When I heard the wind howling against my window, I had you to hold me. When I had nightmares about demons and monsters, I had you to sing me back to sleep. When I fell, I had you to help me stand. When I cried, I had you to dry my tears. I could depend on you. I could run to you when I was scared. I could always count on your warmth. I loved you.
And then you left me.
When the wind rattled the glass, he tried his best but it wasn't the same. When I woke up sweating from tormented dreams, his voice couldn't lull my fears to rest like yours. When I scraped my knee, he couldn't comfort me like you. When tears slide down my cheeks, he didn't know how to make me smile. The path to him was shaky; he was clumsy when you were stable. I couldn't count on him like you.
So why? Why did you have to leave? I knew you wanted to stay, so why didn't you? When you told me that you would be back soon, was that just a lie? When I opened the door, I found a man in a suit offering apologies. Just like that, you were gone.
Did you expect this? Did it ever cross your mind that you might not return? That the last words you would ever say to me would be hollow? That nothing would be the same?
So why? Why did you have to leave?
With you gone, father fell short. It became too much: the cleaning, the responsibilities, the scramble for money, and me. No matter how much I tried to help, it was never enough. I couldn't help him like he needed to be helped. Every day, father grew further and further away until eventually, I could hardly seem to see him.
It was just me.
I fed myself. I cleaned the house. I tended to the gardens. I washed my clothes. I attended school. I went to the market. I cleaned up father's messy study. I started the fires on cold nights. I survived.
I left school. I lost my friends. I devoted all my time to running the house. I went to sleep every night shaking from exhaustion. I got cut and bruised more times than I can count. I was tired.
I looked out for myself.
In this mansion, days could pass without me seeing his face. Sometimes, I wouldn't even notice that he had been gone for several days. With you gone, our family had splintered beyond repair. We were left as nothing more than passing ships occasionally crossing paths. No one could replace you and fill the void left behind.
Then she arrived.
A woman with tight, graying hair dyed black. A dress finer than necessary for a casual day billowed around her. One day, she simply emerged out of the car with a pompous air about her. With heads held high, two girls scuttled behind her like obedient roaches. Upon their arrival, I began to miss my days of seclusion with their's of endless weariness and shame. For on that day, I discovered father had taken her hand, the ring glittering on her finger as if to scorn me with its brilliance.
Into his ear, she cooed sweet words to draw father into her spell. To strangers, she welcomed them with adoring affection. To the wealthy and powerful, she spun flattery and praise like cloth for them to wear. She bore masks with such fluency that I could not comprehend how she kept her mind about her. When she revealed her true face, however, I saw the monster underneath.
I heard the roars of her commands and threats as she berated me. I felt the sting of her claws and crack of her whip. I saw the hideous face she kept hidden from the rest of the world. And close behind, with sneers and mockery, crept her tainted spawn.
Reflections of their mother, they hid their ugliness from the world with artificial innocence and plastered demeanors of children. When the rest of them turned their backs, the demons licked their lips and approached with appetites for pain. I know what's it's like to fly because they threw me down the stairs. I wear brown after they reduced my once colorful wardrobe to shreds and apparel for themselves. I sleep on sheets of ashes when they locked me from my room and left me next to the filthy hearth throughout the nights. I remember bones breaking and skin tearing, but meeting only scowls and disgust. I remember the taste of leather crusted with mud from when they stomped on me to wipe their shoes clean.
As soon as they came, even my home began to vanish. The walls of humble blues and greens were smothered by pinks and purples screaming for attention. The gardens that I once planted by your side now lay overrun with stones. The birds that once greeted my morning with blissful chirps now lay in piles of bones and feathers beneath bare trees.
And now, father was different. She had groomed him into the pet that listened to her every beck and call. When she saw me as filth, he saw me as the same. When she was angry with me, his anger mirrored her's. When the two monsters bore their fangs at me, he saw them through lenses crafted from roses. He never raised his fist, but he left me prey to the circling wolves.
I was alone, just like before.
So I ask again: why did you leave? Did you know you would leave me in Purgatory? If you could have seen what my life would be like without you, would that have changed my future? Would you have protected me from my nightmares now that they've forced their way into reality? Would you take me in your arms and hide me from my fears? Why would you leave me to this fate? Was this simply written in the threads of destiny, or is this happening because of your mistakes? Why would you leave me like this? After all those years of protecting me, holding me, caring for me, why would you simply disappear?