Write about a return visit to your childhood home.
My Contribution (trigger warning: childhood abuse):
Not a day goes by where Nikki doesn't think about the events that led to her PTSD. That apartment in the western part of Fremont was the scene of horrific events. A child should not know terror at 6 years of age. Unfortunately, this was exactly what she got.
As Nikki pulled into her driveway after a hard day at work, she was greeted by the postman. Nikki grabbed her Louis Vuitton and exited her black Honda Civic. The postman approached her.
"Afternoon Miss Nikki. You have a certified piece of mail that I need you to sign."
Nikki tilted her head, inquisitively. "So strange, I wasn't expecting anything." She signed a form and looked at the postman. "How are the kids doing?"
The postman smiled. "Charley lost another tooth, and PJ won his baseball game yesterday."
Nikki smiled wide. "That's incredible. Tell Sarah I said hello and that I hope she feels better."
The postman nodded. "Will do. Have a good day!"
Nikki waved as the postman made his way back to his vehicle. Nikki took out her keys and entered her condo. As she closed the door, she placed her keys on the oak table in the entryway and opened the letter. Her general enthusiasm turned into terror as she read the note.
"Nikki Lawson, we regret to inform you that your mother has passed away. We extend to you our greatest sympathies. We do need you to clear out her apartment at 84 Hamden Rd in Fremont. Report to the office for a copy of the apartment key. Respectively, management."
Nikki allowed her purse to fall from her shoulder to the floor. She collapsed down to her knees and began to cry.
Nikki and her mother had always had a strained relationship. The only reason why Nikki existed was because her grandparents forced Nikki's mother to have her. While Nikki was growing up, her mother took out all of her resentment on Nikki. She was abusive, abusing alcohol and drugs, and allowed men to abuse her. There were days when she was not allowed to eat. When her mother was pregnant with her younger sister, the baby's father would punch Nikki's mother in her pregnant belly. All of this took place in the apartment she was forced to empty.
That evening, Nikki poured herself a glass of Merlot and settled into a recliner in the living room. She wrapped a crocheted blanket around her and looked out at the stars. She drifted off to sleep.
The next day, she called out of work and took the 2 hour long drive to Fremont. As she pulled up to the apartment, she felt her anxiety increase. She picked up the keys from the office and made her way to the first floor apartment. Nikki took a breath as she turned the knob to open the door.
Once inside, she closed the door behind her. She looked around the living room. It was as if nothing had changed. The tan couch was still against the window that overlooked the street. The black coffee table was packed with pieces of mail, cigarette boxes, and beer bottles. The TV was still at an angle against the wall. Nikki went over and pushed the entertainment center against the wall so it was uniform with the wall. For a split second, she looked over her shoulder, thinking that she was going to get smacked for that. It was her usual punishment as a kid when she moved the entertainment center. Nikki pulled herself together and entered the dining room.
The dining room table was still in front of the windows that looked into the yard next door. Nikki sat down in the chair that faced the living room. She closed her eyes and was transported back to 30 years ago, when a horrific scene took place:
Mom was resting on the couch, 8 months pregnant with Nikki's baby sister. The baby's father, Rodgerio, had made dinner. Nikki always thought he was a bad cook. When the plate was placed in front of her, Nikki looked at it with disgust. Rodgerio, fueled with anger, threw the fried chicken in Nikki's 6 year old face. "Eat it you little b*tch!" Nikki's mother sat up and yelled into dining room. "Leave her alone if she won't eat. Let her starve." Rodgerio made a fist and raced into the living room. Nikki got up from her seat and watched Rodgerio climb on top of her mother and slam her in her pregnant stomach. Nikki had witnessed this scene many times in the past. This time, Rodgerio used a supernatural force, which caused Nikki's mom to scream in pain. Nikki backed up into the kitchen. Tears ran down her face and she felt cold. She looked at the phone hanging on the wall and called 911. "911 what is your emergency?" Nikki sniffled as she looked for words. "Mommy's boyfriend is hitting her in the tummy where my baby sister is. There's redness coming out of her mouth. I think mommy's dying." Rodgerio stared down Nikki and charged her. He picked Nikki up and smacked her. "What I did to your mommy, is nothing compared to what I will do to you." Rodgerio hung up the phone.
Moments later, the authorities arrived and arrested Rodgerio. Nikki was brought to safety and the ambulance took Nikki's mother to the hospital.
Nikki opened her eyes and collapsed into sadness. That horrible night, her baby sister passed away. She nearly lost her mother too. Rodgerio was charged with attempted murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Her cell phone began to ring. Nikki cleared her throat as she answered the call. "Hello?" A quiet pause on the other end shook Nikki's nerves. "Is someone there?"
A chill went up her spine as she heard a familiar voice on the other end. "Guess who's out for good behavior, you little b*tch?"
Nikki dropped her phone on the floor and ran out of the apartment. She got into her car and drove home.
She never returned to that location of terror again. Nikki changed her name, moved to another state, and started a new life. Now married with a child on the way, Nikki was determined to not let history repeat itself.
*Parts of this story were based on actual events*