*Trigger Warning: Substance Abuse/Sexual Assault/Suicide*
William McMillan, an american Air Force soldier was stationed at Ramstein air force base when he met the love of his life Annika Fischer; the daughter of the Senior Master Sergeant. William and Annika fell madly in love while he was stationed in Ramstein; Two years before William was deployed to a foreign country Annika surprised William with her pregnancy of twins. William was ecstatic about Annika’s pregnancy, but worry still haunted him as the months passed and his deployment and the birth of the twins came closer. William and Annika decided before the twins were born and he was deployed that the two would marry. William worried about how Annika would care for twin if he were to be killed in action while being deployed. He needed to make sure his affairs were in order before leaving behind his wife and twins.
September finally came around when William and Annika welcomed their beautiful twins into the world. Grateful he could be home for the birth of his children; William and Annika named their daughter Carmelliana after William’s deceased mother, and their son Dillon after Annika’s deceased still-born baby brother. Not long after they welcomed their children into their lives; William was commanded to deploy earlier than expected. Annika hadn’t even had time to adjust to being a new mother by the time William deployed to foreigh soils to fight for their country. Taking care of the twins by herself took a toll on Annika, but she sacrificed what she had too as did her husband. William expected to be home by the time the twins turned a year old, but that day never came for William. Carmelliana and Dillon’s first birthday was set for the day William was supposed to arrive home; A knock at the door excitedly Annika went to answer the door as she thought that would be the return of her husband, but she was wrong. A soldier handed her a folded american flag, along with William’s dog tags. William had been killed in action the day before he was supposed to come home. Annika fell to her knees, tears streaming down her features as she clutched the dog tags that her husband once wore. Her family surrounded her as they consoled her as she readied herself for the funeral of her love. Annika would never love again not after William.
A deep severe depression reigned over Annika; she began binge drinking every night, began shooting up with heroin, and stopped caring for the twins. Their family was losing every little bit of money William had saved up for when and if he passed away during action. Annika had fallen so far into debt that she sold Dillon to a family willing to take care of him. Illegal as it was Annika needed the money to get her fix of heroin and to afford her drinking cost. Carmelliana was far too young to understand what was happening around her. Attempting to become clean Annika packed up her little family she had left and moved to America; Just like William and her always talked about. The real reason she fled from Germany with Carmelliana was because Child protective services were investigating Dillon’s case. Annika refused to be incarcerated in German prison.
Fleeing from Germany; Annika settled down in Evermore City, Colorado where she proceeded to lead the same lifestyle she led in Germany. Drinking and getting high daily; Annika practically disposing of her daughter to the neighbors that would care for Carmelliana. Carmen’ adjusted to her american lifestyle of caring for herself while her mother passed out drunk and high in the living-room. Most nights, Carmelliana prayed that one day her mother would find the strength to beat the addictions she was fighting, but that day never came. Carmen’ was about thirteen years old when her mother’s addictions caused her to turn violent. Carmelliana became more like Cinderella; she was forced to clean up the needles, spoons, broken glass, and the beer bottles. “Clean that shit up Carme’ “
Her mother would curse. “Did you not hear me?”
She growled. Grabbing her daughter by a large chunk of her hair; throwing her towards the mess her mother made. “I said clean!”
Annika hissed drunkenly. Carmelliana obeyed after her mother covered her pale skin in bruises. Carmen’ was enrolled in public school in Evermore City, which left many asking how she’d gotten the bruises. Lying her way through each and every bump and bruise her mother inflicted upon her. The abuse never stopped; it only had gotten worse, but eventually Carmen’s injuries were more than just bumps and bruises.
Sitting in the emergency waiting room, Carme’s arm in a makeshift sling with her mother beside her filling her head with the lies they were about to tell the emergency room doctor. “Carmelliana McMillan?”
The nurse chimed with a soft sincere smile on her features. Annika gave a little innocent smile; tugging her sixteen year old daughter up by her shirt. The nurse took Carmen’s weight and height; however she looked concerned about the child’s weight. Dismissing her weight for the moment; the nurse escorted them into a little room. “So, What happened dear?”
