• The broken lights and the flipped over chairs- that was what was left of my house after the shooting. I remember his face vaguely, but what I remember the most was his voice. Snarly and rich and low. His chin was long and pointy. His eyes were squinted and black. But there was one problem. He was my step-father. He had just shot my mother and now, in the deep blackness of my life, I was questioning everything.

    What about at Christmas, when he bought me awesome presents? And on Valentine's Day, when he gave my mother a big box of chocolates?

    I heard the police sirens. I just sat on the tile floor looking at the blank expression of my mother. Once the police came in I started to cry.

    "Are you alright?" they asked. One picked me up and brought me outside while the others checked my mother.

    They asked me questions about my step-father and what he said and did before and after he shot her. I told them everything. I told them about the fights, and the times when he would be nice to us. The detectives and policemen just listened.

    "Please, take me somewhere safe!" I pleaded. "I know he will find me! He's going to find me!"

    The policemen tried to calm me down and and put me in the backseat of their car. My Aunt Jen drove up in her Prius and stopped in front of the house, which was being surrounded in yellow crime scene tape. I told the police that I wanted to go with my Aunt Jen. They told Aunt Jen what had happened. She turned pale and shuffled me to her car. Once the door was closed, she asked the policeman a question. I guess I will never know what it was.