Three Days before the Incident
An odd shadow hung around the penthouse of a building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, obscuring the outside view of the floor to complete invisibility. Within the penthouse sat thirteen year old Anna Chase, alone, staring at a picture of her lost family. Only a baby at the time the picture was taken, she didn’t remember what it felt like to have a family, and they were all gone now.
She was lost in the bustling crowd of Manhattan, hoping that every tall, brown-haired man in a suit she passed was her father. She wandered through the rugged paths of Central Park to find her brother because he had always disappeared there for hours. It didn’t matter that her father’s business took him to Europe or that her brother studied at Cambridge University in England. Her apartment was empty and suffocating.
Tara said her father and brother would come back, but she didn’t really know. It had been months since she saw them. They were distant, always choosing something else over her.
Anna ignored Tara when she entered. They hardly spoke anymore, and Tara was fed up.
“Anna, talk to me.”
She grumbled. “You’re not my mother.”
“No, but I’m the closest thing you have to her.”
“Fine. Where’s my father?” She was looking at his smiling face in the photograph, longing for her father of the past.
“He’s working, Anna. You know that.”
“When is he coming back?”
“He said he’d be back soon.”
“You’ve been saying that for months! Stop making excuses for him!”
“You know he loves you.”
“Then where is he?” Tara hesitated at Anna’s sharp, frigid tone. Anna shot up and looked down at the picture. “You know what, it doesn’t matter. If he cared, he’d be here. I-I’ve seen him three times in the past year, and maybe a dozen the year before. That’s not being a father!” Her lip quivered, her eyes watered; nothing seemed to matter anymore. She let the picture fall to the ground, and the glass shattered into hundreds of pieces.
“I know what it’s like growing up without a father. I was always a disappointment to him.”
“But you had my mother. I don’t have anyone.”
“You have me! Wait Anna!” Tara yelled, but Anna slammed the door to the apartment, seeking refuge in the rugged pathways of Central Park.