Brown boxes surround Roxanne's line of sight.
Why did she have to move with so much stuff that she doesn't even need? She figures that having a lifetime of bad memories makes it hard to let go of the things that remind you of the good ones.
The brunette woman sighs in annoyance when she hears her cell phone ring.
Her head swivels around looking for the device with no luck. She groans in annoyance and begins to move the boxes to find the source of the offensive sound.
Roxanne victoriously grabs her phone from underneath her satchel and sees her dad's face flashing across the screen.
She quickly slides her finger across the screen, eager to see her dad's face after weeks of distance.
"Hey, Dad, what's up?" Her dad's face is smiling in relief on the facetime call. Roxanne takes notice of the age in his face and his green eyes which reflect kindness and fatigue.
Roxanne's dad practically raised her and is the only person she truly trusts anymore.
Her mom is cut out of the family picture for not taking care of her as a child when her dad was away.
One night, while her dad was away giving a lecture to a university as a guest speaker, her mom snapped. She did the unthinkable. Something that no sane mother would do to their child.
She started carving up Roxanne who was only twelve at the time.
Her dad was the first one to find her. He had come home early and heard his daughter screaming for help. He rushed toward the horrifying sound and found his little girl tied up and bleeding.
He looked to the shaking figure standing over Roxanne and found his wife, wielding a blood-covered knife and muttering to herself.
He quickly knocked the knife out of his demented wife's hands and knocked her out cold.
Her father quickly untied her hands and ankles from the coarse thick rope that constricted her.
Red welts decorated her body with swirling symbols and glyphs. Roxanne's jade eyes watered and tears slid down her cheeks from the intense pain she was forced to endure.
However, Roxanne was in shock and didn't acknowledge any of her surroundings. Even when the police came to get her statement she was numb to it all.
The paramedics didn't understand how she was standing on her own after all of the trauma.
All she remembers, of what she doesn't lock away, is her mother's deranged eyes and flashing blue lights.
Her mom was put on trial and deemed mentally unstable and sentenced to life in a mental asylum.
She would remain there until she was deemed in the right state of mind to return to society on parole.
Roxanne was forced to take the witness stand when she was barely out of the hospital.
She was slowly helped to the witness stand by the Baylor and was sworn in. Covered in numerous bandages she testified against her mother.
More specifically, Roxanne pleaded to the court to sentence her torturer to life in prison for her crimes.
In rebuttal of the charges, her mother's lawyers tried to emphasize their relationship as mother and daughter.
But, in front of the entire court, she called her mother a monster and screamed that she would never be reformed enough to be welcomed back into society and her life.
And, no matter how much time passes Roxanne would never willingly see her mother again.
With a sympathetic gaze, the judge ruled the verdict and asked the defendant what the whole courtroom wanted to know. "Why did you do it, to your own daughter even?"
Her mom whose head was down throughout the whole trial slowly raised her head and locked her dead eyes with Roxanne.
"He commanded it." Her scratchy voice quietly spoke. Everyone in the courtroom felt chills run up their spine.
Despite not knowing who "He" was, Roxanne painfully marched up to her chained mother and shouted in her face, "Well I hope it was worth it scarring up your daughter and losing your life, family,
sanity, and career all for someone who doesn't even exist!"
The Baylor started to restrain Roxanne, but she still heard what her mother whispered back. "He's coming for you."
Roxanne limbs froze up. With fire burning holes into her mother's face, she spits back at her, "I'll be ready for 'Him' then. I'm stronger than you'll ever be."
That was the last time she ever saw her mother other than in her occasional nightmares.
After that day, her dad always looked after her. And, even years later he still checks up on her. Roxanne pulls out of her painful memories and hears her father say someone visited Evelyn.
Evelyn was her mother but Roxanne calls her by her first name ever since the incident. "How did you find out? Do you know who it is?"
Roxanne starts to feel anxious and fearful that people were trying to look into her past. Digging for things she buried deep long ago.
"One of the nurses on your mother's rotation noticed a name on the sign-in sheet under your mother's name."
Roxanne searches her father's eyes for an idea about what he's thinking and finds sadness in his irises.
It makes her feel somewhat guilty to know that her dad never got over her mom. Even after all these years separated he still loves her.
And, even though it's not her fault, she knows that she is the reason for his unhappiness.
"The handwriting wasn't clear enough to be read. But, some of the other nurses on that shift said he claimed to be a reporter and had some questions." Roxanne is steaming on the inside.
Her mind is churning with violent intent towards this whole situation.
"Don't worry Dad, I think I have an idea of who this curious reporter is. I'll take care of it." Roxanne's smile is tight and her father can see a subtle twitch in her jaw.
"Alright, just be careful." Her dad gives her a serious look and doesn't smile until she agrees.
"Thanks for the heads up, Dad. Talk to you later." She hung up and angrily kicks some of the boxes littering the floor.
She huffs in frustration and storms into her cluttered but new bedroom. As Roxanne is doing her nightly routine, she plots what her move would be the for the next day.
What if he knows?
She looks at herself in the mirror and sees one of the only places on her body without any scarring patterns. Her chest and neck start to tingle and Roxanne, feeling uneasy, heads to bed.
She's ready to go to war tomorrow.