I ran. That’s all there was to do. Run. The drenched concrete sliced at my bare feet as I cursed myself for not bringing any shoes. There wasn’t time. I grabbed the umbrella and left, without glancing back. I couldn’t bare the look on her face, the disappointment gleaming in her hazelnut eyes. The one person I couldn’t stand to see unhappy. All I ever wanted to do was make her proud. She’d seen it all, every step of the way. My own mother. I ran to shake off the guilt, to make the memories fade. The midnight sky blanketed the forest, trapping my feelings inside. No matter how much I ran, I couldn’t escape it. “I’m sorry...” I mouthed the words into the wind. My endless tears mixed with the icy winter raindrops as I sunk into puddle after puddle, tired of running, tired of the shame, tired of trying to get away. Was it worth it? Slowing down, I gasped for air, blinded by the single light that glowed through the thick downpour. I collapsed onto the floor, desperately hugging my knees to my chest. “I’m really, really sorry.” I sobbed the words. Even the normally vibrant fuchsia colour of the umbrella was dulled down as it was attacked by the storm. I watched each droplet violently bounce off the surface, almost angry at the shield, angry to be faced with any sort of protection. I pressed myself to the ground, wishing the rain would wash me away as I realised that my mother, my own protection, was gone forever.