1 Truth Hurts

When we had gotten back from the airport I realized that something didn't look right, our front door had been left ajar and every single light was off, the housesitter seemed to have left. We went in to figure out what was going on. My brother went to turn the light on but when he flipped the switch nothing happened. No sparks, no lights. He went down to the basement to check the generators but it was just too damn dark to see or do anything. We had to light some candles and went on with our lives.

That night when we turned in, I was laying in bed when I heard weird thumping sounds coming from the attic, I figured it was just Elijah moving things around and rearranging his room again, so I ignored it and went back to sleep. But at around 3:30 the thumping started again. I thought Elijah would've been asleep by now, I got up and out of bed to figure out what was going on. As I got closer to his room the thumping got louder. I opened the door and saw blood all over the floor and walls, he had been sliced to pieces and a man, tall and slim, was standing at the other end of the room dumping his body parts into tubs of some kind of substance, I couldn't do anything but stand there in horror and stare. My throat had gone dry so I couldn't scream. I stepped back slowly out of the doorway, trying to be as quiet as I could, but a second went by and the man noticed me. I ran to the steps and down the hall to the closet and hid. I heard footsteps coming towards me.

"Come out, come out wherever you are." said the man in a soft cracked voice. "I want to play a game."

I stood there holding my mouth shut and watched through the keyhole as the man came closer to the door. He stopped. I held my breath, he started to walk again. I let out a sigh of relief. As I kept staring through the keyhole I noticed that there was a shadow against the door. He knew. His eye met with mine. I'm done for.

"Found you." The man yanked the door open and grabbed me.

"Come on Cindy. Let's play a game."

Cindy? Who the hell is Cindy?

The man dragged me down to the living room and threw me onto the couch. He tied my hands and feet so I couldn't move. "Now Cindy, tell me a story, like you used to."

"My name is not Cindy! It's Alex!"

"I have something for you, Cindy."

The man reached into a bag sitting on one of the armchairs. He pulled out Elijah's head.

"Oh my god! Elijah!"

The man laughed. I couldn't imagine how Elijah felt, the look of horror still plastered on his face.

"Why are you doing this?!"

"Because I love you Cindy, I love you."

"My name is not Cindy!"

The man laughed again and gave a grotesque smile.

"Why'd you have to do this? What did I ever do to deserve this?"

"Nothing. I just love you and I want it to be like it used to be," replied the man.

I looked up at him, so confused.

"Could you at least tell me why you killed Eli?"

"Because Cindy, I've seen how he treated you when you were younger."

By now I was so incredibly confused. Elijah never treated me badly, not even when I was being the annoying bratty little sister, he still loved me the same, he was the kindest most loving guy a person could ask for.

"But of course, how could you remember? You were just a young girl at the age of three."

Sitting there, since there wasn't much else to do, I thought as hard as I could to when I was just three.

"Alex, Cindy, Elijah! Come down for dinner."

The three of us raced down the steps to wash our hands and take our seats at the dinner table. Dad was watching t.v. while patiently waiting for the food to be served and mom was adding the finishing touches to dinner.

"Alright guys, dinner is served," said mom as she placed the steaks on the table along with some salad and mashed potatoes.

While we were enjoying our dinner I was reaching to get some salad and Elijah's knife accidentally cut me. My parents ended up taking me to the emergency room.

Thump! I opened my eyes to see the man still standing in front of me.

"Eli didn't purposely cut me that night, it was an accident, he-" I paused when I had a thought. "Oh my god, you were watching us the whole time, once we had gotten back from the hospital we found Elijah tied up and Cindy was nowhere to be found. You kidnapped her."

"Oh, Cindy, quite delusional. Just as the day you came to me," replied the man.

"Me delusional? I don't think so. And how many times do I have to tell you my name is Alex, not Cindy! I'm not my dead sister!" I cried.

"Alex wake up. It's time to take your medicine."

I opened my eyes and looked around. Everything around me was white and a man in a white lab coat was standing at the end of the bed.

"Where am I?" I asked the doctor.

"You're being treated for your schizophrenia, you're safe here."

"What did I do?" I truly was confused.

"You suffered a psychotic break and killed your older sister, Cindy. Your parents brought you here soon after that."

"How long have I been here?"

"Since you were about six."

I looked at him still confused.

"Now, if you'd like breakfast, it is the only time you can eat until lunch, you don't have to eat but you can not go back to sleep."

I sat on my bed after the doctor left. I was dreaming this whole time. The man wasn't real. Elisjah's death wasn't real, even the memory I had was false. It was a lie.

"Alex, you have a visitor. Conference room," said a nurse that was passing by my room.

A visitor? I wonder.

I finished getting changed and went down the long dimmed hallway to the conference room to see my mystery visitor. When I stepped in the room, I find a tall slender man sitting in the chair in front of me with his back facing me.

