Help Me, Father.
“Ahahaha, oh big sister Maria! Isn’t this dress just lovely!?”
Lilith’s bubbly laughter echoed through the courtyard.
As she smiled at me with a bright and innocent grin, I couldn’t say a word as I stared at the ground. I hugged the dress that I had cherished and kept safe in that closet close to my chest.
“I cut it up with the scissors, I think it is far more fashionable now, yes? Now I want to finish the makeover with a mud bath, so won’t you hand it over? Fufu~n.”
“Please stop, Lilith…!”
As my half-sister held out her hand with a smile, I desperately shook my head.
“Please, just stop! I kept quiet when you cut up all my sheets, pillows and toys, but this dress was the first thing that father ever bought for me…!”
“Oh? You sure say some odd things, big sister?”
Lilith blinked cutely with those big pretty eyes.
“Although you were born only a year before me, you’ve definitely gotten far more than a year’s worth of father’s love compared to me. Even when I was just a baby, mother said that your whore mother monopolized all his love and affection.”
“Well, how about this? If big sister doesn’t want to play with me, how about I play with my little sister Nina instead?”
As she brought up my four year old sister, I saw red.
I grabbed out at Lilith’s arm desperately to stop her.
“She’s still sick in bed with a fever! Don’t do anything to her, let me take her place!”
“Big sister Maria, that hurts…”
“What is all the commotion!?”
The both of us jumped as we heard father’s deep and booming voice.
As I turned around, I saw father who must have just come home from work staring at the tattered dress I held in my arms.
Lilith burst into tears and ran towards him the moment she caught sight of him.
“B-Big sister Maria, she…! She suddenly took the dress and cut it up with scissors…!”
“Eh!? But, that’s… I…”
“She didn’t want that dress! So she thought that if she cut it up like that, she could have you buy an even more beautiful one!”
As father hugged Lilith close, he looked at me with a cold glare.
“I knew it was the dress that father picked out specially for her! So I tried to stop it, but when I did… When I did… She hurt me…!”
As she sobbed, Lilith held up her hands so that he could see her wrists. The place where I had grabbed really had become red and swollen.
“That’s not true, father!”
I tried to deny it quickly.
“Lilith stole that dress I love from my closet. To cut up a present that father gave me like that, how could I ever…!”
My father’s cold voice was enough to turn the words in my throat to sand, with a pit of despair beginning to form in my stomach.
“I did not raise any child of this house to be thieves. Do you understand me?”
Child of this house.
I knew tacitly that Nina and I were not included in that.
“Come along, Lilith. I need to pay to have your wound looked at.”
“Father, this really hurts. I’m scared, so can you please look after me in my room?”
As Lilith’s wailing began to disappear into the distance as they left, the only tears that were falling in the courtyard after that were the drops falling by my feet.
(…I have to go and check on Nina.)
There wasn’t any time to cry.
(I was able to protect my little sister, that’s enough for me!)
However, at the time I was able to cheer myself with that thought alone.