Day 243 – Absolution – Part 2

Word count: 685

I didn’t sleep that night. No one did. The police came round and spoke to all of us. I remember laying in my aunty’s lap watching my mum cry into my father’s arms. I knew what was happening, but at the same time I didn’t. Arina could come back at any point – she could be home tomorrow, the next hour.. she could have been right outside the door. At that point I did not know what was to come and I guess even now I still don’t, especially after all that has happened.

By morning I drained. My eyes were stinging with fatigue and my body wanted nothing else other than to sleep, but my mind had other plans. I missed her so much that night. My little sister. All I wanted to do was hug her and read her a bedtime story. I craved her like a drug. My aunty stayed up all night with me. She did not leave my side once. Mum and dad were elsewhere, but as much as I wanted my mother’s warm arms around me, I knew that those arms were waiting for someone else. I sort of understood that then, I think.

A police officer was stationed at our house all day. Her name was Fiona. She was really nice and had short dyed red hair and bright blue eyes. In morning she took me aside into the back garden. I had been crying all morning. My eyes were bloodshot and my cheeks red.

“Are you and Arina close?” she asked.

It was drizzle that day. A light grey cloud hung over us like a ceiling. It was a little chilly, but I didn’t care. I wrapped my arms around myself and stared at some bugs crawling between the gaps of the flagstones of the patio. My dad had laid that patio before Arina was born. I helped him – well I watched him and made him tea. It was an odd thing to think at the time, but I realised then that this little piece of our back garden had always been in Arina’s life. It pained me to think of life without Arina, but it was odd to think that at one point she had never been a part of it at all.

“She is my only sister.”

“I don’t have a sister. I have a brother, but he hates me. I always used to stamp on his toys when we were younger.”

I continued to stare at the bugs. There was a little beetle that I found very interesting. It had somehow got stuck on its back and was trying to turn back over. I wanted to help him, but at the same time I just watched without action.

“You’re going to find her, right?” I asked, almost pleadingly.

Fiona sat down beside me – she almost stood on the poor beetle – and I could see then why her brother might have hated her.

“Arina is a very special girl and we are going to do our very best to find her.”

“But what if you can’t?”

I knew her answer, I just wanted Fiona to say it, “What if you can’t find her again?” I repeated.

Fiona’s head fell and I felt guilty. Perhaps I had pushed her too far. Instead, though, Fiona took my hand and held it in hers. Her bright blue eyes stared directly into my like cold sunbeams.

“Vicky, Arina might not come back, no, but she might and we are going to search endlessly until we do. It might be tomorrow, it might be next week, it might be years down the line. But we don’t stop until we find her.”

“Dead or alive?”

Fiona nodded grimly. I was old enough to realise that this might be the case. It made my physically ill inside to think that something bad had happened to her, but I needed to know that there could be that chance. Fiona, though harshly cruel in many people’s eyes, had been the kindest person in the entire event and it is here where the story really begins.

~ by S.G. Mark on June 6, 2012.

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