Intro and Summary: Intro and Summary into ‘Face All the Pain’ | Face All the Pain
Chapter 1: ‘An icy breath that escapes my lips’
Sighing, I flopped backward onto the couch. “I’m so full!” I was what you would call a food junkie. I ate just to eat and liked doing it. That doesn’t mean I never felt awful afterward. That night, I could barely get up from my spot at the table and planned on doing nothing for the rest of the night.
I felt the cushion dip a little as someone sat by my feet and my dad said, “Well you ate four extra rolls so I would be worried if you weren’t.”
Calum guffawed from the chair on the other side of the coffee table. “Hey, don’t you laugh!” I scolded but laughed myself. I lifted my head to see him hide a grin behind one of my mom’s People magazines. “You ate more than I did!”
“Yeah, well I’m a growing man so it’s understandable. You’re a teenage girl. Isn’t that right Mrs. Padmore?”
Mom walked in then, after putting the dishes in the sink, and sat down in the rocking chair that had been a big part of my life since I was a baby. “Sure is.” She sang as she glanced at me with a look of humor on her face.
“Oh, so you’re siding with him now?” I interjected. My tone was serious but the slight smirk on my face implied something else.
“It’s only because I’m right,” Calum retorted and winked at me before putting the magazine down. “Speaking of right, am I right to assume you’re going to the Fall Formal with your sweetie pie?”
“My what?” I croaked, squinting my eyes. I was almost positive he didn’t do drugs, but in that moment, I was rethinking my assumption. “What are you talking about?”
“Your honey? Your sweet-tart? Your man crush Monday?”
“Okay, I think you might need to take a nap because you’re making no sense. I’m not even dating anyone.” And it made it even worse because now my parents were looking at me amusingly. I knew he was trying to embarrass me, and I usually didn’t let it get to me but my love life was not something to joke about.
I sat up despite the screaming from my full stomach so that I could get a better look at him. “Don’t pretend you didn’t see Tyler looking at you the other day. You’re totally gonna fall in love with each other one day and have cute little babies that are so smart that they have humongous heads…”
“Okay, stop for a minute.” I sputtered, holding up my hand and he paused mid-sentence. “You mean the Tyler in my Calculus class? The one with the missing front tooth? The one with the bowl haircut? You’re kidding me, right?”
“Nope, I’m not kidding. I ship it.”
“You didn’t just say that. I think I’m going to barf now.”
“I’ll just blame it on all the food you ate,” he winked and stood up, leaving me with my mouth wide open staring at the couch.
Mom pretended to be reading a section from Dad’s newspaper, but she was clearly trying to hide a smile and it irked me to no end that Calum would betray me like that. I made a note to get him for it later.
“Thank you so much for dinner, Mrs. Padmore, but I think I should be heading back home now.”
“Are you sure?” Mom argued. “You’re more than welcome to stay as long as you’d like.”
“Yeah, I have a bit of homework to do,” he said.
“Vanessa, why don’t you walk him to the door?” Mom nodded. She was all about being as polite as she could even though Calum’s parents were her best friends since she was in elementary school.
“But that means I have to get up…” I complained, but got up when I saw her face getting angrier and angrier. I wasn’t stupid enough to because she hated when I back talked her in front of company. Calum was hardly what I would call company, but whatever made her sleep at night.
Calum was already walking through the kitchen when I caught up with him. “So, I’ll see you on the bus tomorrow?” he smiled, opening the door for himself.
“Maybe,” I shrugged nonchalantly. “I might just skip.” Yeah, and Calum was going to go on a moonwalk.
“Ha! If you do, call me first. I wish you’d skip every once in a while.” I slapped his shoulder playfully and he feigned hurt. “I’m gonna tell your mom on you.”
“Cry baby. See you tomorrow.” And then he walked away. I watched as he walked to his house, making sure he didn’t get hit by a car during the couple yards to his front door.
His wave from the porch signaled for me to close the door.
