Naru was trembling at the podium, giving her shaky testimony. Poor girl. She was only 6. But it wasn't her fault she was in this situation.
It was mine.
Well...Not really, I suppose.
But it was me who threw a tantrum. It was me who was mad at mom. It was me who opened the door.
I didn't know him well when he knocked at the front door, but I'd seen him once or twice around the neighborhood, so mom must know him, right? Maisey was on the couch, watching me let him into our house. He was nice. He gave us candy. I wanted to be nice, so I took it, but he gave me a mint candy that I hate, so I just smiled and tucked it into my pocket. He asked if my mom was home, and I said yes. I skipped around the corner to look for her.
But then I heard a thump.
And a scream.
I froze, and peeked around the corner in the hallway in time to see my sister fall on the ground in a heap, motionless.
My breath caught in my throat, and I didn't move a muscle. I couldn't. I was paralyzed. I was only a kid. And then my mother came running. She screamed at the sight, and I remembered myself, hitting the panic button on the wall. With the man turned away from me, I caught my mom's eye. She mouthed a word. I couldn't tell what it was, but I ran anyway. I hid under my bed. All I heard was the screaming.
Soon the police came. Two lives. Just me and my second sister were left.
So here we were. In a courtroom. With him. all the evidence was there. We were going to win. He didn't have a prayer. But what do we even get from this? Having to think about this whole mess even longer? It's been over a year, and nearly nothing has happened, even though he has no redeeming evidence. He acts sorry. Like he accidentally broke my sister's neck and stabbed my mom.
I don't believe him.
But even if we do win (which we will), all we get is two new siblings. Two more people to unknowingly remind us of what their "father" did. I don't want new siblings. I want to go home. But I can't. All of this has to be over first. Then they will contact me and Naru's new family, tell them that they will be receiving four new children. Us two, and the two babies they will cultivate to replace the lives lost. That's what the caseworker said. She said that we were lucky that we didn't have to go live with strangers forever, that we should be glad were related. Distantly. But they don't care about us. I've never met them. Just like I've never met the man who killed them.
My father killed his ex-wife and child.
He'd never even met Maisey.
He killed a child he'd never even met.\
I watched in silence as Naru began to cry. I don't know why they were hounding her so much. She was at daycare all day, and our carpooler dropped her off right after the police arrived. All she saw was the man being led away, and peeks at the aftermath.
The session was over eventually, and we were sent to our foster home. I was told the trial would be over soon. The sentencing would be next week.
~One Week Later~
Two life sentences.
And two new lives.
They'll take him to prison. Lock him up, away from us. They'll take his DNA, make us two new siblings. Force him to carry them, as part of the punishment for murder. To 'compensate'. As if anything could compensate for the loss of mom and Maisey. It's like rubbing it in our faces, that he lives on in them, and our family is dead. I heard some people name them after the victims. Even I know that's sick. And if they have the ability to make these children, why can't they just make as many stupid babies as they want? Or maybe take care of people and avoid mass dyings in the first place. I don't care what happens to those babies. They aren't my siblings, and nothing will change that.
~Seven Years Later~
Today is the twin's birthday.
Seven years ago today, we were sent to our new family with two new boys, Leo and Levy. One of Aunt Sarah's girls picked the names.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if my father hadn't come to our house that day. If I hadn't opened the door. If my mom and sister were still here. But that won't happen. I can't change that. He ended up dying in prison. Hung himself. Left a note saying he was sorry. I don't think I believe him. He got off easy.
The only thing he ever did for us was give us Leo and Levy. I got to watch them grow up. They really are my family, even if I wish I never had to take them. Naru is so grown up now-- 14! I can tell she resents the twins, but I know that she understands that it isn't their fault.
I love my family. Naru. Leo. Levy. Even my little cousins. I still miss you though, mom. I think I always will. I'm constantly torn between loving the boys more than anything, and wishing you were here instead. But I know you always wanted a big family. I know you would be happy with our lives.
I love you, mom. Forever. Even after eight years, I still miss you.
Thanks for everything you've given me. I'll keep writing this journal, but these entries are for you. Keep them safe. I'm letting everything go, starting with these. And I'm sorry for throwing away this life that you gave me, but I have to. I don't even know who I am anymore. I don't want to be like my father. I don't want to see you dying every night. I can't. I'm trying. I swear I am. And I'll keep trying. For at least a little. But just in case, make a place for me when I see you again.
I love you,