Surrounded by cats.

Mum knocks on my bedroom door for the millionth time and I groan, rolling over in my sleep.

"Emily, you've got half an hour to be up and ready!" She yells through the crack in the door. I hear her footsteps grow fainter as she walks back down the stairs.

"Screw you." I mutter, flipping a finger at the door. I know she can't see me but I earn a sense of satisfaction from it.

Does Mum seriously want to walk around and act like the perfect family all day?

I haven't seen any of Mum's or Dad's family since he died. It's almost as if Mum wanted to isolate herself after his death. Once Trevor came along, he made sure we never spoke to our relatives again. I remember having endless days where I felt insanely lonely, nothing but my teddy bears and barbie dolls to keep me company. Considering it's been six years since I've seen my family, I'm feeling a little nervous.

I glance at the outfit I bought yesterday that's hung up on my wardrobe door. Yes, I know . . . I'm pretty last minute.

It's a light pink dainty dress that ends just above my knees. It's a gorgeous lace collar that made me feel pretty and feminine when I tried it on. I'm wearing nude tights underneath to hide my scars and white pumps that I'd found in the back of my wardrobe. Comfy but cute.

Mum using Trevor as a threat against me is still fresh in my mind and I couldn't look her in the eyes anymore. I plan on ignoring her and Trevor the whole way there and back. It wasn't as if we had anything interested to say to each other anyway. How sad is that?

After showering, changing and completing my hair and makeup, I'm finally ready.

"Twenty three minutes, not bad." I grin, feeling proud of myself. How many other girls can say they got ready in that time?

My stomach still flares up in pain and I'mon constant painkillers to dull the pain out but I manage to make myself look presentable. I grab my phone off my bed and tuck it into the small shoulder bag I'm taking with me. Exhaling slowly I open my bedroom door and walk downstairs.

Let's get this over with.


The wedding ceremony was incredibly boring.

After being greeted by a hundred and one cousins and aunties I never knew I had, I was officially pooped out. My eyes became heavy, fluttering shut. I was exhausted and my body craved sleep.

A sharp jab in my ribs woke me up suddenly and I hissed in pain, clutching it tightly. I spun my head around, glaring at the culprit - Trevor. He was frowning at me, eyes burning holes through mine. I sighed and sat up straighter, willing for the ceremony to be over soon.

On the plus side, Auntie Mandy looked gorgeous. She was wearing a stunning white floor length dress, her smile lighting up the room. When she had seen me, her eyes filled with tears and she hugged me tightly. I grinned as she repeating over and over again how much I had grown. The woman practically cut off my circulation for a few minutes but I didn't mind.

It's nice feeling like you belong, even if it is only for a day.

After the vows and photographs, everyone began to head towards the party room to celebrate in style. AKA - Get so drunk, you forget your own name.

I walked slowly behind everyone, dragging my feet as I went. All I want is to sleep, is that so much to ask?

"Emily? Is that you?"

I spin around at the mention of my name and my eyes connect with my favorite human ever, Grandpa.

I gasp and run towards him, my eyes filling up quickly with tears. He opens his arms out for an embrace and I fall into him, knocking him backwards slightly. He chuckles quietly, returning my hug. I rest my head against his shoulders, memories flooding back to me. My emotions suddenly explode and I begin bawling my eyes out, staining his immaculately crisp white shirt.

I haven't seen him in years.

Every school holidays I'd spend a few days with him and Grandma and we'd spend endless hours by the lake. I listened carefully whilst my Grandad fished and told me all about his adventurous childhood stories. He was older now and a lot smaller than I remembered him. He woody scent remained the exact same and I inhaled it, a smile stretching across my face. Grandad stood back and looked at me, his eyes glistening with unshed, happy tears.

"You've grown up so much Elly," he smiles, sadness filling his eyes.

I grin at his nickname for me which sounds like music to my ears after not hearing it for so long. I wipe away my own tears, feeling a little embarrassed for the way I reacted. I've always thought about him over the years but didn't know how to get in contact. Mum always refused if I ever asked for her help.

"I've missed you Pops," I murmur, hugging him harder. He holds onto me and strokes my hair before re-assuring me that everything is going to be okay. He repeats it over and over again —

"I'll make sure of it Elly."

I don't know how he plans to make it okay but I hold onto his words tightly. . . He's my only hope right now.


I flinch as I pull my dress over my head, getting undressed. I scan my body, eyes landing on my stomach where huge ugly bruises stare back at me. I feel hideous. They don't seem to be healing which concerns me that something is definitely wrong. I sigh in defeat, knowing I can't go to the hospital to get them treated.

What could I possibly say?

Years of abuse wouldn't go un-noticed by professionals and I know Trevor would kill me if I searched for help. I shake my head, ridding myself of the thoughts.

After the wedding, I made sure to put my number into Grandad's phone so we could stay in contact. I feel slightly better knowing I have one person to rely on. I've just gotten him back so I'm ready to let him go anytime soon.

I made Grandad promise me he wouldn't let Mum or Trevor know we exchanged numbers but he was already one step ahead of me, his eyes filling with sadness as he nodded silently. I think a part of him knew I lived in destruction and pain constantly.

I change into some fresh pyjamas and sit down on my bedroom floor before pulling out various different sheets of homework that need doing this weekend.

I don't mind homework, it keeps me occupied whilst I spend the weekend locked in my room. Trevor doesn't let me leave the house and I don't have the courage to sneak out. I've never been out with my friends to experience things every teenager should. Sadness fills me as I think of teenage memories I'm missing out on that my friends aren't.

Parties, boys, hanging out with friends.

All superficial however I want to experience it, desperately. I grab my phone and scroll through my contacts, landing on Trish. I ring her and wait patiently for her to answer.

"Hello?" She giggles on the other end, sounding breathless.

"Trish? Are you okay?" I ask her, concerned at her difficulty to breathe. She giggles louder and I faintly hear a male voice in the background, instructing her to hang up. I gasp, slapping my knee —

"Trisha Louise Lockwood, do you have a boy with you?!"

She erupts into giggles and I roll my eyes before ending the call. No way am I listening to my best friend making out with someone through a phone. My nose scrunches up in disgust before I sigh sadly from the lack of my love life.

I may be sixteen now but before I know it, I'll be eighty surrounded by sixty different cats. . .

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