Imogen is a thirteen year old girl. Her family consists of two older brothers, a dad called George, and a step-mother called Jenny. Her grandparents died, when she was a little, except a grandmother on her dads’ side of the family called Mary. Her mother also died. Now all she has is a picture which she looks at every morning when she wakes up and just before she goes to bed.
Jenny is an evil step-mother. Like one of those from a fairy tale. She seems to love George but hates children and wants nothing to do with them. In front of George she acts kindly towards them and makes an effort to communicate but when he’s not around she just ignored them. Jenny is considered completely useless to the three kids. She sits at home watching television all day, she doesn’t bother to clean the house or cook and instead she hires a maid and pays her to do the job.
This isn’t the type of mother role model that Imogen needs. She needs someone who could show her new things like teaching her how to cook complicated dishes for special occasions. Even though Imogen is well-behaved, she still needs a mother to go shopping with, to gossip with and have some mother, daughter time with. All these things could be done with friends but it’s different when it’s your mother. A mother gives advice that friends might not have experienced yet.
George, Imogens’ father, plays a big role in her life. He’s a successful lawyer and Imogen takes him as her role model. George is a loving father who’s always there for Imogen, helping her to make the right choices in life, encouraging her to study just that little bit harder for exams. He’s not that big a role model for the boys as he is for Imogen but that’s because they have other things on their mind instead of working hard to get a good education.
Perfect. That’s what Imogen is. She is a bright teenager with high ambitions of following her fathers’ footsteps in becoming a lawyer. She has big, blue eyes, long, wavy hair and is short but extremely mature for her age. She loves school as much as cats loves mice and her friends are reliable, trustworthy and support her through thick and thin no matter what happens.
Tom and Adam were two charming boys who had a way with the ladies. They were good students right up to the point of puberty. Usually girls are the ones with mood swings, but not in this case. They started misbehaving in class, then skipping lessons and finally stopped going to school altogether. Now they, unlike their sister, hate school. When in school they do everything to get themselves out and when out drinking alcohol, taking drugs were only a few of the things they do. They never seemed to understand how their own blood could love school so much.
Imogens grandmother Mary was, in Imogens opinion, the nicest grandmother that ever lived. She lives abroad in Spain but visits regularly. She’s loves all three children very much, she respects them and treats them like grown-ups. She is very healthy and lives life to the maximum, goes on holidays a lot, and is not scared of anything. Every time Mary visit’s the country and they go shopping, Mary buys Imogen anything she asks for.
Every morning, Imogens house, starts off the same way. She wakes up to the sound of her annoying brothers arguing with Jenny about how she doesn’t have to act nicely in front of George and make them breakfast but this Monday morning she woke up to the sound of rain tapping at her window. She jumped out of bed, kissed her mothers photo, got washed and put her school uniform on.
Walking down the stairs she noticed Jenny trying to make breakfast, with no complaints from the twins. That was because she was making pancakes and George was there watching his sons every move. She sat down next to Adam and as he turned around to ask Jenny for more food, he knocked over the glass of orange juice that was beside him, making it spill all over Imogens’ school skirt.
Walking back up the stairs to her bedroom, she slipped and bumped her knee onto the hard flood. She got up slowly and crawled to her bedroom. Rummaging through her closet she tried to find her other skirt. Realising it was in the laundry basket she walked over, got it out and put the malodorous skirt on.
“That’s disgusting!” said her twin brothers as they walked past her bedroom
“It’s not that dirty!” she lied
The skirt wasn’t literally dirty it just smelled. To take the smell away she went into the bathroom and smothered herself with perfume.
Running back down the stairs she slipped and landed onto the side of her foot, hurting her ankle. Sitting on the floor thinking of how much pain was caused to her this morning she realised it was the start of a bad day. Looking up at the clock in the living room, it read quarter past eight. She was late. Today was the day of her first GCSE exam and Imogen wanted to get to school earlier than usual so that she could have enough time to go over the topics she wasn’t very confident with. Now, if she took the bus, it would be impossible.
George had still not left for work. He was standing in the kitchen reading a newspaper and drinking coffee. Imogen ran up to him and kissed him on the cheek.
