“Happy birthday, Jacob!” I heard them shout in the living room. They won’t even let me see him for his birthday.
A knock on my room door drew me away from my thoughts. I looked up to see my father’s head pop in.
I set my book aside and noticed a flash of anxiety on his face before he quickly removed it. My father rarely visits my room, but when he does, it’s usually to update me on the world outside my room or to give me some bad news.
Judging by his earlier face expression, I assumed his visit has to do with the latter point.
My father’s marriage to Catherine was life changing to say the least. I haven’t been outside my room since their wedding, which was eighteen months ago.
And in case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t gotten to see my baby brother, Jacob, since he was born. Not in person or in pictures. I have no idea what he looks like.
To top it all off, Catherine’s two children which she had before meeting my father, are of the damn devil! Khyle seems to believe that I can’t go a day without seeing him and Krystal prances in and out of my room like she doesn’t have her own just so she can torment me. Saying I hate them is an understatement.
I heard my father clear his throat and I regained focus. Realizing that I haven’t yet acknowledged him, I quickly said, “Come in, Carl.”
He closed the door and hastily crossed the distance from there and sat on the edge of my bed.
“I assume you can easily guess why I’m here.”
“Yeah.” I said bracing myself for the bad news I knew was heading my way. “Is there something wrong?”
“Well, not exactly. We just need to make a few changes.”
Okay then, I can deal with a few changes, especially since Jacob will be staying with me. At least I’ll have a little company.
“What kind of changes?”
He cleared his throat. “You know that Catherine is really gonna need some space for Jacob right?”
“Yes, Carl. I know I’ll have to share my room with him. I was a little upset at first but the bright side is that I’ll have some company now, right?”
“Actually,” he began hesitantly, “You shouldn’t get so excited yet. Catherine doesn’t want Jacob in the same room with you, so...”
He trailed off and I waited for him to continue. When he didn’t, I gave him a little encouragement. “So what, Carl?”
“So you’ll have to move out, Katelyn. You can’t stay here anymore.”
I looked at him with my mouth agape. “Wh-what? But why?”
“Because we can’t have you around Jacob.”
I can’t believe my ears. “We? Did you just say we? You agreed with this too?”
When he didn’t reply I knew what my answer was. I felt the water pricking my eyes and threatening to overflow. How could he do this to me? How could he let her brainwash him like this?
This is all Catherine’s fault.
“Listen,” he began hesitantly, “Your mother and I...”
“She is not my mother.” I cut him off immediately. “My mother, your first wife, died during my birth. And I know for a fact that she’s rolling in her grave now because you broke your promise to her.”
“Katelyn, what the hell are you talking about? What promise did I break? I’ve clothed you, I’ve sheltered you, fed you. I’ve done everything I told her I would do.”
“Really?” I snorted. “Everything? What about love? Do you love me? Did you ever love me? Before Catherine our lives were fine! They weren’t perfect but they were fine.”
Throwing his hands in the air my dad shouted, “No, Katelyn! They weren’t fine. I was in and out of jobs and you kept getting into trouble!”
“That does not give you the right to lock me away from everything and everyone I’ve ever known.”
“Katelyn,” he began, “that was not my decision. It was Catherine’s.”
“Carl, don’t you see what’s happening? She’s brainwashing you. She’s a disgrace to women and mothers!”
If I learnt nothing else that day, I can be sure that I learnt another side of my father. Before I knew that the words had left my mouth, I felt something heavy and painful on my cheek.
“You will not disrespect my wife in my own house.”
I searched his eyes for any remorse he might have had after hitting me.
There was none.
Without hesitation, I braved myself for any scolding or yells I would get after I said what I was about to. Looking him in the eyes I asked, “How would mom feel if she knew you were choosing another woman over your daughter?”
Instead of a forceful combat like I had expected, his eyes softened and in a hushed tone he said, “Pack your suitcase and bags and be ready in thirty minutes. I’ll drop you off at the airport and...”
“Airport?” I cut him off before he could finish. “What do you mean airport?”
He looked away before saying, “You’ll be attending Sterling Academy. That means you’ll have to leave the country. I’ve already arranged with someone to pick you up once your plane lands.”
“So that’s it then? You’re just gonna give me away like that?” I couldn’t keep my tears at bay anymore. “Why, Carl? Why are you doing this?”
“It’s what’s best for everyone, Katelyn.”
With that I was left crying in my room.
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