Chapter 1

God knows I already did my best to stop myself. This tiny control in my head has already reached its limit. My lips twitched and the veins of my neck turned evident.

I wasn't able to stop myself anymore. In front of her naturally friendly face, I raised my middle finger and clearly mouthed, "Pathetic son of a dog."

She did not look shocked. Instead, she took a deep breath with a smile drawn on her face. It is in her where I can only see that kind of reaction. Even after being cussed at, she still manages to look calm and collected.

"My dear sister, does that mean we both came from a dog's semen?"

My forehead creased. The level of my annoyance risen upon hearing her stupid response. "You're sick."

"Severely," Hyacinth replied. "But my condition may turn critical, I know what I'm saying. Our parents would not be pleased to see you—"

"Your parents," I corrected her. "Thinking that your mom is my mom makes me wanna puke."

"If I were you, I better leave," she continued like she didn't hear anything. "I can already see what will happen from this moment forward. I can now predict the possible outcomes of your presence. This is just for everybody's sake."

I sarcastically laughed, and I made sure to make it sound irritating. "Wew, Hyacinth is playing like a saint. Should I praise you now?"


"Oh, shut up. Since when did your opinion matter? I am already good at algorithm during those times that you still cry for a pacifier."

I passed through her and headed to the stairs. The sound of my stilletos every time they kiss the floor echo inside this oceanic mansion. I'm still in the midst of the staircase when a familiar, annoying sound suddenly came to my senses —the arrival of my father and his new wife. Uh, the title 'new wife' does not even suit her. 'Trash' sounds better for her.

When the sound of the car stopped at the garage, I immediately ran through my room. I put all my baggage beside my king-sized bed. I jumped onto it, my body bounced due to my foamy mattress. What a feeling!

I feel extremely tired, both physically and emotionally. I wouldn't be surprised if I will suddenly collapse any minute if I can't take the rest that I need.

Unfortunately, as soon as I began to enjoy the bed and the silence, particular people from the other side of the door are already here to disturb me. Not that I did not expect this to happen. I just didn't think it would occur this early. They could at least let me take a nap.

I can hear their voice coming closer. My eyes just rolled. Let the showdown begin.

I heard several knocks, it's pretty earlier than I expected. "Come in," I responded.

I do not have the behavior to instinctively lock my door the moment I enter my room. No. Because no one dares to enter without my permission. Even my father is not allowed to do so, and he is completely aware of that. And perhaps that's why my inflated confidence is boosting every now and then for the reason that I do not have to fear people barging into my life because they see it as a threat.

'Heather is respected.'

'Heather is scary.'

'Heather is aloof.'

Oh, people. My pleasure.

My train of thoughts came to an end when a figure of tall and ever-attractive geezer almost occupied the doorstep. 

"Who gave you the right to enter the place where you're not welcome?" In his usual baritone voice, my dad spoke.

After a quite long time of not seeing each other, those are his welcome words. He doesn't look like a father. No, he doesn't look like a normal human. Now I do not have to wonder anymore why do I often feel abnormal. It's hereditary.

To my defense then, I asked, "Should there be any?" Shrugging my shoulders, I shoved him away with my hand. "I'm tired, you see, and I very much appreciate if you may now leave."

"In what world do you have the audacity to act like that, Heather?"

I forced myself to make a sweet smile, trying to manipulate my expression in order not to look more rude than what they already labeled me as I am.

I just arrived from abroad, and it's obvious that no one wants me to be home. Since 'things' happened, everything changed, especially my father's treatment towards me. And since then, I also have started to pretend like I don't care.

But how can I just shrug these away? Fourteen years of existence, despite my attitude that they obviously hate, I was treated like a princess. Yet from my fifteenth birthday forward, everything turned upside down. Eight years, but why the hell can't I move on?

"Heather Cassia, leave before I order the guards to drag you out."

A felt a pang in my chest. I fought the urge to clench my fists. I want to punch dad straight in the face. A hard punch. A painful punch. Yet that would be unfair in my part. Physical pain can never be matched to the emotional pain he's giving me. I want to give him back double the ones I've received from him.

"Look, Dad." I sighed, smiles shallowly. "It's 8:00 in the evening. You can't just pull me out from here. Besides, you didn't implement a law that I am no longer acceptable here."

"Do I need to implement it? Your very righteous mind didn't get it?"

"Hmm, I have a lifetime being genius. Now is my day off."

My dad's expression hardened with my twisted reasoning. "I am not cracking any jokes here, Heather. Leave. I am now clarifying it. You're no longer allowed to take a step inside this house again."

The right side of my lips curved upward. "Alright, no one's entering this house anymore. But, hey, your rule only works if I am currently outside the house. Unfortunately, I'm already, currently, inside. It means I can take my night here, unless I go out and you'll forbid me to come in. But don't you worry. Tomorrow, you won't see even the shadow of my shadow."

"That's good." Hyacinth's mom suddenly butted in after a couple of minutes dwelling in silence like what she should always supposed to do. "It's not that we are taking away your rights in this mansion. We are only after what is better for all of us."

