I entered Daddy’s room, which was adorned with an array of colorful Indian carpets sprawled across the floor. The room gleamed with a sense of opulence, akin to the royal palaces of India. I sat down comfortably, observing how he meticulously arranged his laptop on the table, completely engrossed in his work. I knew he had a busy day ahead, constantly multitasking, and wouldn’t finish until everything was completed. I grabbed the remote and switched channels from sports to Zee World. I couldn’t help but recall the show we planned to watch later, “Love Look Like What You Made Me Do.”

As I engrossed myself in the show, lost in its storyline, Daddy glanced over from his work before finally closing his laptop. They were about to start the show, but it seemed that Daddy hadn’t quite finished what he was doing. Without wasting a moment, I grabbed the remote and muted the sound, my eyes fixed on the screen. “Uwata, what’s going on?” I asked, addressing my beloved mother. I anxiously furrowed my brows, saying, “I can sense something is wrong.”

Daddy, a bit startled, extended his hand towards me, as if wanting to reassure me. “Oh, I’m so sorry, princess. Did I interrupt you? There’s something important I need to discuss with you; please, have patience. Tomorrow, we’ll go out for ice cream, just you and me. Are we good now?” I gazed at him, and he lowered his head, his expression apologetic. “Hey, I’m trying to make amends. Aren’t we good yet?” I couldn’t decipher the depth of his remorse, but I yearned for his approval. The love he had for me, whether biological or not, never failed to warm my heart.

I hesitated for a moment, then replied, “I forgive you, but we’ll go shopping too, okay?” He smiled and nodded. I got up, feeling relieved. “Okay, Daddy.”

In the main living room, I found Mommy occupied with her embroidery, completely engrossed in her intricate designs. She didn’t even notice me as I tiptoed past her and headed to my room. She must have been so immersed in her work; her focus was unmatched. I whispered softly, “Mommy, I’m going to bed now.” She paused her work and said, “Okay, sweet dreams, baby,” while switching off the reading lamp.

Entering my room, I could feel the warmth enveloping me as I prepared to unwind. I removed my clothes one by one, folded them neatly, and placed them in the laundry basket. Knowing that if Mommy saw any dirty laundry, she’d scold me tomorrow. Mommy was meticulous, to say the least. I filled the bathtub with warm water and soaked in it, savoring the calming sensation. I had no intention of getting out anytime soon. As I lay in the tub, I let my thoughts wander. In the back of my mind, I was aware of the task ahead—connecting with my friends on social media. I couldn’t afford to delay, especially with the curfew in place.

I got out of the bath eventually and dried myself off. After donning a fresh set of clothes, I settled in front of my laptop, determined to chat with my friends. It felt like hours had passed, but it had only been a couple of minutes. I couldn’t help but feel restless; my mind was racing, and my body was on edge. I knew that I had to do something, so I adjusted my posture, trying to find a comfortable position.

As I continued my online activities, I couldn’t shake the uneasiness that had crept into my mind. I had an overwhelming urge to wear my favorite dress, hanging in the closet. I wasn’t sure if it was a new outfit or a change in attitude, but something was different, and I didn’t care about the reasons. I decided to go ahead, wear that dress, and face whatever challenges lay ahead. I didn’t give a damn; I just knew I needed to take control of my life.

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