Those In Charge
When the light turned red and the vehicles began to cross the road, I stepped onto the gravel pavement.
“RANE!” a voice roared from behind. Without meaning to hesitate, I turned and found myself looking into the cold eyes of my father. He stopped a distance away as if afraid that if he came closer, I would step out onto the road.
I wanted to. I wanted to break away from his strict, cold eyes and cross the road. But I could not. I stared until he walked right up and slapped me across the face.
At that moment, I saw white stars in the sky. One of them streaked across the sky. So I made a wish.
‘I wish I was not here.’
He grabbed my hand and I wondered if this was the first time he touched me in ten years. He never cared before, why did he come chasing after me?
I struggled from his grasp and took a step back. A car honked. Papa jumped, grabbed my hand back and yanked me away. “Rane,” he hissed, and his voice cracked with anger.
“What?” I demanded. “I am old enough to live my own life.”
He dragged me down the dark path. I wondered what he thought of this whole thing. A man in a business suit dragging a girl in her pyjamas who looked like she was mentally unstable. He should just put me into a girl’s home and go on with his life.
He had parked his car nearby and shoved me into it.
Maybe the bystander who saw would think he was a kidnapper. Would anyone call the police for me?
No. I thought so.
We got home before I realised what was going on.
He opened Rayden’s room. It was empty now. He had thrown out everything or given it to Mummy. There wasn’t even a bed inside. I was thrown inside and then the key turned.
“Think about it,” he said, “and tell me tomorrow: What do you want?”