It took her, it took her slowly, like a lion stalking its prey; the end was fast but it took its time to get there. It took her and now she is gone. It came like it did for everyone else. It crept up, surprising at the last moment. It was a quiet mouse, it was a loud elephant. It was unknowingly welcomed. It was unstoppable.
She was only 15, a young girl oblivious to the world around her, caught up in love and life. She was happiness and love in one. She was joy and freedom. She was delight and liberty. She was my sister.
It happened in the midst of winter when the cold sky beckons you in. It happened on a cold and rainy day, the water smashing down on the tin roof. It happened when the violet sky turned black. It happened when I wasn't there. It happened when there was nothing she could do.
She was in the house, comforted by the family dog. She was in the house reading her favourite book. She wasn't near the kitchen but up in her bedroom, covers pulled up around her bony shoulders. She wasn't close enough for mother to hear her cries. There was nothing she could do.
It was when she saw the purple sky turn black. It was when she heard the pelting rain. It was when she knew no one would hear her scream.
It was The Fear - she was The Fear. It was The Fear that strolled through the village, handing out distress and pain like sweets. It was a plague, it was a disease. It was unknown.
I feel the guilt. I was the one who went out with Theo. I was the only one who should have known. I was the only one who could have helped. I was the one who heard her cries from 10 miles away. I was the one who was too late.
I am the one who knew that The Fear grows, yet how I do not know. I am the one who should be doing something about it, yet I am the one who is sobbing over a body, crying out at the sun. I am the one who is doing nothing, yet I am The Fear.
by Lucy Meader