There was a long gap in my interview whilst the pair of police officers conferred between the two of them. I sat in the little room, feeling emotionally drained and physichally exhausted. They reappeared in the little room and told me I could go home and sleep and then I had to return the next day and explain everything else. I agreed, though I didn't really want to go home. That sounds strange, but you'll see why.
My house is about a half hours drive away from the police station, its a two floor building made of red brick, sturdy against the harsh wind, and a welcoming shade against the summer sun when it eventually comes around. I live their with my parents and brother Malcum, though Jason is now living at University and we barely see him.
The officer lead the way, the sound of his heavy boots crunching on the snow which had fallen again whilst I had been caged in the station, filled me with dread. There were reminders of what had happened all around me. Ghosts grabbing at me whichever way I stepped.
Again a guilt at the fact that there was blood running through my veins, but not half of my year group. Our school was tiny and each year group was split into two, those who lived on one side of town, and the others who lived on the far side of town. In our year group there was sixty people, ten had dropped out of the trip because their parents didn't want them camping in the snow.
They would never regret that decision.
The familiar oak door swung open, trailing a gust of sharp wind and little tracks of snow through the house. All of the doors in the house were open, which was unusual for winter, when the doors were nearly always clamped shut and the heating on full blast by my mother, who with a similarily slim build to me, was always cold. I didn't want to step up and into the porch.
I didn't want to face familiarity, truth and the fact that life would never be the same again. Nothing would ever be as colourful as it once had been.
I would now forever more see the world in monotone. I would forever more regret. I would forever more be regretted by the people who I lived close to.
The girl who survived, yet would have been the last one chosen for the survival.
The officer gave me a sharp jab in the back which sent me stepping forwards. I was instantly encased by a delicious feeling of home. The smell of my mothers perfume, the same one she had worn for aslong as I can remember, the smell of dads curry cooking away ready for tea in an hours time, the warmth from the many radiators and the comforting feel of the thick carpet underneath my feet as I kicked of my boots.
Home. The comfort and welcoming simply of being there brought tears to my eyes.
"Maisy?" the voice was weak, watery and emotional, yet still deliciously recognisable.
"Mam?" I whispered stepping forward more strongly now, wanting only one thing, for my mother to hold me, to cover my forehead in kisses and tell me not to worry, she wasn't going to let the world get to me again.
I stepped round a corner and into the living room. There she sat, wearing her battered jeans, bitten and torn by the dog and a plain red t-shirt which complimented her black hair and pale colouring in such a way that I was sure my heart was melting. Having mam there made me truly at home.
But my feat stopped, as though stuck in quick sand. She looked up, her deep blue eyes watery and hesitant.
Was I still the same girl? Was I still my mothers daughter?
She stood shakily, her old purple slippers flopping as she walked towards me. Both arms folded around me, warm and amazing. I felt my whole body relax into my mother, she was here, perfect and reassuring, making everything feel ok again. Her smell was so sweet and familiar that I felt washed free of emotion. All I felt was warmth and comfort.
Then she pulled me away and held me steady, scrutinising my face and I new what she was looking for : GUILT.
It seemed that that word, that searching appearance wanting answers would follow me wherever I went now, no matter how much I tried to burry myself in homly things that would normally protect me from the big bad world out there.
This was too big, a problem, an occurence too serious to be brushed over with familiar perfumes and comforting embraces. This was murder if I was guilty and being the only one to survive, the only one that new what had happened, the one that had to give explanations, even if I wasn't guilty.
That night, we all sat around the table in the kitchen. We all had a bowl of dads curry infront of us and there was a plate of naan breads, still hot, sitting in the centre of the wooden table.
It was silent other than the sound of our eating and the low humm of the radio far off in another room in the house. I was eating slowly, savouring the heat and the flavours for fear that I might never get this again, they might lock me up, take me away, never to have dads curry again ot to enjoy the wonderful, simple luxury of family again.
Dad sighed and looked at me, there was still a glimmer of caution, it had remained in both of their eyes the whole time, though slowly I could see it subsideing.
"Hunny, can you please just tell us one thing?"
"Yes dad." I said, trying to be nonchalant, trying to be casual enough so as not to appear guilty.
"Did you have any part.....any part in....in their deaths?"
There was a long tense silence. Mam was looking at her plate, she wiped her mouth and looked everywhere but me. Dad was looking straight at me, begging me with his eyes for an answer.
The answer stuck in my throat.