She tasted the rich sweet wine in her taste bud, running her tongue at her lower lip while she gently moved back and forth the swivel chair wearing the fitted black dress above her knee with her crossed legs. The back of her head leaned at the headrest singing to the song entitled Control and she Lifted the wine glass to her eye level.
Deep red eyes looking at the closed door when the music ended, its swing opened and entered a man, his hair started to get white, wearing a gray coat and tie, face so red, jaw clenching, the deep dark red eyes in fury and her eyes moved to the clenched hands. He walked toward where she was.
A lopsided smile curved in her full lips tainted in black and lifted her eyes to look into his eyes. The heavy footsteps and the emitting fire of ambiance surrounded the place, and the suffocating feeling she should sense does not give a damn to her.
“Hello, father,” she said in a tone of amusement, making the old man's face wrinkled, and darting her a sharp stare.
In an instant, he was upon her and she felt the sting of a loud slap across her cheek. Her long, black, wavy hair partially obscured her face as she turned to the side. The pain was expected, and she was not surprised. She lifted her chin, facing her father's rage-filled gaze like a lion ready to pounce.
"How dare you do that, Aria!" Her father's voice boomed, making anyone who heard him tremble with fear. But she merely laughed as his eyes narrowed.
The bitter taste in her mouth made her grind her teeth. The first time her father had struck her, she never could have imagined it. But when it came to money, a devil was unleashed.
She took another sip of wine and chuckled. Her father's hand raised again.
"What do you want me to do, father? Be like you?" Her tone was mocking, and she watched as the veins on her father's forehead and temple bulged.
"How dare you talk to me like that! Is this how your foolishness has made you disobey me?" he yelled.
"No, father, I am sick of this world and of all the animals like you," Aria replied calmly, emphasizing each word.
His grip on her jaw made her wince, but she fought back the urge to cry out. Instead, she closed her eyes and braced herself for another slap. But it never came.
"Look at me, child!" Her father's voice was harsh, and he tightened his grip on her jaw. "Don't say such things to your father who gave you everything you ever wanted. How ungrateful you are! All I have done is for you! Remember that!" With each word, it felt like her jaw would be crushed. Aria met his gaze with a steely glare.
"Do you really think, father, that you've made me a better person with all you've done?" she cried, hot tears streaming down her cheeks. "My mother killed herself because of the world you built for us! The wolves you feed, who devour the innocent and crucify the good! You killed the only woman who ever loved me! You--"
"Shut up!" Her father's voice was a roar. "You are just like her, stupid and crazy! Be grateful that I am your father, Aria, don't be so ungrateful." He let go of her, and she rubbed her reddened jaw. He turned his back to her and spoke in a calmer tone. "You are my daughter, and what you are talking is not true. Don’t make me mad again."
Her father adjusted his coat and took a deep breath. "You need to be presentable to your future husband and behave appropriately," he said, his tone calm but laced with a warning.
"Just kill me," Aria cried out, her voice filled with resentment and desperation. "I don't want to be a puppet. I hate this life. I don't want this."
Her father acted as if he hadn't heard her, walking away as if nothing had happened. The door then suddenly opened and a woman stepped inside. Aria gazed at her with a mixture of fear and hatred. She was dressed in a black skirt that reached just below her knees and a blazer coat, her midnight black hair tied into a bun, and she walked with a straight posture towards Aria.
"Do your job properly, Ava," her father warned, and the assistant nodded before continuing her approach.
As the door closed behind her, the sound of the woman's heels echoed in the room. "I told you not to upset your father, Aria," her mother's voice choked out.
Aria despised this woman, who was so cold and heartless in front of her father but had a softer side with her. Ava walked to a table a few meters away, and retrieved a medical kit from one of the drawers.
Aria stood at the window, watching the city lights twinkle in the darkness. Her hand was shaking, and she bit her lip to keep the sobs from escaping. The frustration in her voice was palpable as she spoke.
"I am tired of this. I am not a possession to be sold to anyone who wants me. I am not a doll for him to control," she said.
