Prologue

"You should have left me at uni," Steph murmured. She was referring to Cambridge University; only during holidays would she leave to spend time with her parents, but she much preferred to stay and she was sure they wished that as well.

"We are spending the holidays as a family, okay?" her mother stated. They were driving home, to Chelsea, to spend a week for Christmas and the New Year. Steph's father was driving the Audi A6, while his wife sat in the front passenger and his daughter sat behind him.

"What family? We have never been a family. What makes you think that after sixteen years we are going to be one now?" her parents were silent. She was perfectly correct. They had never been a family, always disconnected for some reason. Her mother and father never wanted children, it was the wish of her grandmother to keep her. When Steph was five years old, she passed away leaving her parents clueless on how to bring her up.

Every day Steph felt as if she was a mistake, as if her existence was a drawback to her parents. She hated herself for that. Her existence.

She felt like an unwanted burden, a cancer they so desparately were trying to find a cure for.

When she was eleven years old, she wanted her parents to be free of the disease that she was.

One day, in the middle of a Science lesson, she stared with blank eyes at the pencil she held. Everyone else was busy writing their own essays on Alexander Flemming, discoverer of Penicillin. Killer of bacteria, of disease.

Why do I have to ruin their lives? Why do I even exist?

Satisfaction consumed her as she inserted the pencil into her left wrist and started pulling it closer to her elbow. She could not feel the pain, only happiness as she watched the blood quickly ooze out of the wound.

To her dismay, another student had seen her and screamed. The others quickly followed suit and soon the whole classroom erupted in panic.

Knowing she had little time left, she pulled out the pencil and started on the other wrist.

Faster! Faster! Her mind screamed at her hand.

She only had a few seconds at her right wrist before the female teacher ripped the pencil from her grip.

"No!" she shouted at her. The teachers eyes blazed with confusion, shock and panic like everyone else.

Why? Why do you want them to suffer even more?

The blood quickly dripped to the floor, only there wasn't enough of it. She used her fingernails to pull open the wound on her left wrist even further, this time she could feel the horrific pain, as the teacher had interrupted her satisfaction.

The teacher tried to pull away her hands, tried to stop her, but she simply slipped her fingers into the wound. As the teacher pulled again at her hands, the wound expanded even more, the blood covered skin teared in response.

Horrified at her actions, the teacher's hands flew out of the way, knowing she was causing more damage than she was preventing.

Now gaining freedom, she ran out of the classroom, leaving a trail of blood behind her. She found an empty classroom and quickly opened the door; it was now her sanctuary.

Hearing the shouts of the teacher, she barricaded the door with a desk and a few chairs. Sweeping the room with her eyes, she discovered a pair of scissors laying on the front desk.

Finally.

She grabbed the scissors and sat with her legs crossed on the carpet. Her eyes shut tight as she tried to ignore the furious knocking and pleas from her teacher.

The scissors sliced easily through her skin, she made quick work of both of her wrists.

Slowly she laid on the floor, the happiness she felt was the most intense thing she had ever experienced. She was so grateful, so thankful. Her parents could be happy now, they would be happy now, without her, only with each other, the way it was meant to be.

A smile remained on her cheeks as she slipped into unconsciousness.

Five years later, Steph stared down at her wrists, the faded scars still visible, still a reminder.

"Why didn't you put me up for adoption? Why do you make me feel like a burden every single second I am near you?" Her voice got louder and louder, near hysterics at the last word. Clenching her fists, she waited for an answer, but did not gain one.

"Answer me!" she shouted. Her mother jumped, clearly frightened by her daughter's increasing rage. Her father felt absolutely helpless, what could he say? Does he admit the truth? Or does he keep lying in an attempt to salvage a family? His concentration was now on these questions racing through his mind and not the road they were driving on.

The silence was crippling them all.

Her rage and impatience were intensifying each and every second.

She punched her father's seat and she screamed once more, "Just tell me. Just tell me you didn't want me!"

"We didn't want you!" her father answered her. Her mother's hands were held over her own lips, the tears flowed quickly; she was in a state of utter shock.

Steph closed her eyes.

She had been waiting for this for so long, waiting for the truth to be recognised instead of being buried underneath all of the lies.

"How could you say that?" her mother asked him, her expression disgusted.

"It's the truth! She wanted the truth and she got the fucking truth, Jane. We can't keep fucking lying to her! She's sixteen for god's sake,"

"Don't swear at me, John,"

"I wasn't swearing at you! Swearing at you would be telling you to fuck off, Jane, but I didn't say that did I, Jane?"

"SHUT UP!" Steph screamed. "Let me out of the car,"

"No, as your mother said, we are going to try and spend the holidays as a family, whether we wanted you or not,"

"LET ME OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR!"

"I said NO!"

Her father had lost concentration on the road and another car rammed into them. Both of her parents died instantly from the head-on collision.

There were a few moments of silence before the shrieking began. . .

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Twelve years later. . .