“We’re gonna go play!” Rosaline said as she and Max ran through the house and swung the door open. It was a ritual with them. Dinner, outside, bath, sleep. Every night ever since Calum’s family moved in five years before and they found out that there were three other kids their age.
I felt like I rarely saw my siblings. We were all always at school and then they had separate lives and I had my own.
When Mom was pregnant with Rosaline, I fantasized what it would be like. We’d watch movies, play games, and be each other’s best friend. By the time she was born, I was ready to have a friend for life.
We grew up completely different. Since I was already older, we did different things, hung out with different people, and lived our lives in opposite ways. Max was born a year and a half after her and turned out to be what I thought Rose would be. They were inseparable and I was the outsider.
It didn’t bother so much when I was in my early teens but I still think about how much I wish I had an actual sister.
“Vani!” Dad called from the living room. “Are you okay? You’ve been gone a long time.”
I snapped out of it and realized I was still standing in front of the door with my hand on the knob. “I’m fine,” I offered as I walked back into living room.”
“Well, go finish your homework so we can watch Jeopardy.”
“Right on it, chief,” I fake saluted him and ran up the stairs two at a time. I pushed my clothes to the side to make a small walkway to my bed where my backpack was hastily thrown after I came home from school.
I slipped the rubber band off my wrist and pulled my dark brown hair into a messy bun on the top of my head. Pulling my feet up under me, I began my math homework. Halfway through the third problem, I heard a loud crash downstairs followed close behind by a scream.
I jumped off the bed hastily and ran down the steps. Whatever it was, was clearly not going to wait. I heard a gun shot and stopped abruptly in my place. We didn’t own a gun.
My steps were soft and light even though my brain was telling me to sprint. Something about the whole situation seemed off and I knew I shouldn’t rush it. My head poked around the corner to the living room slightly and I saw something that I knew would never leave me.
My father was in the same place on the couch, but his head was laying back as if he were sleeping. Except he had blood dripping down his forehead, coming out of the bullet hole. My chest tightened instinctively and my knees felt weak. I’d never felt anything like it before. I was scared for my life and I wanted to run, but at the same time, I wanted nothing more than to join him.
Mom was crouched in a corner with her hand over her mouth, clearly crying, and in front of her, were two people with ski-masks. Cliché, yes, but I guess if you were going to do it, you might as well be the assumed criminals.
The man was tall and built, even under all the black he was wearing. It was obvious that he had trained for this exact moment. His stance was steady and his arms were brought together to hold the gun. He was clearly doing the dirty work.
To the right of the action, a short woman with blazing red hair rummaged through my father’s workbag. That was most curious to me. He was only an accountant so why would he have something she wanted.
Mom let out a cry and buried her face into her arm. The man got closer and yelled, “Shut up our I’ll shoot!”
She silenced herself and I went back to watching the red-haired lady. She pulled out his laptop and turned to the man with an evil smile on her face. “We’re done. Kill her and let’s get out of here.”
I pulled myself away from everything. I wanted to save my mom, but I also wanted to make sure Rose and Max were fine. If I helped her out, I’d only be killing all of us.
I slipped through the front door as quickly as I possibly could and ran to where Rosaline and Max were playing in the driveway with Marcus, Louise, and Anthony. I could have screamed to know they were okay.
I was barefoot, but I was so scared and relieved, and sad that I didn’t care. Adrenaline coursed through me and I willed myself to keep it together. Take it one step at a time, I told myself. Get to Rose and Max and then figure out what to do next.
Although I was running as fast as I could, it still wasn’t as fast as I would have liked. It was like one of those horrible dreams where you’re running from a bad guy but you can never outrun them. Your feet are like lead and it takes so much effort for you to get away. Except my dream was a reality and I was afraid I wasn’t going to wake up.
