The Price of Freedom

Smoke rose steadily into the air. The smell of burning still lingered. Voices spoke to her, but she acknowledged no one. Her only focus was the scene that stood before her. The house she once called home, burnt and barely standing. It’s very foundation was threatening to crumble.

It was over. It was finally over.

No more going to bed hungry. No more stay up to take care of her and her depressing moments. No more being the mother she never was.

The neglect. The abuse. It had been all she had seem to have known since her father’s death.

But not anymore. She was free.

She heard the stretcher as it rattled out of the broken house. Shaking her head clear of thoughts, she watched and waited. Surely she would feel something. Pain, sorrow, guilt, forgiveness. But nothing of the sort ever came. All she felt was joy.

Her hand jerked as flame licked at her fingers. The lighter fell with a soft thud.

Her father’s lighter.

She hadn’t realized she had taken it out. It had become a habit just to hold it.

Reaching down, she picked it up and gave it a small squeeze.

Finally she turned and met his eyes.

Her brother had stood there just watching her. She hadn’t looked at him, but she felt his eyes on her. It wasn’t until now that his attention had shifted. Now, as the body bag rolled right past him and into the van. His eyes followed.

She knew he felt pain. He should. He was the golden child; put on a pedestal for all to worship. There wasn’t a ting the SHE wouldn’t have done for him. But do something for her? No. she was alone. She always had been and she always will be.

Her brother turned away without another glance. But she still watched as he headed down the street.

She wondered what would happen now. Where would she go? Wat would she do?

She turned back to the scene. The vans and such now gone. The place seemed oddly quiet.

She let out a sigh. Turning away, she kissed her father’s lighter and slipped it back into her pocket. It was time to leave this dreaded place.

She wasn’t sure exactly where she would go or what she would do but she was free. And that was the only thought on her mind as she followed her brother’s path down the street.

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