I ran up the hill to the house. I hadn't been here in exactly five years, and I had been anxiously waiting to be able to return. Once I had reached the top, I saw my childhood home … or at least what was left of it. There were a few bricks scattered across the ground, but other than that, it was just a layer of ashes. I should have known it would look like this; the house had burned down a long time ago.
It was a normal Saturday night. My parents were out for their semi-annual date night, and I was home alone with my fourteen-year-old sister, Jen. She was upstairs in her room, blasting some of her favorite pop music. I stayed downstairs in the living room, watching some old cartoons.
"Would you turn that sorry excuse for music down?" I shrieked.
It became twice as loud.
"Little sisters," I mumbled. "They're such a pain."
All of a sudden, there was a knock at the door. I peeked through the window to see who it was. To my surprise, it was my boyfriend, Mason. I decided I could let him in, even though my mom had strict rules that no one was allowed into the house while she was gone. I unlocked the door and escorted him into the living room, letting him sit down on the couch beside of me.
"Happy sixteenth birthday," he whispered, leaning in to kiss my lips.
Our lips were locked for a good ten seconds. I couldn't deny it; I wanted more. But in my stomach, I felt horrible. I happened to have a 24/7 fully-active conscience, and it was reminding me that Mason should not be here. I decided that it was alright for him to be here this one time, and I ignored the screaming alarms of my conscience.
"Why are you here?" I asked. "Aren't you supposed to be home?"
"My parents couldn't care less if I was home," he answered. "They're probably better off without me at the house."
He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a small lighter. Slowly, he pulled two cigarettes out and laid them on the table.
"Mason, you know what I've told you. I don't like that you smoke, and my parents would shoot you- literally- if they found out you were smoking in their house. Just put it way. It doesn't do any wonders for you."
He let out a huge sigh. "Don't worry. They'll never find out."
I was starting to become agitated. "Don't you dare."
He placed the cigarette in his mouth, flicked the switch on the lighter, and started to light the cigarette.
"Stop!" I shouted, slapping the lighter and cigarette out of his mouth and onto the floor.
The lighter still had a flame burning. It caught the floor on fire. I didn't know what to do; I was appalled. Eventually, Mason grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the room, just before the couch we were sitting on was engulfed in flames. He led me out of the house and continued to lead me down the hill until we were a safe distance from the burning building. I thought everything was fine, but I realized I had forgotten one important detail.
"Jen!" I shouted. "I need to get Jen!"
Mason grabbed my arm. "Let me go. It's my fault, and it's too dangerous. Here," he stated, shoving his cell phone into my hand. "Stay here and call 9-1-1."
I pushed it back into his chest. "No. She's my sister, and I'm supposed to be looking out for her. You call 9-1-1." I ran back up the hill and made my way into the burning house.
"Jen!" I screamed. "Are you okay? Where are you?"
There was nothing. My sister had been in her room a few minutes ago, so I went up the stairs and pushed through the falling rubble until I had finally reached her doorway.
I heard loud coughing. The smoke was extremely thick up here, and it was almost impossible for me to breathe. I ran through the doorway and over to her side, finding her legs completely burnt and the rest of her body covered in minor burns.
"Daisy," she whispered.
"Come on, Jen! It's going to be okay! Come on!" I cried.
I tried doing mouth-to mouth, but I soon found out that it was no use. Her body was too beat up and her lungs couldn't fight the incoming smoke. I tried to carry her, but she was too heavy. I held her in my arms until the second she died.
"No!" I screamed. "No! You can't die! You can't!"
I laid flat on the burning floor. My conscience was reminding me of my insolence, and I couldn't ignore it now. My parents would never forgive me for stealing their little girl's life. I would never be able to face them, much less forgive myself. The only thought in my head was that death was my best solution. Death would save me from a life of pain and sorrow. In the end, death would set me free.
The blazes of fire gladly granted my wish.
I stood on the ground, a ground covered in ashes and sorrow. I was only ghost, a memory. I was a memory that I, along with others, wanted to forget. I couldn't forget though. I couldn't forget what I had done to my home, my sister, and my parents. In time, I had a chance of being able to forget and move on, but until that day came, I would remain a wondering soul, watching the ashes of my past blow through the wind.