Broken Strings


It felt so much like she was at home.

The warmth they gave off and the smiles that welcomed her as she took her first step inside the household, she knew they were fake. They reminded her so much of what she used to hate. The small smiles that told her that she wasn’t wanted and that she was better off somewhere else.

Their eyes, they told her to walk away and never come back. They greeted her with forced hugs and quick kisses on the cheek. She strained to smile back and bow in respect as she was led inside the large living room of her new abode. Her bags were carried by her new siblings with frowns upon their faces.

“So Mia,” her new father smiled at her with an odd look on his face. “How do you find your new home?”

She shyly looked at him through half-lidded eyes and fiddled with the hem of her short summer dress. She replied back with a soft, “fine” and squeaked as she felt a wet nuzzle caress her calf as she made a move to sit down on the couch. She looked down and saw a small puppy staring at her with eyes almost hidden under the light locks of its fur.

The man nodded his head and patted his knee ecstatically. “You’re going to have a good time with us, Mia, I know it.”

She seriously doubted that she will.

Dinner that night was quiet and reserved. She seemed to be the object of flaring hatred at the table as she sat there with her meal barely touched in her embarrassment to eat in their presence. The man at the other side of the table she was now to acknowledge as her new father cleared his throat.

“You haven’t eaten anything yet, Mia,” he said to her concernedly. “Do you not like the food?”

She shook her head and started to lift her hand to pick up the neglected spoon near her plate. She froze when she heard the sudden murmurings around her. An odd feeling washed over as she lifted her head to look around at the accusing and spiteful glares of her new siblings.

“Why is she even here, daddy?” One girl with braided hair and deep brown eyes asked with a whine. “She’s not even pretty enough.”

She blushed as the boys around her agreed. Was the basis of their family love and values revolving around the face value of the child? She took the chance and decidedly looked around and her question was answered by the beautiful faces surrounding her. They were stunning—even for their young age.

“Hush, little Ida,” he scolded the little girl. “We should learn to love everybody.”

She now wondered where his wife had gone and why she left him alone with five of their children. It was also odd how he took her in when he had children of his own already. She looked up at him and saw an odd flicker in his eyes as he glanced toward her. Something wasn’t right and she knew she should leave with her arrival still fresh and she would easily be forgotten.

“Mia,” he called out before she can even attempt to stand up. “Are you mute?”

An insensitive question directed to an emotionally-unstable young girl. If her mother can only have heard him—she knew, she would be laughing alongside with him in mock humor. The thought had given her heart a gentle squeeze and a constriction inside her chest. The hurt still present and the memory still etched in her mind, unforgotten.

She answered him with a simple, “no” and he laughed at her.

The laugh elicited shivers along her spine as she remembered the cold, unforgiving laughs directed at her in one point of her life, her tears fell freely down her cheeks. He stopped and frowned at her.

“Weak child,” he said blankly. “Such a shame.”

She looked at him with her vision blurred. His tone was blank, cold, and frightening. The man earlier with his carefree yet fake smile and caring nature disappeared as soon as tears spilled from her eyes to her closed fist on her lap. He sighed and stood up from his seat and walked towards her.

“They told me this was your last chance,” he drawled carefully. “We tried to be nice.”

Her heartbeat had gone inconsiderably fast and thumped against her chest. She was scared of this man. She was scared of the children looking at her with scrutinizing narrowed eyes. She was scared of the way he spoke to her as if she were a little child in need of help; emotionally and mentally.

He stopped behind her and picked her up from her seat. She weakly stood up with knees shaking in fear. This scenario was not what she expected for her first night in her new home. This was not what she wanted.

“My family welcomed you in our home,” he continued as he dragged her to the front door. “With open arms and warm smiles.”

He turned the knob and kicked open the door, her feet dragged her with him tiredly. “Tell me, Mia,” he said. “What do you want?”

“I want—” She murmured under her breath. “I want to be relieved of pain.”

They stopped under a large tree and he dropped her on the ground ungracefully. “Well then,” he said to her uncaringly. “You know what to do.”

He left her and knew she would be able to find the metallic fences near the tree to be fairly useful for her last night at their home. He came back inside the house and saw the expectant face of his youngest daughter.

“Where’s the new girl, daddy?” She asked him curiously.

“She rid the world of another source of ugliness, honey.”

The small girl smiled.


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