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The girl stared in horror at her father, desperately hoping that she had misheard him, but too afraid to utter even a word in question. One of her eyes was swollen shut and the other one was bruised and bloodshot. Her right arm was still swollen from the dislocation that she had sustained from her father's beating two weeks ago. On noticing that her arm had dislocated, her father had tried to set it himself instead of seeking medical help, yet it was not as though he had any experience with it. The girl shuddered at the horrible memory. In a bid to fix the arm, he had caused more injury, turning it in the wrong direction until she had thought that she would faint. Even when he finally managed to set it and the arm started to swell, he did not do anything about it and the girl had to bear the agony quietly.

"So pack your damn bags." Tom roared, as though the person he was talking to was on the other side of the planet and not in the same room.

"I'm…I'm going to Grandma's?" The girl stammered in fear.

"Was that not what I said?" He thundered, his already red face turning an even deeper and alarming shade of red. The girl was not alarmed, though. As far as she was concerned, it would be better for her if he dropped dead of a heart attack right there. But the man was very strong, hale, and hearty. He crossed over to where she was sitting on her bed, and grabbed her good hand, lifting her to her feet as effortlessly as though she were a feather.

"Pack your damn bags." He said again, spittle flying from his mouth and the sour smell of stale alcohol oozing from it. "I will not have this family be disgraced by you. You will go to your grandmother's and you will have your bastard there. After that, you may come back here. I'll sort the rest out, but if you ever get me in this sort of awkward position again, I will risk going to hellfire and kill you by wringing your neck with my bare hands."

The girl was so afraid, but she decided to ask her question anyways.

"How about Christopher?"

Her father stared at her as though he was looking directly into her soul.

"I told you that I never want to hear that demon's name in this house again. You're forbidden from ever seeing or talking to him again." He told her in an eerily calm voice that was even scarier than his raised voice. He moved away from her and began pacing the room before continuing in a monotone.

"He must not know about this. If his family knows, everyone else will know and it will be a huge disgrace. My name will be soiled. My image…" he abruptly turned to face her. "I should throw you out and forget that you existed, but what would people say? No, you'll go to your grandmother's and you'll have your bastard there. In the meantime, I'll think of what comes after. Pack!"

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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