"Um, hello?"

The man turned and smiled at me.

"Hey Alex."

"Elijah? It's really you. You're here, alive. Its been so long."

"What are you talking about? Alex, I saw you yesterday."

"You did? Really?"

"Have you been eluding the medicine cart?"

I looked at him and gave a slight smile.

"Alex, you have to take your meds, remember that's what's going to make you better."

"I know, but the pills are so big and hard to swallow, plus they taste disgusting."

"Alex, if you want to be able to come back home, you have to take those pills."

Looking at Elijah I nodded, "Okay."

"I'm sorry, but I have to get to work, but I'll come back during dinner, I promise."

"Okay, but before you go, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure."

"When will I be able to see mom and dad?"

"Alex, I'm sorry to have to tell you, but mom and dad recently passed, they died in a car accident."

I couldn't, no I wouldn't believe what I just heard.

"They're dead? How? When did this happen? Elijah goddamn it answer me!"

I could see tears in his eyes, just wanting to be free but he held them in.

"Alex, I'm sorry but I have to go."

After he was completely out of sight I sat down and sobbed.

"Knock, Knock, group therapy in an hour, come to the dayroom," said a nurse passing by.

I sat there still, I couldn't believe what Elijah just told me. Mom and dad are gone.

As I sat down at a table, I thought about that night when I was six. Cindy and I were playing hide and seek. I remembered finding her in her closet, she looked at me smiling.

"You found me!" She pretended to be scared.

"Yay! I got you Cindy!"

"Yes you do, good job Alex!"

That was the same night Elijah had to go to the doctor and so mom left Cindy in charge of me.

"Okay Alex, what do you wanna do now? Do you want me to read you a story?"

"Yes!"

"Okay, go pick one, anyone you want and I'll read it."

Excited by her words I ran upstairs to pick out a story. I found this one book that mom would never read to me because she said it was too scary. I grabbed it and brought it back down to the living room with me where Cindy was patiently waiting.

"I found one!"

"Okay, let's see it."

I handed her the book. She looked at it and then back at me.

"Are you sure you want me to read this? If mom wouldn't read it then I don't know if I should either, besides it's not a book meant to be read by or to a six year old."

"Please!"

"Okay, but don't blame me if you get nightmares."

I sat on her lap and she began reading.

By the time we reached chapter four I was getting really scared.

"Okay, let's stop here for now. It's just about your bedtime anyway."

"No, I want to keep going!"

"Alex come on, if I don't get you to bed mom will kill me when they get back and see you're still awake."

"Fine."

I got up and went upstairs to wash up and go to bed. At around twelve that night, I heard noises coming from outside my bedroom.

"Huh, curious, no one is home right now, I wonder who it could be." I got up and quietly opened my door and looked to see who it could be.

"Um, hello? Do you need something?"

The person turned and faced me. His face was white, his nose was red, his hair was ridiculously yellow and red, his clothes were colorful but dirty. I had a horrible phobia of clowns.

"Hello there, I'm Weary Willie the smiling clown. What's your name?"

"Alex."

"Do you want a balloon?"

"Uh, sure."

The clown reached out handing me a blue balloon. "Here."

I reached out to grab it but then I noticed his face was starting to change. Frightened I scream and pushed him, making him fall down the steps. Except when he started to yell out for help, I heard a girl's voice.

"Alex! Why'd you push me? I was just seeing how you were doing? I was worried! Help me! I can't get a grip!" yelled Cindy.

By the time I realized what had happened, it was too late. She was bleeding from her head, her heart stopped beating. She was dead.

"I'm so sorry, Cindy! I didn't mean to. I swear! Cindy, I love you, please don't leave me alone!"

I sat with her body for two or three days before my parents came back home. They immediately called the police, when the police came they took Cindy's body and interviewed me and my parents. Days later they took me to the hospital, at the psychiatric ward and they didn't let me explain.

"Alright Alex, it's your turn to check in."

I snapped out of my memory trance.

"Introduce yourself. You know the basics," said one of the therapists.

"Hi, my name is Alex, I'm sixteen and I'm here for homicidal ideations and killing my older sister."

"What are your goals this week?" Asked the other therapist.

"The usual, to get better and soon discharged."

"Alright, good check in."

Dr. Oaks, my doctor came in to speak to me.

"Alex, can you please come with me."

He took me to the conference room where Elijah was waiting for us.

"It has come to my attention that you have gotten better over the past years you've been here, and Elijah has requested I discharge you, he thinks you're ready to go home. In fact, he wants you to go home with him today."

"Okay, so?" I replied quickly.

"I've decided that you are ready to go home."

"Really! Are you sure I'm well enough to go out into the world? Are you punking me? This is just great!"

"Now, go pack your things and I'll get your discharge papers in order and you'll be home in no time."

