Survival- Chapter 18: B.C. (Before Corona)
The explosion from the farmhouse startled the rest of the group with Banks. He took a deep breath and laughed.
Banks cracked his fingers, and turned to face Monique. He was growing tired of her. He leaned close to her and asked her, “So, what now?”
Monique shook her head. “Eh...check for survivors..then again we could continue and move forward with my....I mean your plan-” She cleared her throat. The silence from Banks made her try to think of something else to say. Nothing came to mind.
Banks clicked his tongue. He grabbed Monique by her neck and lifted her off the ground. “Monique, let me make this clear to you. You are not in charge of this operation.”
Monique tried to speak, but Banks’ squeezed her neck so tightly that she felt like he was going to snap it.
At that point of pain, her mind drifted off to a time when she was younger and still tried to figure out if her father loved her at all. It seemed like he only really loved his other daughter, and not Monique.
“Oh girls just wanna have fun...” She twirled around and chuckled as she sang along to the tune of the song. Then silence. “Hey, why did you stop the music?”
Monique glared at Leila. She stared at the girl who had taken away all the love and attention that her father had given her. Now all he ever told her was: “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” Sister, as if she would see her as that. Maybe in a different lifetime. They were not sisters. The only thing they had in common was having the same Dad- that was it.
Leila watched her sister grab her record. She raised it above her head and then sent it crashing down right at her knee. The record shattered in two pieces, Leila felt her heart ache. How could she do such a thing? Monique was pure evil.
Monique laughed, and laughed. She stopped the moment she saw tears streaming down Leila’s face. Monique rushed to Leila’s side. “Now there’s no need to cry. That song hurt my ears. The record needed to be destroyed.” Hearing that Leila sobbed much louder.
The sound of footsteps rushing up the stairs made Monique start to worry. She panicked and gave her sister a tight squueze.
The door squeaked and Monique almost jumped. “What’s going on here?” Monique let go of Leila and smiled. “Nothing.”
She watched her father slowly head to Leila. He picked her up and placed a hand on her back. “There, there. What’s the matter my dear?” Monique watched her father and Leila leave the bedroom. She could not believe it. Her own Dad acted as if she was invisible. Could he not see what Leila was upto. She was only crying because she knew that would make her Dad come running to her. He was Leila’s hero. He had forgotten about his other daughter- me.
Monique did her best to try to follow her father’s rules. “Sit up straight...Take care of your sister, Leila..Take out the trash....Water the flower in the garden.” It was chores, and duties, that seemed to never end. Monique did all the work while her Dad let Leila practice her ballet dancing, singing, playing the harp, and martial arts, too.
She was tired of watching Leila get all the attention, love and affection. Surely there was something she could do.
One day on their way to the carnival, Monique wandered off by herself and observed the other children and adults passing by. She walked past a young couple that were beaming with joy. The guy placed a hand on the woman’s big tummy. After that the couple embraced.
Monique continued to scan the area. She pretended that she was on a battlefield. Her sister was the enemy. She slipped and fell near a rain puddle. Her first thought was to scream and look for her Dad. She shook her head and told herself that even if she screamed- he was not going to come save her.
While Monique got back on her feet, Leila and her father were searching for their missing musketeer. Leila pointed and said, “I found her. She’s over there Dad.”
Monique heard someone call her. She recognized that little annoying voice. Leila.
Her father sighed. He bent down on his knee and grabbed a handkerchief from his front pocket. He wiped the mud from Monique’s face. She felt like crying.
Her father started to hum a song. Leila hummed, too. Then she burst out singing the words to the tune, “Oh girls just wanna have fun...” Monique smiled, and laughed. Maybe Leila was not so bad after all.
Leila handed Monique a water gun. “Do you wanna play cops and robbers? I will be the cop.”
Monique nodded her head. Eh, she was tired of playing by herself. It would not hurt to play with Leila. Her Dad smiled and told his girls, “All right my dears. Have fun. I will be right behind you.”
The girls ran ahead of their Dad laughing. He wiped away the happy tears from his eyes. “They look so happy. My darling girls. I hope they will always be there for each other through the good, and rough times.”
He placed his hand on his chest. The pain was becoming worse. His head started throbbing. The girls looked behind and ran to their father’s side. “Dad...?” He smiled, and told them not to worry.
Leila looked at Monique. Their father was not well. They were worried. The girls gave their father a hug. “Okay, let’s head back home. We can come back to the carnival another day.”
Later that night, while Leila was fast asleep, Monique felt someone place a hand over her mouth. The figure moved on top of her. She tried to scream and kick the person off her body. But he was too strong.
Monique gasped for air. Banks dropped her, she landed on the ground. He snapped his fingers and one of his men handed him a kunai. Banks bent down on one knee and brushed Monique’s hair, that was now out of place, with the blade.
Banks spun the blade in his hand, and then stopped it right by Monique’s chest. She started trembling.
“Banks...you do not have to do this..pleas-”
He twisted the blade as it went right through her chest and straight to her heart. Monique grunted. Her heart started to beat slower, and slower.
As Banks pulled the kunai from her chest, and stabbed her again, he said, “One last thing you need to know—Leila is alive.”
She gasped, and felt like screaming, but she had no strength left. No, this couldn’t be. Banks was lying. How was Leila still alive?
Monique closed her eyes, and tried to think of her favorite things. Alas, she could not think of even one.