One Shot of Chance

first love

(English) (Completed)

Varsity Book 1

Some people might argue that teenagers are too young to encounter ‘real’ problems. They would surely say that there is still a lot to see and to experience in this world, so making a fuss over ‘little things’ is considered overacting. But does encountering problems have something to do with one’s age? Are ‘adults’ the only people who can face such things? If yes, Rowie and Hershaille's story might prove everyone wrong.

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Chapter 1 - The reason of it all
A little girl was sitting in the corner of a dark and small confined room, trying to hide her small and vulnerable body, while covering her ears with trembling hands. She could hear her fast heartbeat every time her mom cries. She could hear the breaking glasses as her mom screamed in pain. And together with that, thunder started to rumble before the rain poured angrily on their roof, making her shiver. That oh so familiar scenario was here again... her father. A year has passed since his rage started and each time it grew more and more intense. As she got older and began to understand things, she knew how cruel these acts of violence were, and one thing she knew for sure: her father was not rational. He was fired from his recent job for the same reason he was let go from all his past jobs – too much drinking. Since that time, he would burst out his anger at his wife because he felt useless at not being able to work and support his family. But she was still confused. It somehow did not feel right to her. Just because he lost his jobs for something of his own doing, why would he come home and hurt her mom? Why would he blame someone for something he did on his own? She couldn't understand. “Mom?” she asked one time. “Doesn’t father love us anymore?” Her mom would stroke her hair before going to bed. She would tell her stories – stories that she loved to hear even though she had heard of them so many times before. And she would hum her lullabies until she fell asleep. “Why would you ask that? Of course, dad loves you so much," Samantha said, with a slight smile on her face. “How about mom? Does dad love mom?” And just like before, she would hesitate to answer. Even though she didn't understand what that meant before, Rowie would notice. “Of course, dad loves mom too.” Rowie would just hide inside her mom’s embrace. She knew her mom was lying. If not, she knew that her mom said those words to convince her. She did not want her to worry about anything, and that was what made Rowie upset. She could not do anything to help her mom. Whenever her dad was around, all she could do was hide inside a cabinet, or under the bed. Somewhere out of her father's sight. All she ever did was cry silently while waiting for everything to stop. But what could an eight-year-old do to an adult? She could not scold him or protect her mom. She could not even face her dad eye-to-eye and tell him everything he was doing was wrong. She was just a scaredy-cat and a crybaby. At the age of thirteen, she learned how to work. She started selling flowers near the church. She could be seen in crowded places with her mom, begging for alms just to fill their growling stomachs. Those were just a few things they did to try and make ends meet in those days... those memorable moments with her mom. Everything was difficult for her, but she endured it all for her mom's sake. She wanted to make her mom happy and proud of her. A smile from her mom was her only wish and nothing more. At least that way, she would not become a burden. It was at age fifteen when she lost her after a hit-and-run incident. She was hopeless at that time. She did not know what to do but stare at her mom's bloody state. She tried asking for help, but no one came to rescue her mom. No one lent them a hand. They were all focused on capturing that moment with their phones, no one even called for an ambulance or asked what happened or if she was okay. That was when she started hating associating herself with people. At that same age, she was introduced to her new mother and little sister. She treated them like her own, loved them like a real family, and took responsibility for her cruel father. They were dependent on her as well, because her father was also beating up her mom whenever he was around. “Why are you putting up with my father? All he did was beat you up and call you names,” Rowie asked while washing the dishes. Her stepmother was beside her, sitting in her wheelchair, wiping the plates and putting them back in the cabinet. “You can live far away from here and escape my dad whenever you can. You can find someone better to take care of you and Raven.” Her stepmother smiled and continued what she was doing. “We can’t leave you now with your dad, Rowie. I can’t even imagine what might happen if we leave you here with him. And it never crossed my mind to leave.” Rowie shook her head slightly. “I can handle myself. I have been putting up with it for so many years and I can continue to do so.” She placed the plate and rag on the sink and pulled Rowie's hand. “And you don’t deserve it, Rowie.” She sighed. “What you deserve is a happy life –a life with a happy family. If your dad cannot give you that, then I will. Raven and I are here to become your family.” A tear fell from Rowie’s eyes. Her heart ached so much while looking at her stepmother. And it became more painful whenever she saw Raven, her stepsister who was younger than her. She felt guilty that they were stuck with her here. They did not deserve such treatment as well. They deserve more than this. Rowie wanted to scold her dad, but who was she to do that? She was just her father's daughter. It was not like he was treating her in a good way either. Her father was already a lost cause. No one could stop him anymore. When she turned Seventeen, she became independent and supported her stepmom and stepsister. She became their shield whenever her father arrived home. She worked for the family and continued studying as a scholar at a university. There she promised that no matter how cruel the world was, she would continue living and caring for the two of them, even though they were not blood-related. She would do anything for them, even if it meant giving up her dreams, because no one could replace them inside her heart. She didn’t believe that anyone could replace them in her life anymore. That no other people could enter her life to make her happy and contented. But when she met her high school friends, everything started to become colorful. Every day seemed like a new day for her to look forward to. And when she met Shintaro Yamazaki, the bad boy, everything turned worse.

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