“Good morning dad.”
“Good morning honey,” he replied, “did you sleep well?”
“Yes I did,” said Imogen, “can you take me to school by any chance?”
“Of course I could”
“Boys, get downstairs, I’m taking your sister to school and I might as well take you too!” he yelled upstairs
“We’ll take the bus coz it’s too early for us to be leaving for school.” They shouted back
“Fine, but don’t be late.”
“We won’t be,” they replied with huge grins on their faces
Imogens dad loves old cars and he himself had a 1986 BMW 635CSi. The car was safe but had a few flaws. The airbags didn’t work on the front passenger side and the seatbelts easily became unbuckled. George was never worried because he was a very safe driver and he could never give his car away.
As soon as Imogen got in the car she put a book on her fathers lap and asked him to ask her some questions but he couldn’t because he was about to drive, instead he told her that he would when they stopped at a red traffic light. When they did he took the old book into his hands and started asking questions. Imogen gave a perfect answer to each and every question.
Meanwhile, on the road opposite to theirs were a couple of drunken teenagers, joy riding. They didn’t notice that the red light was on and carried on driving. The driver lost control and the car started to skid on the wet ground and so ended up hitting Imogens’ car. The out of control car hit the BMW head on causing George’s seatbelt to unbuckle and he flew out the front window. Imogens airbag was broken but luckily her seatbelt didn’t unbuckle.
An ambulance arrived and took them to the busy hospital. Imogen and George were rushed straight into surgery for they had suffered serious head injuries.
Unfortunately none of the drunk teens were wearing a seatbelt and received serious injuries. They died before the ambulance got to the scene.
Three weeks later, slowly opening her eyes, Imogen found herself in a hospital bed surrounded by family and friends.
“What happened to me? Why am I in a hospital? Asked Imogen
“Imogen, this is really important, what’s the last thing you remember? Asked the nurse
“I remember my dad was taking me to school. Then we stopped at a traffic light and he was asking – where is my dad?”
When the doctors operated on Imogen, they did the best they could, her injuries where bad and the doctors were not sure whether or not she would be able to remember everything when she awoke from the coma.
“I don’t know how to tell you this, but your father-” said the nurse
“I’ll tell her,” interrupted Mary, Imogens grandmother, “your father died the day you were rushed into hospital. The surgeons did everything they could but they just weren’t able to stop the bleeding”
By the time she finished the sentence both of them were in tears. Mary went up to her favourite grandchild and put her arms around her.
“It’s my entire fault, grandma, it’s my entire fault!” Imogen repeated, “I know it is, I asked him to drive me to school, if he hadn’t got in the car to take me to school, he would still be here! It’s my entire fault! Now we have no one to look after us, and I’ve missed my GCSE exams. It’s my entire fault!”
“You still have Jenny to look after you and I called the school to explain the situation, they said you can retake them when you get back”
Imogen stayed in the hospital for another week under monitoring. Her friends visited and so did her brothers. The week went past very slowly. Everyday, all she did was lay in bed, watch television, walk around a bit and then go back to bed. There were no children there her age and she didn’t want to talk to elderly people. Imogen received beautiful bouquets of flowers and tasty chocolates from family but she didn’t want any of it, she just wanted her caring dad by her side, helping her through this.
When Imogen got out of the hospital her brothers took her home. Jenny was in the living room watching television.
“Welcome home!” exclaimed Jenny
Imogen just ignored her and went straight up to her bedroom.
The next few days were a blur. Imogen stayed in bed most days mourning and crying over all the memories she had with her father. Every time she saw a picture of him she burst out into tears. The words: ‘It’s my fault, why did it have to happen, what did he do to deserve this, it was my bad day!’ kept running though her mind. Even when she slept, she had horrifying nightmares about the crash; she pictured her dad on the operating table, while she was behind glass unable to help him. She needed help, support, encouragement to get her back to normal, but with a step-mother like Jenny, that would be impossible.
The first day she went to school her brothers left her at the gate. Looking at the school from a distance she realised that she wasn’t ready to go in. Instead she followed her brothers to where they went. Tom led the way while Adam followed behind like a dog on a leash.
