Tate & Low's story.
I'm loud, I'm proud, and I like to bust balls in my spare time. At least, that's what Low Parker would do. But, she is just a mask, one that I have perfected over years of running. I am Willow Knoxx. Master of deception, secrets, and lies. I am the girl your mother told you to stay away from, and the girl your father fantasized about. I have been running for years, always looking over my shoulder. Now, the mask that I have perfected is about to disappear, and everything I have done to keep myself hidden is about to be revealed.
The minute the door slammed, I was on my feet. Taking three more large gulps of the poison in a bottle, I held back the gag before gripping the neck of the bottle tight and throwing it against the nearest hard surface. Fragments of glass splintered and shattered across the carpeted floor like a blanket of glittering confetti. I laughed sarcastically. Welcome to the real world: where girls drank malt whiskey, where liars and cheaters were rife, and where your life is held in the hands of a single text message.
Welcome to my hell.
I stared at the glass fragments on the floor, watching as they glistened with moisture from the remaining whiskey. I looked around the quiet house, the one my mother and I had never really turned into a home, knowing full well that we’d eventually have to leave.
There were no picture frames housing family photos, there were no handmade ornaments from her little girl. There was nothing, nothing to say we had been here for six years. There were no memories here, only the ones that haunted us in the darkness of the night.
With the thought weighing heavy on my mind, I dived into the cabinet of alcohol, coming across my old friend. Jack Daniel’s.
“Hello, motherfucker. It’s been a while,” I taunted the bottle, watching as the amber liquid sloshed around the bottom of the bottle.
Ripping off the cap, I sucked in a mouth full of the foul tasting shit, hissing as I gulped back the vomit that was quickly rising up my throat. I took another large gulp, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand as I ventured up the staircase on shaky legs. The alcohol already had me buzzed, but I didn’t want buzzed. I wanted completely fucking annihilated, inebriated, and comatose. It was the only way to get rid of the rising guilt.
After negotiating the staircase, I stumbled across the hallway, making my way to my childhood bedroom. I laughed at the thought, not so much a childhood when you’re on the run from it. I slumped my body against the door, turning the handle with one hand, bringing Jack to my lips as I did. I stumbled into the room with a loud thud, Jack almost slipping through my fingers.
“Slippery little fucker tonight, aren’t you, Jack?”
I winced. This was when Willow came out of her shell, alone and... pretty damn wasted. I didn’t want to be her. I wanted so desperately to be Low Parker, not who I was. The text message I received had sparked this, the need inside me just to break lose, to remember why I turned into Low. I hated Willow; she was nothing more than a poisonous memory, a part of the past that was now creeping up and tainting everything within its path.
S.K. Hartley is a mother, wife and a writer. Based in the not so sunny North West of England you can find her either glued to her computer desk, in the public library (Yes, they do still exist!) or floating around her favourite authors books signings.
S.K. Hartley has an unhealthy obsession with coffee, chocolate and retro computer games and a healthy obsession of stalking indie authors.