Ava her assistant, stood beside her, a wet cotton cloth pressed gently against Aria's jaw. The pain from her father's grip still lingered.
"What can you do? You are his daughter, his only daughter," Ava said with a tone of hopelessness.
Aria turned to face her, the anger and resentment evident in her eyes. "I am the happy president's daughter, the envy of all. But no one ever asks me if I am happy, if I feel lucky. My friends are snakes, biting me in the back and waiting for the poison to kill me," she spat out.
Ava shook her head, filled with concern. "I hope you go to the party and you won't be like this. How many times have I told you?"
But Aria was beyond listening. She was trapped in a life she did not want, with no way out. The only escape she could see was the glass in her hand, and the thought of throwing it and ending it, all was becoming more and more tempting with each passing moment.
Aria's heart ached as she thought of her mother's absence in her life, a void that no one could ever fill. Her father had become distant and cold after her mother's death, and it was as if he had completely forgotten about her. The once loving and caring man had turned into a monster, using her as a pawn in his political game, a symbol of his power and success.
She thought about the friends she had—the ones who pretended to care for her, but she could see right through their act. They only hung around her because of her father's influence and wealth. The reality was, she was all alone in this world, with no one to turn to or trust.
"You're right, Ava," Aria finally said, her voice low and distant. "I should be careful not to anger him, but I don't want to be his puppet anymore."
Ava nodded understandingly, and the two of them stood there in silence, looking out at the city's bright lights, each lost in their own thoughts. The weight of their situation was heavy on both of them, and Aria couldn't help but wonder if she would ever be able to break free from this life, from this endless cycle of loneliness and pain.
As she looked out at the city lights, a kaleidoscope of colors reflecting in her tears, she thought about how her mother was her protector against the cold and calculating world they lived in. She used to believe that her father loved her and her mother, that they were a happy and perfect family, but now she knew that was just an illusion, a façade to keep up appearances for his people.
"You are being like this when it's your mother's death." Ava's voice interrupted her thoughts, and Aria could sense the concern in her words. "He wouldn't hurt you, but you're pushing him to his limits. Do you want to be hurt because you're taunting him to do something he doesn't want to do?"
Aria didn't know what to do. She felt trapped, like a puppet being controlled by everyone around her. She wanted to scream, to lash out, to be free, but she was too scared. And so she stood there, tears streaming down her face, as the wet cotton pressed gently against her jaw, a reminder of the pain she had suffered at the hands of her father.
Aria sighed heavily as she stood by the window, looking out at the twinkling lights of the city below. Her thoughts drifted to her mother, the only person who had ever truly understood and cared for her. She remembered the joy they shared as they walked hand in hand, their laughter ringing through the air. But that was all in the past, and now she was left alone in this world to face a father who treated her like a possession, a toy to be sold to the highest bidder.
Ava's words echoed in her mind, reminding her of the pain that lay ahead if she continued to defy her father. But she couldn't bear the thought of living a life where every decision was made for her and her father controlled her every move. The idea of being a mere puppet, with no agency of her own, filled her with dread.
Aria's hands shook as she remembered the bruises on her jaw, the result of her father's cruel grip. She had always obeyed him, but she was tired of living in fear, tired of pretending to be someone she was not. She longed to break free from the cage she was trapped in, reclaim her life, and make her own decisions.
It was only now, after twenty years on this earth, that Aria realized just how foolish she had been. She had sought after things that brought her no happiness, blindly following her father's every command. She was like a bird in a cage, her wings clipped, forced to live a life, not of her own choosing. She was choking on the reality of her situation, suffocating under the weight of her father's control.
Aria was determined to break free from this captivity, take back control of her life, and live the way she chose. It was time for her to spread her wings and fly.
Aria was filled with rage and bitterness towards her father, Grayson Jake Sartin. She couldn't help but wonder why he had married her mother in the first place. Was it just for the opportunity and the wealth her mother's family brought? The thought of it made her sick to her stomach.
But what truly hurt Aria the most was the fact that her father didn't even acknowledge her mother's death anniversary. He was indifferent to the loss of the woman who had given him everything. This made Aria hate him even more.