She was walking home after a big trigonometry test, which in her head had not gone well at all, even though she had spent hours and hours, preparing for it. When I think about it, her thoughts cannot be entirely trusted, as she was highly competitive and ambitious, and even though she was only 16, she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life. Who was she though? Her name was Annie Wan and her plan was to have a 4.0 GPA, get a perfect SAT score and move out. She put a lot of thought into it, you might say, but if you knew what kind of life she was forced to accept, how every single day of her existence was a struggle, you would understand her desire to go away and never come back to the place she often called a ‘hell hole’. The truth is that ever since she was a little girl, she had to bear the agony of living with her mother. Since her father’s passing away when she was just a baby, her mom had started to take antidepressants. Or at least that’s how it began. Soon, the pills got more, both in quantity and type, and she could see the drugs slowly taking bits of her mother’s character and appearance. Her beautiful long auburn hair had started to fall out; her teeth, once white and strong, had almost entirely disintegrated; her eyes, Annie’s favourite thing about her mom, were now lifeless, almost as if they were made of glass – like the ones you see in movies in villains, like they are trying to look even more dead and cruel than they already are. The worst part, however, was that the 16-year old girl was forced to live with her and see her mother lose herself every single day and was still unable to do anything to help her. She felt her lips cracking as the cold winter wind blew towards her face as she was about to enter her entirely ordinary house. As soon as she stepped into the doorstep, she realized that something was wrong. There was tension in the air, that sort of heavy smell that doesn’t really have any sort of odour; you just know that it’s there and that it is a sign of something bad. She started walking towards the bedroom and she could feel her pupils widen with fear regarding what she was about to witness. She could feel a huge sticky lump on the inside of her throat, and she couldn’t allow herself to breathe, as if the air, coming out of her mouth, would change anything at all about the dreadful silence. The second Annie entered the room, she saw her. Her mother, having the beautiful and graceful name Violet, was lying on the floor. She was motionless, her face, slightly hidden in the old, smelly carpet, had acquired a pale blue-purple colour, as if to match her name. Annie stood still, unable to move for what felt like hours until the initial shock released the tension in her limbs. Memories from the past started running through her head, preventing her whole body from changing its position. It took her, she felt in her mind, thousands of moments to get on her knees and do something. Anything. But she felt helpless; the poison of the drugs had already taken control over her mother’s entire existence – the woman with the bubbly face, beautiful smile, and dashing eyes, now looked haggard and pretty much dead. As soon as her brain was able to send signals to the rest of her body, she pressed two of her fingers upon her mother’s neck, praying to feel even the slightest bit of pulse. There was none, and she was starting to consider the worst. She quickly ran to the kitchen counter and dialled 911, asking for an ambulance, knowing that this was her last chance to ever see her mother again – ‘at least alive’ she thought, but immediately forced herself to the remove this idea from her head. As she was waiting for the ambulance, she tried to dive the time by looking nervously at the clock, or stroking her mother’s hair, while trying to massage her...
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