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Two Years Later

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We were walking down the sidewalk, guided by streetlamps and moonlight, trying to stick to the shadows to avoid unwanted attention. I sneaked a glance at Jack, who was being unusually quiet. I didn't mind it at all, really. We just hadn't had a proper conversation in a while. I stuck my hands into the large black hoodie he let me wear, and looked around. I inhaled the scent of wet pavement, as it had just rained. It smelled nice, and it really helped me rela-

SPLASH.

I froze, pausing my inner monologue, and looked around while Jack kept walking for a moment. He stopped and turned to me. "What is it? Come on, we have to go pick up Jeff and Sally." I slowly shook of the feeling of being followed and nodded, starting a small jog to catch up to him. After a few more minutes of walking we finally reached the meeting spot. Sally was an eight year old girl with dazzling emerald eyes and milk chocolate colored hair. As usual, she was dressed in her dirty pink sleeping gown that had rips and small tears along the hem of it. Her forehead was covered in sweat, dirt, and blood, and her white socks-if you could even call them white OR socks anymore- were ripped and coated in dirt and mud. in her arms, she clutched a rather large kitchen knife and a teddy bear, who was named Charlie. Sally smiled at me with a giggle, and I returned it with a light wave. Sally hugged my leg, and Jack mumbled something about getting Jeff from inside of the house to make sure he finished the job. I nodded, and waited with Sally for him to come back, but the next thing I knew, I was being dragged away and tossed into a cop car by two police officers, and driven away.

I woke up in a sweat. I'd been having the same dream for months now. I now lived in sunny California. Hundreds of miles away from my childhood hometown of Spokane, Washington. Don't get me wrong, Marsh Creek Springs was a beautiful town, but it wasn't the same. I missed my friends, and my sister. Mum and Dad dragged me here after I was "rescued" by police two years ago. I had been kidnapped. I swung my feet over the side of my bed, and walked over to my bathroom. Long, hot showers are great places to contemplate life. Forty-five minutes later, I was dressed in a black, off-shoulder crop top and light blue faded denim overall shorts, with my sandy blonde hair pulled into a ponytail by a grey scrunchie. Ever since I came home, I only ever wore black, blue, or grey. I also had quite a few tattoos. Seven, to be exact. My tired stormy purple eyes glanced across the room, and my mom called up to me from downstairs. "Lilac, come eat, breakfast is ready!" After almost fourteen years of being a mute, it felt awkward to be able to call back to her. My Aphonia had been cured- I got a voice box transplant, and I had been going to vocal therapy to help my voice get better. "Coming Mom!" After breakfast, I ran back up to my room an began packing all the clothes and necessities i could into my purple backpack that had remained untouched since high school, and grabbed all of the money I could find in my room, before shoving it into my wallet with my credit card, ID, and a one-way plane ticket to Seattle. My friends, sister, and I missed each other terribly. So, I was coming home. Did my parents know? Hell. No. But My sister Eve, and eight of my friends did. So, over the last three months, the ten of us came up with a plan to get me back to them and all of the past memories and traumas I had left behind in Spokane.

I'm coming home.

Home sweet home.