Chapter 137 When it Rains, it Pours (11)
#14 Other Stories: A Daughter’s Story
I was born in a small village. While it was bigger than here, it was still small. However, the village was very peaceful and warm, and the harvest was good.
However, only one person was alienated in that peaceful village, and she was my mother. The villagers did not come near her as they called her a witch. The distance was neither close nor far, and they stayed just far enough for their voices to be heard.
The villagers called her someone who had devoured her husband and would bring catastrophe to the village. The children would throw stones, and the adults would curse her while shuddering.
However, she would always smile, which made me angry.
I shouted at her why she had to be treated that way and that they were all lying. She would then speak the same words.
“Um… sorry. I did… perhaps devour your father.”
I was in shock and would beg her to tell me the meaning. However, she would just scratch her cheek and would try to soothe me.
“You’re too young, Alice. When you grow older…”
I could not accept that she would not tell me the reason just because I was young. The villagers would treat me the same way as my mother. The village children would not play with me, and if there was a child who would come near me, their parents would lead them away, saying they should not play with such a thing.
A thing. I was not treated as a child but as an object. I had been pointed at as a thing and not Alice. That was why I did not like my mother. She was a nice person and always smiled and said sorry to me. However, I grew apart from her as she did so since I had to be criticized and cursed when I was with her. I was always awful to her until she died when I was seven years old.
The village, actually the country I lived in, faced a deep famine. The damage from the poor harvest crushed a small village.
Food became scarce, and we could not exchange goods with merchants anymore. They then stayed away as there was no profit, and after six months, the village was no longer peaceful.
When I was eight, the country met the second famine. Once was barely manageable, but the second year made everything impossible. We did not have enough to pay the lord’s taxes and had nothing to eat after last year.
However, lords did not care about such things and took everything in the village. Everyone felt like they would starve to death, and all were angry. However, they did not vent out anger to the lord, as he was very strong and had many soldiers and knights. So, their anger headed to who they had belittled and criticized and had felt a right to be angry at, which was my mother.
“Escape far, far away.”
Those were my mother’s last words, which she barely managed with a smile. I do not know what happened to her next, but I just saw black smoke from where I had lived when I turned around while running. The smoke continued to rise up despite the thunderstorm, and I could only watch. That was why I did not like rain because even if it is a blessing to farmers, it reminded me of that day. That was why I was gloomy on rainy days.
I would let Daddy hug me and not let me go when there was thunder and lightning, as I did not want those memories to surface.
However, I woke up as the sky lighted outside. It was the worst. The sound of rain and thunder came from the window, and the flashes of lightning reminded me of the past.
While I tried to hide my face with the blanket and pillows, I could not stop the sounds from coming. I wished I could have slept through the rain, but I would wake up from nightmares in weather like this. So, I was about to go to Daddy when I realized something.
“I’m fighting with him…”
I was battling for fried chicken for the past few months, and going to Daddy would be like acknowledging my loss. However, the thunder outside made me frown.
Coco came in zigzags at my movements and asked me if I was all right.
“Actually, I’m not all right!”
I hugged Coco at the light, and Misha also came with its head tilted and licked my cheek.
“What should I do?”
The rainstorm sounded like it would last a while, and I would need to ask at least my sister for help.
However, her door was open, and she was gone.
“What should I do?”
I had to bite my lips at the sound of rain and asked myself whether I should give up. Then, why did I not talk with Daddy all that time?
However, the dark and quiet night made the rainstorm stand out, and I would need to be more determined at a time like this…
The loudest roar came out, and I gave up, thinking that this was a planned retreat. It really was!
I smiled, and the Metal Bat looked at me with disdain. I heard footsteps run upstairs, and everything was going as planned. My daughter would come to me first during the rainy season, and I prepared for all of us to sleep since she had woken up faster than I had expected.
I gave the blanket on the floor to the Metal Bat and lighted the fireplace with a bit of oil.
“Daddy! Lightning! Thunder! Rain!”
I lowered the torch and hugged my daughter, who was running towards me.
“Yes, you were. It’s all right now.”
She was shaking, and I felt some paternal warmth as the Metal Bat looked at me with disgust.
-You had been waiting for a rainstorm so she would weaken.
-I had to wait for her to speak to me.
While not having the internet was very inconvenient, I began to appreciate that fact after raising a daughter. She was still an angel at thirteen, while most kids at her age had been devils in my past life.
“Daddy, let’s sleep together.”
I could not refuse her raising her eyes at me with reddened eyes, and I took her to the alight fireplace where blankets were spread nearby.
“You’re not scared now, right?”
“You’ll talk to me now?”
“You’re a good kid.”
I had not hugged her in a while, and I worried about her future at her cuteness. What if the crown prince came to her proposing marriage?
-It’s nice. The princess may also come looking for you.
-Stop interrupting me.
While the Metal Bat picked at me out of jealousy, I could not let her bother me in this precious moment. I would need to finish up here.
“So, how about fried chicken to my good daughter?”
I had regained muscles, and one or two chickens would not hurt me. I only had waited so she would give up on fixating on the dish. Alice coming here and speaking to me out of her own volition meant that she had given up and if I gave her what she had wanted all along at this moment?
“Daddy, I love you!”
The result was this, as she would be getting chicken out of my benevolence.
“You’ll listen to me more?”
“Speak to me?”
“You’re a good kid.”
Alice slept with a relieved expression under the same blanket, and I felt myself healing. I could not give her up for anything, as she was the most adorable creature on earth.
“Go to sleep when she’s sleeping.”
“You’re just jealous.”
I slept as the Metal Bat grumbled, and early next morning…
“Do I have to do this?”
“Look at yourself…”
I started to seriously wonder whether I had to cut my daughter off.