C5 Forever alone.
Mum knocks on my bedroom door for the fourth time and I groan before rolling over in my sleep.
"Emily, you've got thirty minutes to be up and ready!" She yells through the crack in the door. I hear her footsteps grow fainter as she walks back down the stairs.
"Screw you." I mutter, flipping a finger at the door. I know she can't see me but I earn a sense of satisfaction from it anyway. Does Mum seriously want to walk around and act like the perfect family all day? We couldn't be further away from perfect if we tried.
I haven't seen my extended family since my father died. Once Trevor came along, he made sure we never spoke to our relatives again. I remember having endless days where I felt insanely lonely with nothing but my teddy bears and barbie dolls to keep me company. The nerves begin to settle in as I realise it's been a long time since I last saw my family.
My hands rub the sleep out of my eyes and I sigh as I inspect the dress I purchased yesterday. It's a sky blue dainty dress that ends just above my knees. I'd purchased nude tights to wear underneath to hide my scars and bruises. After showering, changing and finishing my hair and makeup, I'm finally ready.
"Twenty three minutes, not bad." I grin, feeling proud of myself. My body is still badly bruised and I'm taking constant painkillers to dull the pain. I grab my phone off my bed and tuck it into the small shoulder bag I'm taking with me. After taking several deep breaths, I open my bedroom door and walk downstairs.
Let's get this over with.
The wedding ceremony is incredibly boring. Is there anyone who wholeheartedly enjoys a wedding? After being greeted by a hundred cousins I never knew I had, I'm mentally exhausted. My eyes become heavy and flutter shut. I'm exhausted and my body craved sleep.
A sharp jab in my ribs wakes me up suddenly and I hiss in pain as I clutch it tightly. I spin my head around to glare at the culprit - Trevor. He's frowning at me, his dark eyes burning holes through mine. I sigh and sit up straighter to please him. I hope the ceremony is over soon so I can go back to hiding in my room.
I set my attention on Aunt Mandy and notice how happy and in love she looks. She's wearing a stunning floor length wedding dress. When she saw me, her eyes filled with tears and she pulled me tightly into her chest. She told me repeatedly how much I'd grown and how beautiful I am. The woman practically cut off my oxygen supply but I didn't mind...
It's nice feeling like you belong, even if it is only for a few minutes.
After the wedding comes the celebration. The excitement buzzes through the air as people socialise, laugh and drink alcohol until they forget their own worries. I scroll aimlessly through my phone and look bored out of my skull. A sudden voice causes me to jump with surprise.
"Emily? Is that you?"
I spin around at the mention of my name and my eyes connect with my favourite human ever, Grandpa.
I immediately lunge out of my chair and throw myself at him. My eyes fill with tears of relief as he embraces me tightly. I bury my face into his chest and notice he smells exactly the same as I remember him. He chuckles quietly as he runs a hand over my hair. The loving motion catches me off guard and I suddenly begin bawling my eyes out, staining his immaculately crisp white shirt with my makeup. He was older now and a lot smaller than I remembered him. Grandad takes a step back and grabs hold of your hands. His own eyes mirror yours, happy and full of tears.
"Look at you! You've grown up so much, Elly." Grandad smiles, sadness filling his eyes as he realises how much he's missed out on. A wide grin stretches across my lips at his nickname for me. I haven't heard it for years so the silly name is like music to my ears. I wipe the tears staining my cheeks and feel embarrassed for my over-emotional reaction. I'd always begged Mum to let me see Grandad but she refused in fear that I'd tell him about the abuse from Trevor.
I guess she didn't care anymore now that I was old enough to keep a secret.
"I've missed you Pops," I murmur, hugging him for the second time.
"Everything is going to be okay, I'll make sure of it." He whispers before leading me towards his table. I smile at him sadly but hold onto his words because he's my only hope. We spend hours talking and catching up with each other. If anything positive came from playing happy families with Mum and Trevor, it's rekindling my relationship with Pops. I refused to leave without giving him my phone number. He took it gratefully and just like that, I had a slither of hope to hold onto.
Later that evening, I'm changing out of my dress when I catch sight of my body in the mirror. Ugly bruises stare back at me, staining my skin. My eyes fill with tears and I breathe deeply to remain calm. The bruises don't seem to be healing which concerns me. I sigh in defeat and know I can never receive professional help for my injuries. My body is a portfolio of Trevor's work and the sight of it makes me want to shrink away into myself and never emerge.
I quickly cover my body with pyjamas and set to work on completing homework. I've always loved studying, it keeps me occupied whilst I'm trapped inside my room and I love to learn. It's clear that I'm missing out on things every other teenager my age is doing. Partying, boyfriend's and hanging out with friends.
I release a small sigh as I feel like the only one who's being left out. I grab my cell phone and call Trish.
"Hello?" She giggles on the other end, sounding breathless.
"Trish? Are you okay?" I ask her, feeling slightly concerned at her difficulty to breathe. She laughs louder and I faintly hear a male voice in the background, instructing her to hang up. I gasp knowingly -
"Trisha Louise Lockwood, do you have a boy with you?"
"Yes, can I call you back?" Trish responds. I agree and end the call. There is no way I'm listening to my best friend making out with someone through a phone. My nose scrunches up in disgust before I sigh sadly from the lack of my love life.
I may be young now but before I know it, I'll be seventy years old with no-one to keep me company but fifteen cats.