I felt all my blood rushed to my face. My breathing went rugged. For me, she is invisible, a person that's not deserving of attention, yet I heard her aggravating voice.

"Am I hearing my heels talking? Or it's the holy Mary who happened to be . . . " I looked at her with disgusted face, "you?"

"Heather," my father warned yet it didn't move me a bit.

"But though I don't read Bible religiously, I know that Mary wasn't a mistress, but you are." I tailed my statement with a very insulting laugh, something that can break their eardrums and wreck their walls of temper. I want to push her to the extent that she already lifts her hand to slap me.

"Heather!" My dad's voice risen. How calming on my part.

"It's okay," the woman said, caressing my father's hand. Eww. "Hid, you know—"

"Heather," I corrected her. "Or Cassia. Only those who are close to my heart call me Hid. In your case, I don't know. But believe me if I tell you that I don't even know your name."

"Expectedly." She smiled again as if she is not affected by my sarcastic remarks at all. I salute her temper. "Heather, I don't care if you hate me or not. Call me names or tell me things whatever you want. But I will wait. I believe that time will come that we no longer need to treat each other like this anymore. I want us to get closer. I will patiently wait."

"Oh, don't wait!" I chuckled, annoyed and pissed. "Because that time will never come. It will never happen. And stop acting like a protagonist. It's true that you're an excellent actress since you excel in acting and pretending, but you can never deceive me. You're a disgrace to the movie of my life. You're a nuisance. The kind of villain with no brain!"

"Sister, please don't be like this," Hyacinth pleaded with her trembling voice. I think she's about to cry. Another actress.

I pulled away my hand from her grasp, disgusted. "Stop acting like a saint, for goodness' sake. I am aware of how evil you guys are. I witnessed before my eyes how expert you were in ruining my life," I expressed with full of wrath.

"Heather, I told you to leave!" my father yelled. I know he's already more annoyed than how he already is. "Where did you get the audacity to tell that to my family?!"

'My family'. Wow. That made me scoffed. I'm not already considered as his family now. Thank you for informing me.

There is something blocking my throat, but I forced myself to speak . . . again. "And where did you also get the audacity to chase me out of here when in fact, the half of this mansion is my mother's? I'm only needing a single room, for just a single night at that. You're forbidding me with all authority, yet you do not have all the rights to do so. How dare you, Dad? Is it not yet enough that you brought dirt in this mansion? They say that even a garbage can produce money. But the ones that you took are simply trashes. They cannot be recycled. They cannot be sold. Worthless!"

My father's patience has ran out. The next thing I knew, his senses-numbing slap hit my right cheek, leaving a stinging pain that made me almost think the universe is rumbling.

Yet after a couple of seconds, the pain seemed to wear off as if I did not allow myself to entertain the pain. I felt deaf. I felt deaf by the extremely loud scream of my heart and mind, saying that I should not force myself any longer into the world where there is no space left for me.

And yeah, it is the very first time that my father hurt me physically, but the nth time that he broke my heart.

I looked at his eyes wearing the emotions that he has never seen in me — pain, wrath, dismay. I delivered them through his heart without needing a single word.

His eyes widened. I noticed how he panicked upon realizing what he did. Something in his reaction tells me that he is about to apologize, but I didn't let it.

I gave a bitter smile as I shook my head. It says that whatever happened, happened. And no matter what we do, we are broken pieces that can't be fixed ever again, a scarred skin, a permanent carve in a huge ocean rock.

Fortunately, he got it. He swallowed anything that is supposed to come out from his lips and chose to say, "From this day forward, you're no longer a part of this household."

There. It happened. Is this the same outcome that Hyacinth has been seeing? Or just a fulfillment of the dream she and her mom had been dreaming?

I fixed my stance and gave them my sweetest smile like no other. "Music to my ears. After all, being a part of this family makes me cringe."

I turned my back to carry out my baggage. I choose to leave not because they want me to, but because the fact that I don't belong here anymore suffocates me. I love myself enough, running away from the world where I am not needed, never wanted, and will never be loved.

There is a deafening silence as I passes through them. But before I totally walked out of the damn door, I glanced back at them, glance full of wrath and disgust, then I left without a word.

9:00 in the evening and I, Heather Cassia Fucking Del Puerto, is walking under the streetlights along the empty highway. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. What I only ask right now is rest, but it's taken away.

Well, what do I expect? The world has already took something more than that.

And as soon as I planned to shout how unlucky I am, a black car stopped beside me. The window of the driver's seat moved down, revealing the face of the last person I want to see right now.

Well, there's no reason of why I am homeless right now but him. He's the one and only reason why I am here, marching on a sidewalk with my pair of high stilettos.

Deja vu. Freaking memory. This is how we met. Me, in a dark night, and him, in his dark yet sparkling eyes. How ironic could that be?

As soon as he stepped out of his car, I felt a searing pain seemingly exploding in my temporal arteries.

"Stubborn wife," I still heard him murmured. That's the last two words I heard before I lost my consciousness.

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