The nurse asked pulling herself close to the computer. Carmen looked from the nurse to her mother; who shot her glare for a moment. “I-I fell down the stairs.”
The truth was Carmelliana broke her arm fighting off her mother’s boyfriend who was attempting to sexually harm her with her mother present in the room. The nurse caught the mother’s glare and suspected something else had happened. “Carmen, can you come with me?”
The nurse asked the young teenager as Annika looked in the woman's direction. “Where are you taking her? Can’t you just finish your damn questions!”
Annika cursed. The nurse eyed the woman for a moment. “Please if you will go wait in the waiting room while I finish up here.”
Annika was horrified by the woman as she became belligerent.
Carmelliana exposed the truth about what truly happened to her arm along with the past abuse she suffered with for the last four years prior. Annika was incarcerated on charges of child abuse and drug charges. Carmen’ was free from a life of abuse with her biological mother, but now came a new struggle of finding a new home for her. For a year after Carmelliana was in and out of foster care; Until nurse Catherine Polk had gotten her affairs in order and adopted the young seventeen year old. She of all people understood that this young adolescent just needed someone who would love her unconditionally. Yet again Carmelliana was forced to transition into another lifestyle, except in this home she was equally loved and never abused again. At her young age of seventeen Carmelliana began with signs of post traumatic stress disorder, which immediately Catherine set out to find her darling adopted daughter the help she deserved. Carmelliana attended counseling for her post traumatic stress disorder, but she developed other mental illnesses such as; Generalized anxiety and Panic disorder. Of course her adopted mother did everything she could to help her daughter’s mental illnesses in an attempt to allow her to live a normal-ish life as an adult.
Carmelliana barely graduated high school as she spent lots of time away from school dealing with her mental illnesses. Catherine was proud that her daughter had accomplished graduating, even if she did struggle the entirety of her senior year. Carmen came from a situation that left her broken in many ways; Catherine watched her daughter struggle through all she’d done to accomplish the goal of graduating high school. Proud as Catherine was, Annika began writing from the prison to Carmelliana apologizing for everything and stating she was a changed woman. Unfortunately the appearance of these letters sent Carmen spiraling into a dark hole that she’d successful dug herself from through the years of counseling. Catherine absolutely hated watching her adopted daughter beating herself up for a woman who did nothing, but hurt her.
Four years after graduating high school and taking some time to find herself; Carmelliana was now twenty-two years old. Carmen decided she wanted to follow in her adopted mother’s footsteps and take part in the medical field, applying for College Carmen was immediately accepted as her adopted mother paid her tuition in full for her. Catherine was proud of Carmen for the little accomplishments she made over the years. She managed to overcome the initial hurt of her biological mother contacting her from prison. Carmelliana accomplished steadily work in restaurant to provide for herself while she was in her four years of college. She’d come so far since the abuse she underwent as a child; of course the mental illnesses still haunted her, but she managed them and lived the normal-ish life.
Carmen’s main focus was pursuing her dream career of being pulmonologist that she didn’t have much time for a love life. Three years of her life she spent as a medical intern at Evermore City, Colorado Hospital where she became apart of a great medical family. She adored her her dream career that she was entering as soon as she graduated from the intern program. While getting ready for her graduation ceremony there was a knock at her door; Carmen answered the door and there stood a police officer along with the coroner. “Carmelliana McMillan, We are sorry to inform you that your mother Annika McMillan committed suicide today in her cell.”
Carmen stood speechless as the police officer handed over some of the items her mother had while in prison. Thanking the officer and coroner Carmen closed the door behind them as she fiddled through the papers that her mother had. A document had fallen from the stack of papers; which revealed a birth certificate of a child named Dillon McMillan.
Carmelliana and Dillon shared the same birth which could only mean one thing. Carmelliana and Dillon were twins, but what happened to him? Where could he have gone? Fiddling through more of the papers Carmen found a bill of sale signed by her mother and the family that she’d sold Dillon to. Carmellian couldn’t believe her mother exchanged her twin brother for money to feed her drug and drinking habits. Carmen needed to contact her brother and show him these documents about their mother as they both would be entitled to whatever funds their mother had left. Carmen was now on a mission to pursue her dream career as a Pulmonologist, but also the mission to find her beloved brother.