The smell of stale alcohol surrounded her as she realised that once again she had completely fucked up. For ten years her habit had haunted her. For her it was a coping method, a way to ease the pain and block out any memories of that deranged man.
Her husband, who she married at 20, had her wrapped around his little finger and on frequent occasions had the shape of his fist imprinted on her face. Now 32 and free from his grasp, there she was on the floor of her bedroom with an empty bottle of vodka being the first thing she saw as she woke up from yet another night of drowning her sorrows. Was she truly free? A bottle a day kept the pain away but only delayed and covered up the horror of what happened that night only 2 months ago.
As she stumbled into the bathroom of her two bedroom council funded shithole she realised she had had enough. She'd considered suicide many times but was mostly too drunk or hungover to go through with it. Looking into the mirror she seemed dead already. Her matted brunette hair and dark circles around her eyes made her look like a heroin addict with the only sparkle coming from the locket around her neck. She opened it revealing a picture of her daughter and went on to kiss it. At that moment she thought 'This can't go on'.
After a few calls with what credit she had left on her phone she let the group know that she would be attending today's meeting. She never went and thought they were useless but something had changed within her. She had a purpose and being a drunken mess was not going to allow her to fulfill it. She had to sort herself out, not only for her own health, but for her daughter. She didn't want Annie looking down at her in this state. Annie would want her to stand up and fight and that's exactly what Amanda the 32 year old soon to be ex alcoholic was about to do.
At that moment the room went white and the scene of that night two months ago came flooding back to her and she just froze.
It was just another fight, nothing unusual. Amanda hadn't cooked dinner as she was passed out drunk and then he came home. Unimpressed by her state and the lack of food on the table, he ran towards her and gripped her hair in between his angry fingers and trailed her across the entire flat like a rag doll. He effortlessly launched her through the window onto the balcony. Standing in the shadows witnessing what was just a normal occurrence was Annie, their daughter. He had never harmed her ever until this day. While Amanda laid there pulling shards of glass from her flesh, he took Annie calmly upstairs. He apologised to her with his most sincere of tones before explaining, "Your mum needs to learn her lesson and there's only one thing for it". At that moment he pulled out the pistol and rested it on Annie's temple before pulling the trigger. At the first sound of the shot Amanda sobered up and panic set in as she ran up the stairs. Before she could reach the top a group of men smashed through the front door and made their way towards her. At that point Amanda saw exactly what he had done. He had shot their daughter. She lied sprawled over her bed with blood soaking through the sheets. Before she could flip out, he approached Amanda and with the barrell of the gun, smashed it against her head.
When she woke up, she saw that it was dark outside and after the initial confusion had cleared, she realised what had just happened. She wailed like a banshee for her daughter. She couldn't call the police, he would kill her. David Brown was the head of one of London's biggest crime and drug organisations. There was nothing that happened in the country he couldn't find out about and Amanda knew he would have a close eye on her. She was lost. The only thing she knew to do was reach for the bottle and that's exactly what she did.
The flashbacks were a daily occurrence but had the same horrific impact every single time. Images of her daughters blood soaking through her little bed flooded her mind as she stood in the doorway of Annie's room. Gritted teeth could only show part of her pure rage for what that man did to her. She sought revenge. She couldn't turn to the police so she made the decision to take justice into her own hands and avenge her daughter. However, this would take some time but she knew in the end it would all be worth it.
In order to begin her long journey to fulfilling her plan for revenge she would have to attend that meeting. Sticking on anything she could find to wear, Amanda walked out of her front door and took a deep breath before making her way to the bus stop. People all over the estate knew what she was going through but wouldn't dare approach her, mention anything to her or even say a word related to that night in fear of what might happen to them. Some gave her a look of reassurance, others just stared in fear as if she was the one who killed her daughter. The glances Amanda was receiving couldn't be allowed to distract her. She picked up the pace and reached the bus stop just in time for the number six into town. Scraping all the change she could possibly find, she paid for a return ticket and took a seat. As she glared out of the foggy window towards her estate, she realised the condition of that place. She was surprised that it hadn't fallen apart. It looked as though the apocalypse had hit and the world had come to an end with her being unlucky enough to have survived it.
When she reached town she was shocked to see colour, vibrance and people walking with purpose. She had gotten so used to living within dark, damp walls that she forgot life outside them existed. As the bus jolted suddenly she awoke from her daydream and made her way off the bus towards the town hall, only a 5 minute walk away. Only 5 minutes until she took the first step towards rehabilitation.
Walking into the hall she was immediately greeted with warm faces all sat around in a stereotypical AA meeting circle. She hadn't felt so welcome in a long time, mostly she just felt like she didn't belong. It was so overwhelming that all she could think about was turning around and running in one direction until she couldn't run anymore making sure she stopped at the local corner shop on the way of course. But then a warm voice invited her to sit the only empty space left and she timidly accepted.
After everyone had finished speaking about their experiences since their last meeting, it came to Amanda. She just shook her head but was pressed for something by the others. She could feel the tears building behind her eyes but quickly held them back. She just wanted to tell them everything that had happened but she knew David would be watching her one way or another. Bound and restricted she politely turned down sharing her thoughts. Just being there, sat in that chair, made her much stronger.
For the next three weeks she attended the meetings never missing one and slowly but surely got closer to reaching her ultimate goal of leaving the drink behind. She still craved it, probably more now than ever before, but her strength and her determination given to her by the thoughts of her daughter and the people she now felt so comfortable with prevented her from going back.
Now she felt she was ready to proceed with her plan. She needed to see Simon. Simon would help her and he was the only one with the tools that would allow her to reach her final destination... the end of David Brown!