C5 Let the girl go
Barbara spoke up, "Although you give Mia and Vivian the same amount of money for their upkeep, Mia might have other expenses that the money isn't sufficient for."
This statement infuriated Mr. Thompson even more.
He swiftly turned towards the cab driver and commanded, "If she fails to provide your money, take her to the police station. Better yet, do whatever you want with her."
Angrily, he turned around and marched into the house.
Mia's heart shattered as she watched her father's retreating figure, while Barbara's eyes gleamed with triumph as she snickered victoriously.
Mia shifted her gaze from the door and fixed her eyes on the woman who claimed to be her mother.
Her stepmother clicked her tongue and sneered, "You are a disgrace to this family." With that, she turned and walked inside the house.
Tears, which Mia had been holding back, finally streamed down her face. Why was the world so cruel to her?
"Ahem." The cab driver cleared his throat, a smug grin stretching across his face.
"You heard the man. He gave me the authority to deal with you as I please," he declared victoriously.
He reveled in the satisfaction of knowing he could do whatever he wanted with the girl. He had a clear idea of the things he would subject her to—the horrors he would inflict upon her.
No, he had no intention of involving the police in this minor issue.
Licking his lips with a predatory hunger, he stared at Mia, his eyes filled with lust.
"Don't waste my time. Get in the car," he growled.
Trembling with fear, Mia took two steps backward, recoiling from the repulsive expression on the perverted man's face.
With an evil grin, he revealed his decayed, yellowed teeth. "You can't escape from me. You belong to me now."
He started moving swiftly toward her. The moment he grabbed her hand, he forcefully dragged her toward the car. As he struggled with her, his mind raced with the twisted things he desired to do to her. When he was finished, she would be too weak to even lift her legs for a week. He giggled sinisterly.
Mia's tears flowed uncontrollably. She tried to fight off the man, but her strength was no match for his.
In the midst of their struggle, a loud voice interrupted them. "Let the girl go."
Both of them froze, turning toward the source of the voice.
A woman in her late fifties stood firmly a few meters away, her face filled with anger.
The cab driver eyed her. "Who are you, woman?"
"I'm taking this girl to the police station. Why are you stopping me?" she inquired angrily.
Madam Grace cast a cold gaze at the perverted man. "Are you really planning to take her to the police station?"
Uncomfortably, the man averted his gaze, feeling ashamed.
Displeased, Madam Grace took out some cash from her purse and extended her hand. "Here you go, your money."
The cab driver glanced from her face to the money she was holding, annoyed. Grudgingly, he released the girl's hand and snatched the money from her.
He gave Madam Grace a disgusted look before stepping into the car. Slamming the door shut, he sped away, leaving a trail of dust in the air. That meddling woman had disrupted his plans—he wished for her demise as soon as possible.
After the cab driver left, Madam Grace smiled warmly at the girl standing in front of her.
"My darling," she called sweetly, opening her arms.
Without hesitation, Mia ran to her and collapsed into her embrace, crying like never before.
Madam Grace clicked her tongue sympathetically and let out a sigh. "It's okay, my darling." She patted the poor girl's back in a comforting manner.
Thank goodness she had witnessed the whole incident through her window; otherwise, that despicable man would have done unspeakable things to her girl.
Mia continued sobbing, her tears flowing freely. Even the tears she had suppressed since the previous night now poured down her face. She was grateful that Madam Grace had come to her rescue. If not for her, what might have become of her if that man had succeeded in taking her away?
After silently watching the girl cry for a while, Madam Grace gently guided Mia to a nearby tree. She would have taken her to her room, but she feared her boss would be furious if he found Mia there.
Seeing that Mia had finally calmed down, Madam Grace reached out to stroke her face. "How are you doing? You look so thin. Are you eating regularly?" Her heart broke for Mia.
Ever since the child's mother passed away and Mr. Thomson's mistress moved in, poor Mia had been suffering. Life had been anything but easy for her.
"I heard you passed out. What were you thinking about that caused it? Is something troubling you?"
"Your mother wouldn't be happy to see you like this, Mia."
Mia sniffled and lowered her head sorrowfully. Her mother.
Madam Grace sighed, realizing that the girl wasn't ready to share her thoughts. She took a small nylon bag out of her gown's pocket. "It contains herbs. Soak them in hot water and drink before you go to bed. They're highly medicinal." She placed the bag in Mia's hand, her face filled with love and concern.
Sniffling once more, Mia looked at the bag and then back at Madam Grace. What would she have done without this woman in her life? "Thank you, Madam Grace."
"Don't thank me, it's nothing."
The older woman took out some cash from her purse and handed it to Mia. "This should be enough to get you back to school."
"Now, you need to hurry and leave before your father finds out you're still here."
Mia sobbed softly. "Thank you, Madam Grace."
"Quickly, go now—be on your way." The woman waved as Mia slowly shuffled out of the compound.
Sighing, Madam Grace pondered how she couldn't treat that child poorly, considering how good Mia's mother had been to her while she was alive. Mia's mother had found her when she had nothing to eat, when she was homeless and starving in the slums. Mia's mother had taken her in.
If she didn't treat that woman's daughter well, wouldn't that be considered ungrateful? Wouldn't the deceased be disappointed in her?