I absolutely could not believe my eyes, my legs went numb from shock, my mind went fuzzy with confusion and my chest was tight with a dull, aching pain. ''M.. Mum...?'' I whimpered, she was hanging from the light in the living-room, her neck tied with a tie in place of a rope based noose. I looked away from her immobile body, only then did I realised what was behind her, ''Dad..?'' my words were so feeble and sounded like meek echoes in the room around me. I stumbled forward blindly as my eyes glazed over and then stood back again, I didn't know what to do, suddenly a whirl of emotion flew within me, I fell to my knees and screamed ''MUM!''. no sooner had my scream been released was it silenced again by my own loss of consciousness as I passed out on the floor.
* * *
I woke up in the doorway of my parents living-room. The first thing I noticed was that it was dark, I took a breath in and nearly wretched. It all came flooding back. Dead. They were dead. Worse... They had committed suicide. I made a decision to keep my eyes averted then as I slowly pushed myself off the floor enough to get onto my hands and knees. Crawling over to the phone, i stood with my eyes on the floor as i dialled 999. Whilst waiting for someone to answer I realised I was shaking and when the operator said ''hello, which emergency service can I connect you with?'' I realised I probably should have tried out my voice to see what it was like. I tried to say ''police please'' but all the came out was a hoarse whisper of the words I had required, I coughed and said it again hoping she would understand what I was saying, she put me through to another dialling tone. The man that I heard next was urgent and professional as he asked what the situation was, my name, age, whereabouts, connection and such were, but i wasn't paying much attention. My breathing sped up drastically when I retold what I had seen and my diction was becoming incomprehensible, my knees were starting to go weak again. 'Faye, you need to take deep breaths and calm down, someone is coming now to sort all of this out, alright? Deep breaths' he said it loudly, but I could barely hear him, everything had started to go black around the edges, I couldn't calm, I couldn't speak ''Faye?... Faye?.. Hello?'' I dropped the phone and sank to the floor, distantly I thought I heard him say something but the painful darkness blurring my vision made me unable to hear it right, then I was falling.
* * *
I awoke in a hospital bed. The clinical smell gave that away instantly, but then again, so did the oxygen mask over my face. My vision was unclear, I looked around me and saw two police officers sitting beside, along with my social worker, they had been talking with grave expressions until I woke and they registered my movement. I tried to speak as they rushed over to me and then realised that the oxygen mask was still firmly strapped around my face, I groaned and ripped it off, Viv spoke first. ''Faye, are you okay? Thank god you're awake, do you know how long you've been out for? What happened?'' she asked in her concerned high pitched voice, "I.. I don't know.. They invited me and my sister for lunch, except kerry couldn't go because she had to work... When I got there.." it was strange but, my voice didn't sound like my own. It sounded dead, empty, void of life. I wondered how I hadn't noticed it before, I realised someone was talking and the world suddenly snapped back into focus, it was the police woman, she was relatively tall, blonde, not fat but not skinny and she was quite pretty, I couldn't make out what she was saying but I managed to read her lips partially to comprehend ''question her, something, come ---- later on, ---- awake''. It was only then that I noticed a doctor standing at a slit in the curtain with a clipboard, examining it without purpose, it was clear that he as waiting for everyone to leave us alone. Vivienne was the last to leave after I gave her a short nod of approval at the doctors words, she left, and he approached. He said something but I couldn't hear him, he took my hand and said something else. I stared at him; clearly confused and starting to get upset, not only could I not hear him, I couldn't hear anyone or anything. He wrote something on his clip boarded page; then he left to get something, motioning to me that he'd be two minutes. I closed my eyes for a moment and forced myself to calm down; I knew I was starting to panic, I think that was the only thing I did know. 'whats happening to me? Why can't I hear anything?' I thought to myself, and I was surprised I could hear my own internal voice, it made me jump to hear it. I looked up and the doctor was back beside me with a pencil and a blank piece of lined paper on a clip board for me to write on, I looked up at him and he wrote on it -This is for you so we can communicate, have you ever been deaf or had hearing problems before today?- before giving it to me to reply, I read it and responded with -No sir, I have never had trouble with my hearing before this. I know sign for deaf and blind people though.- and gave it back to him to read. His eyes lit up as he finished reading and put it down on the chair. Smiling at me; he raised his hands and signed out -I will now take your blood pressure, do an ECG and some other routine checks that couldn't be done whilst you were unconscious, with your permission?- I smiled at him and nodded, signing -Where'd you learn this type of sign? It's quite rare. Sure, you can do all the checks you need, thank you for looking after me- he laughed visibly and immediately signed back -I used to work with handicapped children when I was practising, anyway, I'm guessing that this hearing loss you're experiencing is due to severe shock from today's escapades. Which means it's temporary, I can't tell you for sure when it will come back but just give it time-. I felt my face fall as I noticed he wasn't smiling that warm smile anymore, then I felt shame as tears slipped over my eyelids, he raised his hands again and signed -I wish I could remove your pain, my condolences to you. I should carry out my tests now, please try to calm down and stay calm- with worried eyes. My hands were shaking as I replied -I'll try- and sat forward for him to do what he needed to.