My feet slapped against the concrete as I made it to the kids laughing with chalk in their hands. I grabbed Rosaline by her shoulders and looked into her eyes frantically. With her being eleven, I knew I could trust her to get everyone out of there. “You need to get out of here. Take Max and go to the Johnson’s house. Tell them to call the police and I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
What was making me run back to the house, I had no idea. My mind was going a thousand miles an hour and I was afraid, I really was. My dad was just murdered and my mom wasn’t far behind if they hadn’t shot her already. And the thing that kept replaying over and over in my mind was how the red haired lady was holding my dad’s work laptop. What did that even mean?
I turned my head, looking at my surroundings. None of the neighbors were out, which was very bad. I needed someone to see what was going on and try to help. The kids had already run to the house directly across from ours and the sun was nearly down.
How the intruders even got to my house passed through my mind a few times, but I didn’t get very far when a hand came from behind me and covered my mouth. And then the other hand raked my chest. I tried to scream and kick, but the hands were firm on my body.
I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. That was it. I would be done for and it was all because of a stupid mistake I made when I should have stayed with the people I knew were alive.
I had no doubt it was the broad-shouldered guy by the fact that my head was being pulled to his chest and his chin was on the top of my head. “Sshh, it’s going to be okay, sweetie,” he cackled, but I wanted to yell back, “No it is not okay! You just murdered my parents!” And it made me want to gag the way he called me ‘sweetie.’
The broad shouldered guy dragged me away from my home and past Calum’s house. I wondered slightly where he was taking me, but my main priority was getting away.
I glanced around to see if there was something I could do. Maybe find a shovel on the ground or a neighbor getting in their car. And then I saw Calum standing on his porch with his mouth wide open. I tried to be relieved without giving my parent’s murderer anything to hint that someone saw what was going on.
But Calum wasn’t even doing anything so it was hard to even pretend I was relieved. He was frozen in his place by shock and I wanted to scream at him to do something, but the hand was firm on my mouth.
A strange white truck was parked in front of the yard directly to the right of my own and I had no doubt that was where he was taking me. Sure enough, when we got to the truck, he turned me around and kneed me in the stomach as hard as he could and the wind got knocked out of me. I almost wanted to fall over and cry, but I kept what I could together. I did, however, heave over, holding my stomach, which gave him the perfect angle to tape my legs with duct tape. And then my hands, followed by my mouth.
All I could think was how this was the end of me. He was going to bring me to an alley, rape me, and then kill me. I would never see Rose and Max grow up. I would never get to graduate. I would never get to sit with Calum on the bus again.
While I was thinking of the things I’d be missing out on, my abductor grabbed me by the waist and threw me in the back seat of his truck. My cheek was cold against the leather seats and my ankle was shoved in an awkward angle, but the only thing I could even think to do was scream. I screamed non-stop for about five minutes when he turned around and slammed his fist onto my head.
I still screamed, tearing my throat raw and I wanted to stop, but something in me told me not to. What finally made me shut up was when he turned off the car hours later and hit me over the head with the butt of his gun. Then, everything went black.
*(A/N)* And if you liked that, please hit the star/like button so I know to post more chapters for you!
So… did you like it? Did it live up to all the hype I’ve been saying? I honestly loved this as a first chapter because it got right to the point. It was happy family time, we got to meet the characters, and then BOOM break-in, murder, and kidnapping. That’s what I call a good first chapter.
Also, how do you like the chapter titles? I said in a previous blog post that I had this thing for putting songs into my stories so I figured I’d keep them in and use them as chapter titles. This one was from ‘Sea of Lovers’ by Christina Perri. 🙂
I post a new chapter every Friday so stay tuned!
I post book reviews on Mondays, tags on Tuesdays, my favorite #1lineWed tweets on Wednesdays, short stories or excerpts on Thursdays, chapters of Face All the Pain on Fridays, and Random Ramblings on Sundays. I’ll see you all later, but until then, keep writing, loves. 🙂
Find my previous post here: #1lineWed Favorites: July 13
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