During the journey, Tom and Adam went into, what looked like an abandoned house, when they came out Tom carried a small, plastic bag full of white pills. He put them in his pocket and walked on.
They came to a lighthouse looking building which was surrounded by a high fence. On the fence was a warning sign which read ‘No unauthorised person’. The light house was covered with horizontal red and white stripes and a long, unstable, wooden ladder reached the ground from the top.
The two brothers approached the lighthouse. Imogen stared at the building. It was very unusual for a lighthouse not to be near the ocean. While staring she carried on walking and stepped on a piece of loose metal lying on the floor.
“What are you doing here? Asked Adam
“I wanted to know were you were going. I could go back if you want.”
“Yes, go back!” he shouted
“No,” insisted Tom, “she doesn’t know the way back and what if she gets lost. Just let her come up with us, what’s the worst that could happen?”
Tom went up the unstable ladder first, then went Imogen and last of all came Adam. Climbing up the ladder Imogen tried not to look down. As they neared the top of the lighthouse, strange voices could be heard. At first it sounded like there were only few people talking but as Imogen went higher up the ladder she started to hear more and more voices.
“We’re here” announced Tom as they reached the top.
“Finally,” one boy said, “what took you so long?”
“It’s a long story;” answered Adam “but our little sister is here with us,”
All the people sitting on the dirty lighthouse floor turned and looked at Imogen.
“How old is she?” a girl asked Tom
“I’m nearly 14” she answered her.
“Isn’t that a bit young?” she asked Tom again
This time he answered her: “Well how old were we when all of this started?”
“True, true. Good point.”
Tom and Adam went around the lighthouse giving each person a couple of the white pills.
Imogen went around to all the people, looking at what they were doing. To her it looked like they were drinking alcohol, swallowing the white pills and smoking weed.
“What are the white pills and what do they do?” Imogen asked a little girl sitting in the corner sticking a white tablet in her mouth.
“They’re called ecstasy and they make me feel a whole lot better then I did this morning” answered the girl
“I want some” requested Imogen
“Sure,” said the girl, “but tell your brothers to get me an extra one, for next week.”
The little girl was younger then Imogen but she looked worn-out and like she hadn’t eaten in weeks.
For a few short seconds after swallowing the tablet Imogen felt nothing, then minutes later the action kicked in. She felt ecstatic. Like nothing could ever go wrong. Then taking a sip of a transparent drink, she felt dizzy but relaxed. Finally, when she inhaled the weed she felt like all her problems and worries vanished and she was in a completely different world. School or education didn’t matter. In this world she felt like she could do anything, even fly.
Everyday, instead of taking Imogen to school, her brothers took her with them to the lighthouse. This carried on for weeks until Stephanie, the little girl that gave Imogen the weed, ecstasy and alcohol, had a heart attack. Lucky for everyone there, she had no family, so all they had to do was bury her in the cemetery at night.
This was too much for Imogen. The death of the little girl made her remember the death of her dad. She realised that taking drugs, smoking and drinking alcohol wasn’t the way to deal with death. She had to face death and just get over it.
“I’m not going to come here with you any more,” Announced Imogen.
“Why not?” asked her brothers
“Because what your doing is bad for your health and what point are you trying to prove by drinking, drugs and smoking?”
There is no point to prove, it makes us feel good and you should know, you’ve tried it for yourself and you know the pleasure it gives you.”
“There’s no pleasure in this if there is a risk of dying. I will give up.”
“It’s not as simple as it sounds. You go through a lot of pain when you try to give up. Are you sure you’re ready?” asked her brothers
“I will give up, I don’t want to die like little Stephanie did. The only reason I started this was because I couldn’t get over dads death and I didn’t get any support from anyone, but me dying isn’t going to make anything better either.”
“Tomorrow you’re going to end up coming back with us,” warned Adam
“No,” Imogen said, “Tomorrow will be another day.”
Stopping wasn’t difficult. Imogen went through the normal process of withdrawal symptoms; aches and pains, sweating, shaking, headaches and cravings for the drug, but thinking about her father’s and Stephanie’s death helped her to pull through.
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