Paul slid the plate down in front on me.

“Eat,” he said in his gruff voice.

I looked up at him. The look of hatred beaming out of my eyes.

“No,” I replied.

“Eat,” he said again. His voice rising.

“No,” I replied again. Trying to match the serve he had just presented me.

He didn’t say anything. Just looked at me.

I locked eyes with him and reached out for the plate.

A winning smile gleaned over his lips.

I tipped the plate over. It’s contents slipping onto the carpet. His prized carpet, the carpet that meant more to him than anything.

I returned his smile.

He leapt over to me and slapped me hard across my face. The force was so strong that he knocked me out of my seat.

My face landed right into the brown puddle of gravy and potatoes.

“Eat,” he said again. His frame looming over me.

I opened my mouth to say no again, but his hand came behind the back of my neck and he smashed my face into the food.

“Eat,” he roared at me.

I could feel the tears burning in the corner of my eyes.

So I did what he asked, I complied.

I lay on the floor, refusing to cry and ate the roast dinner off the carpet.

Bits of lint and dirt coated the roast beef and potatoes, but I ate every morsel.

With every bite I took, I plotted how I was going to end him, how I would kill him. I would be the winner in this showdown, not him.



Our eyes locked and then we were transported to a whole new world. The end.

Well I wish that’s how it would end.

Here I was yet again. Standing in the line at lunch. Screaming…well silently screaming for him to look at me.

But he never did and to be honest he never would. I wasn’t his type.

His type was the skinny up them self kind of girl and I was the frumpy quirky girl.

He was 100% out of my league and yet I yearned for him constantly.

Sometimes I would day dream that a chip would fall from my plate. He would stop, turn around in slow motion and pick the chip up. He would wink at me and tell me it was all going to be okay.

I never spoke back. I just smiled and held his gaze.

He was under my spell.

Why couldn’t I be that sam confident girl that I was in my subconscious?

Sighing I dangled a chip above my mouth and chewed as it past my lips.

I guess I would never know.


Why do I always get dragged into things that I don’t want to do?

It happens all the time.

All because I find it so hard to let people down.

I’m like a martyr.

I just don’t want to be the one to disappoint anyone.

And I always find myself being led astray.

Why am I the one that finds it hard to say no?

I just want to walk up to someone all diva-ish and be like no.

No I don’t.

No I don’t want to do it.

But it’s like those words just can’t come out of my mouth.

My brain just starts doing all these crazy equations. Thinking up all the scenarios of utter inhalation that would happen, it the letters N and O left my mouth.

So here I am, destined to forever take part in things that I don’t want to do.


Kyra continued to skip. She was oblivious to what was happening and that’s the way I wanted it to be. She didn’t need to know.

She was innocent in all of this and that’s how I wanted her to remain.

She turned to look at me. I smiled at her, reassuring her that everything was fine. She smiled back and continued skipping.

I looked down at my phone as it beeped again. Another message from him.

I ignored it and it remained unread like all the others that had come before.

He had no right, no right to try and get to me like this. He was the one that had ruined everything.

We were happy. We were all happy and he had gone and spoilt it all.

I wasn’t going to give him the benefit of the doubt not this time.

Sighing I got up from my seat and walked over to Kyra.

I gave her a kiss on the forehead.

“It’s time to go baby,” I whispered softly.

I took her hand in mine and lead her towards the car.

“Where we going to now mama,” she asked, her inquisitive eyes searching for answers.

“I’m not sure baby,” I replied. “But once we get there, we’ll be happy again.”

I buckled her into her seat and closed the door.

“We’ll be happy again,” I whispered to myself. Trying to convince myself that it was true.


The water continued to rise.

It was nearing my chin now. In a few minutes it would cover my head.

This was it.

I was really going to die.

I wanted to cry, but crying wasn’t going to fix this. It wasn’t going to stop the water from rising. It wasn’t going to rescue me.

My mind wondered to my family.

I tried to think of the last thing I had said to my mum. I couldn’t remember if it was good or bad. Why couldn’t I remember?

Regret slowly burned through me.

I should have listened to her more. I should’ve been a better daughter. I had let too much time go past and now I was never going to see her again.

I thought of Noah. He would never know who I was. I would always be the sister who ran away.

I mean they would never find my body.

They would just think I had disappeared and didn’t want to be found.

The water was now covering my mouth.

I was struggling to breath with my nose.

I had swum all the way to the top of the cave, but there was no where else to go.

This was it. This was really it.

I closed my eyes allowing my body to accept what was to come.

Happy memories swam around in my mind.

3 scoops of ice cream. Winning the egg and spoon race 2 years in a row. That summer Tom took me to the lake and we fell in. The first time he kissed me.

Then everything went black.

I opened my eyes a strange face was staring down at me. She smiled at me.

The faint smell of antiseptic burned my nostrils.

I could hear something beeping next to me.

I was in the hospital. I had been rescued. I was alive. But how? How did they find me?

This couldn’t be real. I must still be dreaming.

I pinched the skin on my upper arm. I flinched at the pain.

You couldn’t feel pain in dreams right? Or could you?


Tyrone led me over to the sofa and I sat down. The red leather sticking to my thighs.

I hated leather seats. I hated how all guys seemed to have them in their ‘bachelor pads’. They thought it made them look cool. To me it just oozed high levels of pretentious douche.

Tyrone popped open another bottle of champagne and poured me a glass.

I took it willingly and began to sip.

He flashed his smile again. I felt the acid in my stomach begin to bubble.

Tyrone’s non champagne glass holding hand found its way to my thigh and slowly began to snake its way up.

I wanted to bat his hand away. To pick up a match and set it on fire. But I didn’t, I let him continue.

He placed his champagne glass down and then took mine.

