I woke up at around 1 AM, startled by a noise I heard coming from the hallway. The TV was no longer on. I figured that my parents had turned it off after I’d fallen asleep. I’m surprised that they hadn’t yelled at me for not watching Caleb.

I started to get up but my attention fell onto the lights outside. Flashing blue and red strobes engulfed every object in its wake. I got up to look out the window and saw two police cars pulling up in front of my house.

“COME OUT OF THE HOUSE!” Yelled a man from outside. “We have the place surrounded!”

Sure enough, more police cars pulled in from the road.

My heart started pounding as I heard the sound of two unfamiliar voices coming from the hallway. They were getting closer and closer to my room. So I did what I do best: I hid.

Seems unfair to save myself but if you had ever been in a situation like me, you’d have hidden too. I wasn’t ready to die. I flinched at the loud crackling sound of gunshots being fired from just outside of my door. I heard a cop yell, “Hide, kids!” There were two more shots… and then everything went silent.

***

Caleb and I climbed into the back of a police car. The sun hadn’t risen yet. I could see the cops moving two people out of the house. The two bodies were separately strapped onto moving carts and encased inside white body bags.

More policemen came out of our house, followed by two unfamiliar men that were handcuffed. I got a good look at them: both were covered in deep red blood splatters. I was hoping to see my parents walk out, instead I saw two strangers.

My parents, however, never walked out of the house.

I didn’t realize it right away, but I was crying. It hit me all at once. I furiously began beating on the window, which caused Caleb to wake up with a fright. Helpless screams for my parents flew from my mouth, I knew that they were dead now. Caleb was confused and worried. He kept squeezing my arm, calling my name, and begging me to stop screaming.

But I didn’t.

One of the cops stepped inside of the car. In a stern, emotionless tone he told me to stop yelling and that everything would be ‘okay’. I calmed down for his sake as he started up the car and drove away from our home. Caleb grew impatient and pushed me for answers as to what was going on. I didn’t answer him, though… I didn’t have one that was good enough for him. The only thing that I could do was to wipe my tear-stained face and wait until we would arrive at our unknown destination.

***

I was tired. I was cold. I was scared. I sat in a room with a woman and a cop who asked me millions of questions. First, they addressed me about the people who broke in last night. The cop told me that I had slept through the whole thing. That two men broke in to steal from us, my dad woke up thinking it was probably me or Caleb and was shot by the robbers. My mom called 911 but was shot during the call. Caleb didn’t hear anything until the cops came through, just like me. How the heck did we sleep through all of that?

Then they told me that the robbers didn’t mean to shoot, but once it happened, they really had no other choice but to fire at my mom too.

After informing me of all of that and me crying for another twenty minutes, we talked about my other relatives, the ones that were still alive. The cops had to make a bunch of phone calls because guess what: we had no relatives to live with. My grandma and mother hated each other, so we had no contact with her, ever. She also lived in Alaska, so she wasn’t really an option right now. My uncles and aunts weren’t stable enough for us to stay with them.

I had fallen asleep at the desk. I was awakened by two police officers who I was told would be taking me to my new home. My new home, with new fosterparents. Apparently, during the hours I was asleep, the cops were able to find someone for us to stay with. The people were on my parents’ will. Well, their first will. The police said they had found it in an old suitcase. The new will was never finished so the cops just went with the old will. Caleb and I would be staying with The Harmon’s: my mom and dad’s old friends.

I’ve heard of these people before. They had gone to school with my parents. I knew their daughter, too. I forgot her name, but I remember that we were the same age. They used to come over to our house when I was six years old. Before Caleb was even born. After that, they never came over again. I wonder why…?

Now we were about to live with them. The Harmon’s. Our new family.

 

Hide & Seek © Copyright Jakayla Toney.

 

  

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