In a daze with her own thoughts, Amelia hears a door slam. She jumps up and urgently puts everything back in the box and shoves it under the bed. She stumbles out of her parents’ room and closes the door as she notices Eli tramping upstairs.
“What are you doing? Mom said hurry up!” he shouts, annoyed.
“I’m coming! I just had to make sure I didn’t forget anything.”
He rolls his eyes and twists his mouth. “Let’s get out of here. This place gives me the creeps, and I’m ready to get on the road.” He whirls and sprints downstairs.
“Hey! Aren’t you going to help me with my bags?”
He pauses. “No, you can handle it!” He smirks as he trips on the last step and jumps over the blood stain.
“You’re such a jerk! And what do you mean get on the road?” She rushes behind him, trying to get answers. He stops in his tracks.
“Um, nothing, just hurry up,” he blurts as he continues toward the door.
“No! Where are we going?” Amelia demands, but he ignores her and runs outside.
She slowly rolls her suitcase to the door and takes one last look around when she eyes the roses that started it all. They’re still vibrant and lovely in the vase where her mother put them. It’s a travesty that they’re still thriving despite what has happened. All she sees is a reminder of what her life has become…because of their presence. She walks over, picks up the vase, and slams the roses against the wall. Tiny pieces of glass spread across the kitchen floor, glistening in every crevice and the rose petals slowly flutter to the ground. She angrily rips apart a few survivors and walks out of the house.
When she gets outside, she has no help putting her suitcase in the trunk and hates how worthless her cousins are. God help the women they marry because they’re in for a real treat. When she finally slides into the backseat, Leona gives her a hard time about taking too long, but Amelia can’t understand the rush.
“I want to go back to the hospital to see Dad,” Amelia requests, as he she ponders his past.
“Amelia, we’re on our way to the police station,” Leona gripes.
“Okay, no problem,” she replies warily. She gets a strange feeling that Leona’s hiding something but doesn’t feel like arguing at the moment. They pull up to the police station and all get out of the car.
“We have to make it quick,” Leona snaps.
“Why are we in such a rush? Do you have somewhere else to be? I mean besides hell!” Amelia yells.
Leona balls her fist and goes after Amelia when Eli gets in between them.
“Mom, not here,” Eli says, as he points to the police station.
Leona looks around, as if she truly forgot where they were. “Your smart mouth is going to get you into trouble, Amelia!” Leona says.
“So will yours!” Amelia retorts as she follows them inside the building. She knows she should respect her elders, but Leona is unbelievable. She’s still not sure how she can survive her aunt’s evilness, but she has to calm down and not let Leona get to her. Besides, she doesn’t want to come up missing. She is in charge of me now, she reminds herself.