As we walked past our parents’ bodies to the police waiting outside, I covered her eyes more tightly and thanked God she was a heavy sleeper. The bloodstains on the carpet and walls made me nauseous, and the sight of their lifeless eyes made me want to scream. I couldn’t let my little sister see this horror, so I made sure she couldn’t see anything at all. The police didn’t ask any questions when they saw us, only taking my sister’s hand gently and leading her to safety. I stayed behind, feeling numb as I watched them bag my parents’ bodies and take them away.
Days and weeks went by before my sister and I were placed with a new family, far away from the scene of the crime. We went to school, made new friends, tried to forget everything that had happened. But I couldn’t shake off the feeling of dread whenever I saw someone with dark hair and green eyes, like my mother.
One night, my little sister woke me up, her eyes wide and panicked. “I had a nightmare,” she whispered. “Mommy and Daddy came back and wanted to give me a surprise but they were covered in blood.” My heart pounded as I tried to calm her down, but I couldn’t help the feeling that it wasn’t just a nightmare.
The next day, I went back to our old house to collect some of our things. The new owners had already moved in, but they let me in to grab what I needed. As I walked through the familiar rooms, I noticed something odd in my parents’ old bedroom. A small cardboard box, addressed to my little sister. I hesitated for a moment, then opened it.
Inside was a pristine white dress, with a note attached. “Mommy and Daddy got you another birthday surprise,” it read. “Wear this and close your eyes, okay?”
I felt the color drain from my face as I remembered the last time I had uttered those words to my sister. Had my parents planned this all along? Had they sent this box before they died, knowing we would eventually find it?
I grabbed the dress and ran out of the house, my heart racing. I couldn’t let my sister see this. Not again.