I happily hugged Elijah, thanked my doctor and quickly ran to my room to change and pack my bags. We finally left after hours and hours of my brother and doctor talking.

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"I'm finally free!"

"So what would you like to do now that you're finally coming home?"

"I really want chicken."

Elijah just laughed. "Why am I not surprised, but sure, as soon as we get you settled in at home, we will go get you some chicken."

We finally got home, and went in, everything is how it was when I was little, nothing changed. I dropped my bags in my bedroom and hurried back down to the kitchen where Elijah was waiting.

"You ready to go?"

"Yeah, let's go."

We got back in the car and headed for one of our favorite restaurants and remember they had the best chicken. When we went in they seemed to have remembered us, cause they called us by name and gave us discounts on our meals. After that we walked around and did some much needed sightseeing.

For a while, everything was going well. Alex was taking her medicine and hadn't had any breakdowns, in fact she was doing incredibly well. Elijah got a promotion at work.

"Alex, I'm leaving do you need me to pick anything up for you?"

"Alex?"

He found her standing in the doorway of Cindy's old bedroom. She was crying.

"Alex? Are you okay?"

"No. Why didn't they ever listen to me? They just put me in that place, they didn't even care about what I had to say."

"Alex, it's not that they didn't care. They did. It's just that it was obvious what happened."

"You didn't even try to help, you just stood there and watched."

"Understand that I couldn't."

"You could've but you just didn't want to try."

"I really can't argue with you about this right now, I have to meet some people. I'll be back later."

"Yeah, whatever."

And with that said, Elijah left. It got super quiet. At around 11 that night Elijah had returned. I woke up to him opening and closing the door but fell back to sleep.

I was having trouble sleeping so I got up and went down to the kitchen to get some water. On my way back to my room I see a light down the hall. Curious I went to go see where it was coming from. Cindy's room. I go in to see what it was. I saw a person sitting in the chair with their back facing me. They had long brown hair and was wearing a red and white plaid shirt and blue jeans.

Tears fell from my eyes. "Cindy? You're alive?"

She turned and smiled at me.

"Hey Alex. You want me to read you a story? Like I used?"

"No, you're dead, this is impossible. You're not real.

"I'm as real as you are."

Then her appearance started to change. Her face became shriveled and bloody. Her clothes disheveled and gross. She looked like a corpse. Freaked out, I ran out screaming.

"Alex! Wait! What's wrong?" yelled Elijah.

I didn't stop to listen, I didn't even try too. I just ran. When I reached the kitchen I grabbed a meat knife and hid, I just wished this was all a dream but I heard her coming down the stairs.

"Come out, come out wherever you are."

I sat in my place, silent. Waiting for her to pass on and leave me alone.

"Alex? Why did you run? Don't you love me anymore?" Her voice was shaky and I could tell she was starting to cry. I wanted to reach out and embrace her and tell her that everything was going to be okay. But then I remembered her horrible face and that disgusting creature out there is not my loving big sister.

"I found you!"

I screamed out. I tried to run but she grabbed me. The knife fell from my hands.

"Let me go! Let me go!"

"Alex, stop resisting! Please! Aren't you glad to see me?"

I reached for the knife, and taking it I stabbed her, right in the heart. I stabbed and stabbed and stabbed until she stopped moving, until she was no longer breathing. All I saw was blood everywhere, the floor, my hands, clothes and face. I looked down at who I was sure was my dead sister but then saw Elijah.

"Elijah? Oh my god! Eli? How is this possible! Elijah, please don't leave me too!"

All of a sudden I heard loud knocking at the door.

"Hello? Is anyone in there? Are you okay? Elijah? Alex?"

It was our neighbor from across the street.

"I heard screaming is everything okay?" She came in and saw me sitting with Elijah's bloody body.

"Oh god! Alex, What did you do?"

"It was an accident, I swear. I didn't know."

"I have to call the police. I'm sorry, but I have to."

"Please don't, it was an accident. They'll send me back."

My neighbor took her phone out and dialed 911. In just a few minutes I heard sirens and saw lights flashing outside my house. Men slowly came barging in, with guns out.

"Ma'am, please put down the knife."

I looked at them crying. "I lost everything. I can't go back there again."

"Put down the knife. We can talk about this. Just put it down."

"I can't." I put the blade to my throat, and pressed it to my skin, shedding blood.

"Alex, don't do it."

"I'm not going back! I'm not going back!"

I dragged the knife across my throat and fell to the ground. Everything went dark.

"Alex, Wake up. It's time to take your medicine."

I opened my eyes and looked around. It was white, there were bright lights and it smelled of bleach and cleaning supplies.

"Where am I?" I looked up at the man confused.

"You're in the hospital," replied the doctor. "You're being treated for your injuries and paranoid schizophrenia."