I close my eyes, turning the handle slowly and cautiously, thrusting my weight silently against the door as I swing it open. My school bag slung over my left shoulder, strands of my shiny brown hair tucked under the strap, I slink inside quietly. Standing at the door, removing my sneakers and placing them gently beside the door step, I take my first step inside. Peeping around the corner of the hall leading into the lounge room and then shuffling sheepishly into it, sliding my bag off of my shoulder and onto the couch. My eyes restlessly shift about for the smoky ladder drifting slowly toward the clouded roof of my mother’s computer room. “Sleeping at the keyboard again...” I think, staring at the glowing smoke in her mouth.

Placing my foot down on the wooden floorboards, and a loud, unwanted creak rings out throughout the house. I cringe back, covering my mouth to force my gasp back down my throat and freezing in my place. Her eyes shoot open, her head quickly darting towards me standing silently in her doorway. “Annabelle…” she growls, her voice cut and croaky due to the years of her smoking. The fingers of her left hand make their way through her dark blonde hair as she sighs deeply and angrily. “I’ve been waiting for you, you ungrateful little bitch…” Her words slurred, her body shaking as she moves her left arm to her side; more alcohol. Her left fingers now curling around the side of the chair, she quickly repositions herself into an offensive stance, thrusting the chair over into the wall to the far right of the room with a large slam. I jump back a mile, shaking slightly, tears building in my eyes. “M-mother, I-I-I-I’m s-s-sorry…” I stumble, trying to hide my fear.

Taking a single step toward me with a sinister grin, she dashes forward, latching her fingers to my hair and shoving me to the ground. “You little slut! I’m not your mother!” A heavy backhand sends me spine first into the lounge, tears flying from my eyes as I let out a pained scream. She slumps on the bottom stair leading to the second level of our house, laughing manically whilst the tears of the innocence she once had dribble down her pale cheeks. She looks at me with an innocent face, more tears drench her cold, glassy blue eyes. “I’m sorry Annabelle…” She mutters, curling up at the bottom step.