Fear and anxiety swallows her whole. Her mind, her nerves become the furnace in which she almost died.
She sees it all, hears it all, smells the flames, smells the smoke. Every second day she returns, back to Swan Street, to the house where her friend and this other boy tried to take her life.
The house is on fire but she's alive, the smoke is choking her lungs, but she's still breathing. She survived, but that life, her teenage sunshine years, has been doused by an immensely fragile state of mind.
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"Amy" was repeatedly stabbed. She was left on the hallway floor to die, bleeding profusely, as gas was unleashed from jets atop the kitchen stove as her North Albury home was torched.
The mind-bending trips back to Swan Street - she and her mum have moved around constantly since, at least eight other homes in 19 months - crop-up, uninvited and so unwelcome, from severe panic attacks entwined with her post-traumatic stress disorder.
And every time she sees his face. It's the homeless boy she kindheartedly invited to stay, the then 16-year-old Year 10 student, "carefree" kid trying to fill a gap in the life of a boy who had run away from his own home. Three years of knowing him turned into what she thought was a genuine friendship.
And the other boy? It's just his eyes, it's all she can see of him when the PTSD strikes, those unremarkable eyes. Nothing else. The boy who confronted her with an empty stare, grasping the handle of the long-bladed knife that, moments later, "Liam" thrust into her abdomen, caught her back, tore at the flesh above her eye.
I am now isolated. I have missed out on my education. I am missing out on employment. I have lost the majority of my friends. They don't understand what I have been through, no one can. I am no longer happy and carefree. I always worry that I am going to be assaulted again.- 'Amy'
Come November 11 it will be two years since the event that ripped her life apart. Everything that unravelled that morning erupts with a clarity so intense she cannot see it ever going away.
"I can't walk. I can't talk. I end up on the ground curled up in a ball convulsing. It is total debilitation. On one day, I had four of these attacks. Four in a row."
Every second day.
Clinging tight to the trauma is the "why?" She still cannot make sense of what unfolded. Amy's faith in him - someone who, with hindsight, was in reality a stranger - ran deep.
"I trusted Liam and look what he did to me. He brought "Connor" into my house and they tried to kill me and then they burnt down my house. With me inside it."
Amy's wish was to tell her story herself, even if it had to be by video link, to the judge who will determine the pair's fate, to be witnessed without choice by her teenage attackers, appearing from separate juvenile detention centres.
But a COVID-19 pandemic lockdown that ensnared Albury this Saturday just gone meant it could not be. Instead, her articulate, insightful and terribly sad words on the impact of their crimes were delivered yesterday by Crown prosecutor Paul Kerr.
That was in the District Court in Albury, not long after he outlined the duo's offending, on charges of wounding with intent to murder and destroy or damage property with intent to endanger life.
Judge Sean Grant initially was to have passed sentence on the teenagers, but late, detailed submissions crucial to that exercise means this will now take place on Tuesday.
The boys - Liam turned 18 in March, Connor had his 19th birthday two months earlier- were not the only ones to appear by way of video link. The lockdown meant courtroom one was empty, bar Judge Grant, his associate, court staff and one of the defence barristers, Christine Mendes.
The Crown told of how the two boys arrived at Amy's home at 12.15am, each carrying backpacks, with the knife inside the one hoisted over Liam's shoulder. Amy's mother answered the door, was introduced to Connor and let them stay, directing them to the spare room while handing them bedding and pillows.
After she left for work later that morning, the boys smoked cannabis with Amy and talked, then she left the room. The attack, with no warning, happened on her return, as the armed older boy put her in a headlock, pulled her into his chest and lightly dragged the knife across her throat.
They struggled and fell, she struggled again, kicking out for her life, and was confronted by Liam, now holding the knife he then plunged into her torso.
Liam used a cigarette lighter to set a mattress alight, Connor turned on the gas, and they left.
Her wounds would heal, yet she still suffers immense pain. There's the random, stabbing ache in her liver, into which Liam's knife sliced three times. She gets breathless, so cannot run, and experiences pain from her lungs, a discomfort unmoved by surgery that unlodged a trail of soot from a "flame-over" flashpoint blaze.
HIDDEN TRAUMA - IN DEPTH:
The choking caused a flood of burst blood vessels, turning eyes, now highly sensitive to light, a deep red. Two transfusions on the operating table morphed into a daily struggle to control blood iron levels.
This does not compare with the shell of a person that remains, all because of a friend she "thought would never hurt me". From a "happy and bubbly" girl who was "fun do be around".
All her friends, except one, are gone. All that she and her mum owned was destroyed, plus any semblance of stability. It's a life, she says, that's a complete mess, where fear rules, making it impossible to be left alone. If so, she might be attacked.
She's always scared, stuck in fight-or-flight mode. An almost subconscious habit is fist clenching so severe her fingernails cut her palms.
Always jumpy, easy to startle, a close watch on anyone who might pose a threat, always her back to the wall. Yet she so wants to be a teenager and, with turning 18 soon, enjoy life.
But she cannot trust, she struggles to eat, is unable to go to school and "I can't deal with other people".
Isolated. Panic attacks hit twice a day, milder than the bouts with PTSD - those can be set off by a police car's lights and sirens, by hearing the word "stab" - but still, her heart races, her palms sweat, "overthinking" and "overwhelming".
"I don't understand why (they) have done this to me. I didn't do anything to them. I don't know why I was targeted. It is senseless."
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