad cheating on me, I have been shattered into a thousand pieces like a piece of broken glass. I loved him with all my heart and I still do but now the love doesn’t feel complete. Now I want you to complete it for me by letting us die together, as it has always been one of my wishes to die with the one I loved.
I know I am sounding so selfish but I know you’ll understand. I want to thank you for being such a good friend to me. Don’t ever forget me and please don’t think badly of me. I’m only trying to help you live your life in a way I never got to live mine.
Lots of love
* * *
Tears were pouring out of my eyes but I couldn’t help screaming ‘You Selfish Cow!’ I thought she was a little more decent than to just go and kill herself. Now I really hated my dad. He’d been bringing sadness to everybody’s lives and I thought that know it was time I put an end to all his work. I was going to kill him. I didn’t know what would happen after that but for now it was all I could do to stop my father abusing me and it would fulfil Megan’s wish. It would probably be the last thing I do for her anyway seeing as she is dead now.
I’d do it now, today, to get over and done with it. It had gone too far and I needed to end it soon.
* * *
In went the white powder and the sugar. I was stirring the tea. Butterflies were going around in my stomach. I was scared. Very scared. I didn’t want to make anything too obvious. I walked into the living room where my father was sitting watching television. I took one last look at him. A large lump was forming in my throat. I didn’t know how long it would take for it to work but I hoped it had a fast reaction.
* * *
‘Run! Run for your life!’ That’s all I was thinking right now. I had watched my father choking on his poisoned tea and I couldn’t bring myself to help him. He was gone now but I wanted to be gone too. I thought I was going crazy. What did I do? All I could do now is run as far away from my home as I could. I couldn’t ever go back there. By tomorrow afternoon there would be police all over the place and there would even be search parties for me.
* * *
“Come on now dear. There’s no need of being so afraid. You’re Natalie Richards then?” I nodded. The police had found me in the local park where I had spent the night. They had found out about Megan committing suicide and had come to ask my dad about her. When they found answer but saw the front door wide open they went in to investigate. That’s when they found my father. They then investigated they found my room with pictures and things so they sent out a search for me. They knew I did it. They didn’t tell me that but I just knew it.
“But I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay here.” I knew I sounded so stupid but I was too scared.
“I’m sorry darling but I think its best for you to come with us.” Her voice was still kind and soft but her tone was stern. I had no choice but to go to the station.
* * *
“I’m afraid we’re going to have to question you about your father’s murder. I understand he was poisoned by some heavy drugs.” He was trying to make me admit I had done it. He was playing with my mind.
“Really. Do you reckon he committed suicide?” I said half crying. I was so scared. I still can’t believe that I killed my own father just for some selfish woman who I thought was decent. All my life I’ve been losing things. First it was my mother, then my step-mum that I thought I liked, now my father and God knows who or what is going to be next. I think I might just go crazy.
* * *
“Natalie, open the door now. I’m not waiting all night.” I had locked myself in the bathroom. My auntie Jane, Mum’s cousin, was banging on the door for me to get out. Whilst I was at the police station, they had tracked down all of my living relatives but the only one that was willing to look after me was Aunt Jane. I had argued with her earlier on. Now I needed some time alone.
“Okay. I’m coming but please give me two minutes.” Since the incident with my father I had been having arguments with everyone I talked to. I had thought of running away but I knew that the police would find me.
* * *
“Oh my God! Why did she do it?” Mrs Jane Nelson was standing in the doorway of the bathroom looking down at her niece. She was so shocked that no tears came out. She ran to the phone and dialled 999. Natalie ha only been living with her for a fortnight and she had tried to look after her as well as she could. She also knew that Natalie had been through a lot of trouble but she didn’t understand exactly how bad it was. Now she had gone and killed herself. A seventeen year old girl was too troubled by her life and had given up.