Every year for my birthday, my mom and dad send me old home videos, they transfer them from a VHS to a disk so I can watch them on my TV. My birthday is tomorrow so I've been on the lookout for a package. We didn't have any videos of me before I was a year old, my dad said it was because they didn't think to film videos before then, they always hate how late they started filming but I'm just glad they started to begin with.
I got home from work and found a package in my mailbox, it was from my parents. My parents are about 3 hours away from me, but they get busy so they usually don't come down often. But it's always nice when I get to see them, I think the wait makes it more special. I grabbed the package and went inside. Setting my laptop down I grabbed some scissors and opened the package. It was a disk in a clear case just labeled "Annika". I decided I'd make dinner and watch the home video while I ate. I texted my mom and told her I got the package and was going to watch the video later. She didn't respond for a while.
I was done making dinner and was just about to put the disk in when my mom calls. "Hey mom! I was just about to start the video." I said, she responded in a voice that sounded...nervous, "umm, hey I'm sorry hun but we accidentally sent you a disk of a video you have already seen! Our mistake. We will send you a new one soon." I was a little sad but told her it was okay and was excited to get the new one. We hung up and I debated on texting her asking if she was okay, she sounded really panicked on the phone. I'm sure if something was wrong she would have told me. I got a text from my dad shortly after my phone call with my mom. "Hey Annika! Last minute decision, we are going to come down tonight so we can celebrate your birthday with you tomorrow! Sound good?" I was thrilled!! I immediately texted back "Ahhhh! Yes! I'll see you in a few hours!" I did wonder why they would come down tonight rather than wait till tomorrow. It's already after 6pm. Oh well, I'm just excited they're going to be here. I watched some YouTube on my TV while I ate and while I was cleaning up, I decided I'd watch the video anyways. Even if it's one I've already seen it'll still be fun to see the memories. I finished cleaning up and put the disk in the DVD player. I waited for the video to show up on screen.
The video opened with my mom filming my dad outside, my dad was smiling and waving to the camera. I was smiling to myself, my dad has such a contagious smile. The video went on for a bit and I found myself laughing when my mom laughed and smiling when my dad did. Although...as I watched the video I realized this was not one I had seen before. In fact...I wasn't even in the video so far. I kept watching and the first 15 minutes were just my parents in the front yard, occasionally filming the neighbors house. They would whisper to each other but I couldn't really hear what they were saying. The video then cut to night time, it was dark out and the camera was on my neighbors house, I was so confused. I had never seen this video before...and really didn't know what was going on. I heard my mother from behind the camera say "alright, I think I'm ready" and my father say "let's go then." My mom was still filming as they walked to the neighbors house. My mom was walking behind my dad as they knocked on the door. I thought maybe they had accidentally sent me a video of them having like a game night with the neighbors or something. I was ready to turn it off when the neighbor opened the door. "Martha! Steven! What brings you by?" The neighbor spoke. My mother responded, holding the camera at an angle that made it look like she was trying to hide it, "oh we had found this children's book and thought the little one would enjoy it!" She said...I thought about it and didn't remember my neighbors having kids, I'd always complain that there weren't any other kids around where I lived.
The next shot was everyone inside, and the neighbor had gone to get drinks for everyone. "So where is the little one?" My dad asked, "oh she's upstairs, probably asleep by now" he replied while walking back into the room "I think Eliza is in the shower. We would have been more ready for company had you told us you were coming over" the neighbor said while laughing awkwardly. "What is happening?" I asked myself as the video continued. My dad had gotten up and went into the kitchen saying he needed a paper towel. My mother moved the camera up so you could see the neighbor. I did not recognize him at all. He smiled and said "what's the camera bout Martha?" Just then, my dad was in the background...with a knife. My dad jumped onto my neighbor and stabbed him repeatedly while my mother just filmed. The neighbor tried to scream but my dad tackling him knocked the wind out of him. My dad kept stabbing him, over and over again while the neighbor bled out. I was horrified. I felt like I should scream but I couldn't! The next scene was a shot of the mans bloody body with his wife next to him...she was also stabbed. It was a brief scene, and I was thankful for that.
Nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen. A shot of a baby girl in my mothers arms. My dad was now filming. My mother held the baby...the baby was me. My mom said "we finally got our Annika." The video ended. I sat there...shaking. They're not my real parents...THEY STOLE ME!! I stood up and ran to the TV, taking the DVD out. My phone then buzzed...it was my 'dad.' "Be there soon hun! Can't wait to see you." I panicked. I was shaking and crying. I packed my laptop, laptop and phone chargers, some clothes and the DVD in a bag. I grabbed my phone and headed to my car.
When I got to a hotel and was in my room, I replied to my 'dad.' I said "I'm not home...I watched the video."