1453 Words
“Mom" Lucia called out softly. “Do not call me ‘mom’ . I don’t have a wicked daughter like you,” Stella retorted, interrupting Lucia before she could speak further. How could she even have the guts to still call her mother? Stella regretted having conceived a daughter like her. If only she had known, she would have strangled her to death when she was still a baby. Lucia wanted to explain. But no matter how many times she does, no one believed her. Still, she continued to plead, “Mom, it’s not what you think. I am not the cause of Sophia’s death. I really didn’t—” A palm landed on her cheek with a resounding smack. And though she knew it would leave a red mark, it was the least of her worries. “You dare say you didn’t mean it? That you are not in love with Daniel? That you were not jealous of Sophia even in the slightest bit? That you don’t want to marry him?” Lucia remained silent. Yes, she had loved Daniel for a long time now, was that wrong? Stella shot her a deadly glare as if she was the enemy. She placed her hand back to her side, while Lucia simply covered her swollen cheek with her hand. Streams of tears streaked down her cheeks again. This was her mother. The one who gave birth to her, her biological mother. “Mom…” Lucia called again. “Enough! I am not your mother. I only had one daughter, and she died because of you.” Her mother finished talking and took her expensive purse when she walked out. She could never forgive her daughter. But before she could exit the door, she heard Lucia say in anguish and heartbreak, “Mom, you never even treated me like I was your daughter. You only ever had your eyes on Sophie.” Stella stopped dead in her tracks. It suddenly hit her with an unforeseen sense of utter disgrace. She seemed to have truly forgotten that Lucia was her biological daughter, the one that she had carried to term in her own stomach. The one she was related to by blood. She opened the door in embarrassment and staggered out.  Betty, Lucia's best friend came and knocked on the door. She entered and met Lucia inside the room. She rested her hand on her shoulder. “Lucia, are you alright?” Lucia picked up the powder puff and started patting her face. Her makeup had worn off… again. But no matter how much powder she applied, she could not hide the fact that she wasn’t beautiful. She was the ugly duckling of the family but she had a body that men would die for. Big firm breasts and a huge backside. No man can resist her shape and curves! “Lucia, you don’t have to go through with the wedding, okay?” Betty pulled at her hand. “Lucia, it’s not too late to turn back now. You can leave him and go far away. Without this wretched love restricting your life, you can be yourself.” Lucia only shook her head. “I can’t…” She looked at her hand. Her ring finger was bare, but soon there would be a ring occupying that empty space. “Betty, you know what?” she lifted her head and looked at her best friend in the eye. She lifted the ends of her lips into a foolish smile. “I want to gamble with everything I have. Just this one time. If I leave now, I won’t ever get to have a second chance. Even if that chance was never meant to be mine. Nevertheless, I still want to take it.” “Even if it meant destroying yourself and losing everything you have?” Betty’s voice rang chills in the air. She could not understand why a foolish woman such as her best friend would exist on earth—one that would knowingly choose to face a future of pain and suffering? She was better off dead! How could she be so foolish to venture ahead knowing what was coming? “Yes.” Lucia placed a hand over her chest, and physically there was nothing. But deep inside her chest, a piece of memory was embedded; no one else knew about it. No one. Betty reached out her hand and picked up the makeup kit. She tenderly powdered Lucia’s face which made the girl smile, however, there was a look of absent-mindedness in her eyes. If only the amulet was still there at that point in time, would things turn out better? Would that change her life? If only. There were just too many ifs and buts. She closed her eyes and went back to the time when she had her 5th birthday. She was five that year and Sophia was four. “Sister, what’s that on your neck? May I have it?” Sophia lifted her head in a princess-like manner. She looked at the item hanging around Lucia’s neck. She had never seen anything like it. It looked nice. “Sister, can I exchange my doll with you for that?” She pointed at the doll in Lucia’s arms which Lucia actually also owned. Lucia shook her head and put the doll down. By instinct, her hand moved up to wrap the amulet with her palm. She could live without the doll even if she received a beating from her mother for it—even after her four-year-old sister made her a scapegoat. “Sister, give it to me.” Sophia has always been a tyrant. She stood up and sprang towards Lucia. The only thing Lucia could do was to repeatedly retreat. “Sophia.” Stella hastily walked over and hugged Sophia’s small frame. She started bawling as soon as she saw their mother. “Mom, I want the thing hanging around sister’s neck. But she refused to give it to me…” “Lucia, give that to her. It is her birthday today.” Stella glared at Lucia. She thought, ” How could she be so thoughtless? She should have given that to her younger sister! ” Lucia’s grip on her amulet tightened. Her lips were pressed into a thin line in silent protest. “Lucia, give it to me.” Stella stretched her hand out. Sophia bawled even more in her arms. She was beating her mother as she cried, “Mummy, I want it. I want…” “Give it to me.” Stella stretched her hand even more. “Give it to me.” Lucia took another step back. She shook her head. “Mummy, this is the only thing I have. P—please… don’t take it away. Please?” “Enough!” Stella stood up in a hurry. She reached out and gripped Lucia with one hand, and with the other yanked the amulet from the girl’s neck. “Mummy…” Lucia watched her mother carry Sophia. She then walked away — just like that. Sophia was now holding her amulet. “Mummy…” She was so sad that she pouted her lips. She picked up the worn out doll from the floor. “Mummy… she feels sad…” But no one was there to answer her. “Lucia. Lucia , what is wrong with you?” Lucia slowly fluttered her eyes open when she heard Betty’s voice ringing in her ears. “Sorry, Betty. I just remembered something from the past.” She apologetically smiled, though her eyes brimmed with tears. “What did you remember?” Betty changed a new powder puff. Lucia was crying again, and there was no way to wipe the tears away— it kept coming. This girl could really cry. “Nothing. Just some things from when I was young.” She brushed off her friend’s question lightly. She then turned to look at herself in the mirror. She might just be the ugliest bride ever. The wedding would begin very soon. The wedding between her and Daniel. She managed to smile while picturing it out in her mind. Her smile was stunning and precious, yet it lacked the beauty of a blooming Begonia flower and seemed to have lost many of its colors before it could even fully bloom.
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