Tomorrow will be the anniversary of the worst day in my life. Nine years and that horrid day still haunts me. All that time passed and I never knew the pain my siblings felt. At least, not the full extent of the variants of pain. I never thought their truculent tendencies would develop so rapidly and stay with them until. . . I understood, in hindsight, what she was capable of, but-I just never . . . funny . . . I think she’s out there, somewhere. She’s like the shadow behind every corner, with how often I think of her. That day, so much like this one nearly nine years ago, still haunts my nightmares luridly. If only I knew . . .
“Mayna, stop this! Now, Mayna!” my brother, Mason, commanded our little sister as he pushed her to the floor.
It was five in the afternoon on an unusually warm night. It was the end of October just a few days’ shy of Halloween. My siblings were in one of their heated arguments. The quarrel had been going on for several minutes, while I concealed myself behind the stairs. Ever since it became just my siblings and I, four years prior, both had become hostile. I couldn’t intervene, though. I only did once and Mason locked us both in the dank basement for over a day. I know I was a coward of a fifteen-year-old for doing so, but I didn’t wish to face either of their wraths.
The situation was getting out of hand even for them. I know I should have stopped it then, but the fear I had overwhelmed me. I froze.
“No, Mason, I won’t stop! You can’t treat us like this!” Mayna yelled getting back on her feet, “Don’t you see you’re hurting us?!”
“I do what I do to teach you respect!” Mason bellowed, “You’d be better off if you would just listen to me!”
“Then I’ll make you see,” Mayna muttered venomously, looking at something glistening in her left hand.
I ducked down further behind the steps as the eleven-year-old lunged at our older brother. There was a yelp, a small one, and then some coughing. I didn’t want to look because I thought for sure that Mayna was dead. When I found a slight bit of courage to peek over, I saw that I was wrong. Mayna was standing over our dead brother, blood spattered over her a bit.
“It was only one cut! Wh-Why is there so much of it?!” I had thought.
I stared at my little sister a moment longer in shock and noticed that she had a slight smirk on her face.
“Ma-Mayna?! You killed Mason?!” I questioned in shock, “He-He’s our brother! How could you?!”
“I-He deserved it!” she exclaimed, fist still clutching the weapon.
“Mayna, this is wrong! Even though he hurt us, he didn’t deserve this! How could you?!” I disbelievingly spat.
“I did this for us!” Mayna yelled, “How can’t you see that?!”
“This-this is wrong,” I said and bolted out the door.
“Why won’t you listen!” Mayna called after me.
I ran faster than I had ever before. I had to get away from her. I had to just get away. I-I couldn’t really process what had just happened. As I was nearing the river behind our house, I heard her chasing after me. I ran faster.
“You don’t understand, just like Mason didn’t!” Mayna shouted at me, “You need to understand me!”
I couldn’t see her, but her voice was getting closer. I futilely tried to avoid her in the woods that surrounded the river. I sprinted, ducked under trees, and climbed through bushes. She still caught up to me, somehow. . .
“I’ve found you, Sissy,” Mayna said smoothly staring right at me.
Those words made me lose my footing on the fallen leaves near the bank of the river. Within seconds she was over top of me . . .
I don’t remember being in pain, just numb. I know she hurt me badly. There was a lot of red leaves and I remember how they were almost the color of my blood. Then again, it could have been a bit of her blood too. I did struggle with her, after all. I suppose it was shock that gave me the odd clarity of my surroundings. Yet, I had near amnesia of what events actually transpired. I don’t know how I ended up in the water. . . We must have rolled in there during the struggle because Mayna was in the water too. . . It’s a miracle I survived the five-mile trip down stream. That’s where some people found me washed up on the river bank.
I never knew a child could be so cruel. A girl so hurt and vengeful that she would kill her own brother and try to kill her sister. I never knew how much our brother hurt her. I heard the fights, screams, and saw the marks. Still, I denied how much he hurt her. I refused to even consider what he did to me, in favor of the family I loved miraculously returning.
I haven’t seen my sister since that day. They say that Mayna died in the rapids like I should have. I don’t believe that. No one ever found her body. She just disappeared and I ended up all alone. I can’t trust anyone. I can’t even rely on myself. All the stress from this event has made me a little crazy. The anxiety just got progressively worse over the last nine years. I can’t shake the feeling that she’s close. I guess I’m still paranoid that she’ll come through the door and say-
“I’ve found you, Sis,” Mayna said as a gun went off, “And I’m not a child anymore.”
Although a different weapon was used, I feel the same numbness as I did the last time. I know that I’m hurt again, but I can’t help to note that I finally feel at peace. There’s screaming all around me. Someone’s yelling my name and telling me to stay awake. I don’t think I have a choice on listening to her. I willingly succumb to unconsciousness. I’ve waited nearly nine years for it to take me.
. . .
In his thirteen years of being a detective, Nathen Arbeck never had a family cause him as much trouble as the Nixons did. From that first hit and run car crash, he knew that they would keep coming up. As he pulled up to the apartment, he knew in his gut that this was another one of their cases. . .
“What’ve we got?” Detective Arbeck asked Chief Prick.
“Twenty-four-year-old Maryann Nixon,” replied the chief as they started up the steps “The paramedics said she died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The neighbors called after they heard the gun go off. One of the neighbors tried to revive her, but you see how that went. The witnesses said they heard her talking to someone before the shot was fired.”
While they entered her room, the chief handed him her file. The detective looked it over and discovered his intuition was correct.
“What do you make of this, Detective?” questioned Chief Prick, as they went in the bathroom to survey the crime scene.
“Suicide,” the detective stated simply, “Since the neighbors came in the front door right after the gun went off, the only other exit to the room is the front window. It’s bolted shut and otherwise intact.”
“The kid had a lot of things going for her. She inherited a good chunk of dough from her folks, near the top of her class at Harvard, fairly popular among her peers and neighbors, and not to mention she’s a looker,” the chief acknowledged.
“Did you look at her past?” the detective asked incredulously, “Her parents died in a car crash at age eleven and her siblings died at age fifteen. Her siblings nearly killed her too.”
“Let me look at those papers again,” the chief said as he took the file, “Who could know a bright young woman went through so much.”
“Me,” Detective Arbeck whispered with a sly smile, as the chief went too direct a few other officers to place Maryann’s corpse in a body bag, “I’ve always known it all.”