Everything was dark... I felt like I was stuck in quicksand, slowly being pulled down to my death... I was terrified by the darkness that was trying to swallow me whole and I fought to keep from being pulled down, trying to grab something--anything--to help me pull myself out, but there was nothing... Nothing but darkness... And, I noticed, several other kids flailing in the darkness, too. Then I realized something, something that scared me even more than the darkness did.
"Rin!! Rin!!" Rin and I were twins. We went everywhere together, unless we got seperate jobs at the same time, but if I was here being swallowed up by darkness, he probably was, too. I looked around, frantically trying to keep my head up so I could see, but I couldn't see him anywhere around. I was panicking even more now.
Where is Rin? Has he already been swallowed by the darkness? Those were my last thoughts, before the darkness finally overcame me completely....
I woke up sweaty and shaking, then started coughing almost immediately after and realized that there was smoke in my room. I gasped, causing another small coughing fit.
Smoke? Is the house on fire? Mom, Papa! Rin!! I mentally called out to them as I covered my mouth and nose with my shirt sleeve and went to my closed door. Remembering the fire safety rules I had learned when I was a child, I touched the doorknob before I tried opening the door. I immediately took my hand away. It was hot! Which meant there was fire on the other side of it. If the fire was already on the second floor of the house, then that meant the bottom floor was probably already engulfed. Hoping that my parents and brother were already out and anxiously waiting for me, I quickly grabbed my single-strap, over-the-head backpack that was pink and purple tie-dye and put a few things in it. I got my sketchbook and wallet and put them in it, then I noticed that Rin's sketchbook and wallet were in my room, too. He had probably accidentally left them last night, so I grabbed them and put them in my backpack, too. Then, last, and probably most important things for my future, I got two pictures off of my desk: one of me and Rin that was taken right after a shared modelling job we had just recently and the other was a family picture that was taken when Rin and I were 7 years old, just before our first job ever. I quickly put them in my bag, noticing that the flames were coming under the door now and my room was almost completely filled with smoke. I closed my backpack, put it on, then ran to my window and opened it, getting a lungfull of fresh air. I was just about to jump out when I remembered that I was on the second floor and I froze for a second. I then looked behind me and saw the flames coming in through the cracks around my door. That decided it. I jumped. As I landed, I felt my right ankle twist painfully and I fell to the ground and rolled as much as my backpack would let me. When I stood back up, I limped to the front of the house, because the pain in my ankle wouldn't let me walk normally.
When I got in front of the house, I was horrified to see that my parents and brother were not anywhere in sight.
"Rin!? Mom!? Papa!?" I called, gaining the attention of a nearby police officer.
"Hey, kid!" He called and he ran over to me, looking concerned. Then he sighed. "Thank goodness, at least there's one survivor.."
I had hardly heard what he said, but it felt like a hundred needles had jabbed into my chest.
"W-what do you mean..? My brother.. my parents..." Even as I said those words, the officer was shaking his head.
"I'm sorry... You're the only one who survived..." He told me in a tone that very clearly said it broke his heart to tell me that.
I was shocked. Too shocked to even cry. So shocked that I hardly even registered him saying anything else to me, then leading me to the ambulence nearby to get treated by a paramedic.
My parents... My beloved twin brother...... Dead...? It felt like I was having a nightmare, but I knew for a fact that I was awake. I would've already woken up by now if it were a dream.
Eventually the shock faded and, as I now sat in the back of the police officer's car, the tears finally came, flowing like waterfalls. I hugged my backpack to my chest and cried. Whether he was trying to be respectful or he just didn't know what to say to help comfort me, the officer didn't say a word.
I kept crying until we got to the police station, then I wiped the tears from my face and eyes with my sleeve and that was when I realized that I was still in my pajamas, but at the moment I didn't really care. I entered the police station with the police officer and was lead to a room where a few other kids were already gathered.
"Alright, sorry I have to ask you this, but could you tell me your name, age, parents' names, and brother's name?" The officer asked me and I nodded.
"I'm Lillith Cowell... I'm 15 years old.. My parents were Drew and Allison Cowell... And my twin brother...." I had to swallow a big lump in my throat to continue. "M-my brother's name was.. Rin Cowell..." He nodded, then spoke again.
"And do you have any illnesses or disorders?"
"I think I have selective OCD. I'm OCD about some things, but I'm not about others." I replied and he nodded again.
"Alright, thank you. You'll have to stay here for a bit. I'll come pick you up later. Will you be okay until then?" He asked and this time I nodded.
"I'll be okay.." I said with a slight smile, which was the most smile I could summon at the moment.
Once he left, I sat in a chair that was at least 2 chairs away from anyone else. If I could help it, I didn't like talking to others when I couldn't bring myself to smile.
Instead, I opened my backpack and took out mine and Rin's sketchbooks. I realized that I had forgotten to get a pencil, so I settled for just looking through the sketches that were already in the books. I actually smiled a bit as I looked through my brother's sketches. They were all female clothing, but they each reflected a bit of Rin's personality. As I looked through his sketches, I could practically hear his voice, with it's somewhat girlish tone, gently scolding me.
"Oh, come on, Lilly! Don't look so depressed! It's not you at all! You know, I hate seeing you without a smile on your face. Come on, smile! If not for you, then for everyone around you!"
I actually chuckled a bit. I then imagined what he'd probably say to me next.
"Lilly, I don't mind if you want to grieve for me and Momma and Papa, but please don't dwell on it. Crying and grieving too much will ruin your pretty face. You have such a bright future ahead of you, I don't wanna be the cause of it losing its sparkle. So, please... don't let our deaths hold you back from your bright future."
I couldn't help a sad smile from crossing my face. I could practically feel his skinny arms wrap around me in an embrace that I knew he would've given me right now if he were here.
Rin, I wish you were here... but I promise I will not dwell on this day.. I will not let this memory hold me back.. I will be strong and smile.. If not for me, then for everyone around me.
THAT WAS LONG-
MUCH LONGER THAN I ORIGINALLY INTENDED-
I'M SO SORRY-