Snaking his hands around my waist he moved me onto his lap.

The smell of his expensive yet disgusting smelling cologne hit me hard and I did everything in my power not to gag.

He moved his lips towards my ears and I felt his hot breathe tickle my neck.

“I want you so bad Crystal,” he whispered. Desire dripping off his words.

I said nothing.

He pressed his lips onto my skin and I felt the moisture, as he left saliva trails along my neck.

I closed my eyes and did what I always did. I imagined that I was really with my Hollywood crush. I imagined that the kisses that Tryone was painting on my skin, were really kisses from him.

I imagined that it was my Hollywood crush that I was preforming a slow strip tease for, when Tyrone told me to take off all my clothes. I imagined that it was my Hollywood crush that was making sweet passionate love to me, when Tyrone demanded I got on all fours, but left my heels on.

I stopped imagining when it was all over. When Tyrone rolled off of me and handed me a wad of rolled up £20 notes and told me to fuck off.

The fantasy was well and truly over for both of us.


For the longest time I never felt like I was pretty enough.

I wasn’t pretty enough to hang with the cool kids, I wasn’t pretty enough to get a boyfriend, I wasn’t pretty enough to get my dream job, I wasn’t pretty enough to have the life I craved so much.

Pretty was an obstacle to me.

I believed that all I had to do was change something about myself and then I’d be good enough. I’d make the grade. I’d be passable to the majority.

But no matter what I did in order to ‘improve’ myself, the insecurities still remained.

It wasn’t until I looked deep down inside of myself that I realised that I am good enough. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. The only person that I have to impress is myself and as long as I love myself, and I treat myself like the queen that I am, I will go as far as I want.


The car continued to ram into us.

We had to get away. If we didn’t it was sure enough going to run us off the road.

“Go faster,” I yelled. My throat hoarse.

“I’m trying my hardest,” Tim yelled back at me.

The rain continued to crash down upon us. Making the road slippery. I could see that he was trying his hardest. But it wasn’t good enough.

“You should’ve let me drive,” I moaned. ” I would’ve gotten us out of this.”

Tim didn’t reply, his eyes remained focused on the road. One hand clenched against the steering wheel. He was pissed.

My head jolted forward, as the car rammed into us again.

Tim pressed down hard on the accelerator.

I clutched the side of the door and said a little prayer.

Fear began to bubble underneath my skin. What if he bashes us again and we flip over?

I looked back to see how far away we had gotten.

The car, ironically a bright red, was gaining on us.

I turned my face to Tim.

“I love you.”

“What,” he replied startled.

“I said I love you. I always have.”

His face turned a deep shade of red. The vein in his temple began to pulse.

“And your saying this to me now,” he finally spoke.

“I just wanted to get it off my chest, and I have so there.”

He opened his mouth to say something.

But just as the words were about to leave his mouth, the car gained on us again and bashed into us with much more force than it had before.

I felt my body lift up but I didn’t feel it come back down again.


I am not alone.

I am more than just me.

I carry the stories of all those who came before me.

I carry their wisdom, I carry their history, and I carry their essence.

When ever I get down or feel more than alone I try to remember this. I try to remember that I’m not alone that it’s not just me. That I am greatness.

But if I know all of this, why do I feel helpless all the time? Why do I feel less than human? Why do I have days when I don’t want to get out of bed? Why do I feel sadness? Why do I feel lost?

If I carry all of this baggage around inside of me, then why do all these questions bounce around inside of my head?

I wish that I could stop the negativity. That I could live in a bubble of positivity all the time, but it’s hard.

It’s so hard.

Life is hard.

But if it was easy, would their be any point living?

Too many questions.

I want to dash them away.

Throw them so far that I never have to hear them again. Never have to think about them, ponder on them. Thirst for the answers to them.

I just want to lie here in silence. Embrace the quiet.

But I know no matter how far I throw them, they will always find their way back.

So I’m stuck with them.

I’m stuck with the buzzing noise of questions.


Tom looked down at her defenceless body.

The tears began to bubble at the corners of his eyes.

She couldn’t die. Not here. Not now.

He craned his neck up again, trying to see if he could hear any incoming traffic and footsteps; but it had been quiet as it had been for the past hour.

He clamped his hand around Sasha’s and squeezed. He wished that he could pump the life back into her. That he could stop her life from ending. But he didn’t have that power. He was useless.

The woman that he loved was lying on the ground next to him and all he could do was kneel beside her.

He felt helpless.

The summer air was beginning to cool.

It would be dark soon. If he didn’t get help soon, they might be out here all night, and who knew what the night might bring.

Getting on to his feet, he got up out of the tent and walked over to the discarded mobile phone he had thrown a few moments before.

It was still working, the edges may have been a little cracked but other than that the screen was in tact.

He lifted the phone again to see if there were any bars, but as it had been before, there was still no signal.

“Fuck,” he roared, his throat raw with anguish.

He had to get her out of here.

He began to pace up and down. The only thing to do was to walk through the woods and try and get some signal.

But he didn’t want to leave her.

But if he didn’t at least try then she might die.

Going with the former he began to walk towards the edge of the woods.

His phone beeped to alert that 20% of battery power remained.

It was no use there was no signal.

They would just have to wait it out and pray that someone would find them.

Tom trekked back to the makeshift campsite he had created only 10 hours earlier, when camping had seemed like a fun way to spend their anniversary.

How he wished he hadn’t suggested it. They could have been on a beach right now, sipping pina coladas instead of being stuck in the middle of the woods with no food, no water and the woman he loved slipping closer and closer to death.

As he entered the campsite, a chill ran down his spine.

Something was wrong.

Rushing towards the tent, he unzipped it, only to find that Sasha was gone.