Chapter 38 - Period
Dylan moved over to the windowsill and began to lean on it. His mood didn’t look particularly good that day. Later on, he didn’t glance at her even once. He kept his gaze directed to the window in anger as if he meant to broadcast how he refused to forgive her.
Anna shrugged her shoulders. She was the only one between them who had to deal with having a period every month, anyway, so she didn’t understand why he was being so sensitive.
“Hey, Anna! Anna!”
A middle-aged woman was hurriedly calling out the name of the girl who had run out of the house. However, the girl had already disappeared from sight, running as fast as she could.
Anna ran tirelessly, heedless of the direction she headed toward. She had yet to shed the baby fat from her face, yet she was sprinting desperately, with both of her cheeks wet with an unending flood of tears.
Her dress, handed down from her grandmother from the grandmother before hers, was originally white, but it had faded into a yellowish hue over time. She used the sleeve to wipe away her tears.
Blinded by the motion, she couldn’t see the tree root sticking out of the ground before her, so she ended up snagging her foot on it and falling over into a pile of dead leaves.
“Argh!” she exclaimed. She moaned in pain as she lay sprawled upon the ground.
It was all so unfair. Her grandfather’s words, telling her that bad things always seemed to happen all at once, came to mind. Maybe it was true. That morning, she had dropped all six eggs she received from Mrs. Ann and broke them because of her next-door neighbor, Sebastian’s, prank. No matter how many times she explained to her mom that they broke because of Sebastian, her mother still raised a cane against her in punishment.
She was already depressed after realizing all of her mother’s love had been stolen by her younger sibling, but then her mother began to whip her repeatedly, making her wonder if she was just an adopted child or something.
When her dad came back home drunk that night, she had been sobbing into her pillow. Her mother yelled at him, asking him how he managed to drink when their family had no money. He said he picked some money up off the streets, but her mother didn’t believe him.
After a long, persistent interrogation, her father finally revealed the truth: he had sold Burton at the market. Hearing the news, Anna ripped off her blanket and bolted right up. She couldn’t believe it.
Button was her dog. She had brought him home.
Her mother, catching sight of her shocked expression, slapped her father in the back hard enough that proved audible, but Anna knew that her mother must’ve been secretly pleased. She had always disliked Button, because the dog did nothing but eat into the household’s finances. It was just a small dog, but it still needed feeding, and food wasn’t free.
Anna had confronted her parents and yelled, “I’m sure that in the future you’ll say that I don’t do anything but cost the family money, either! You’ll sell me at the market, too!”
She no longer wanted to see her mother’s face again. Doubly so for her father. If she found Button again, she would consider going back, but until then, she swore never to return.
The time she had spent with Button may have been short in the end, but to her, Button was more than just a simple pet dog.
“Why did this happen to me?! What did I do wrong?!” she shouted. The more she thought about it, the sadder her situation became. She tried to assuage her tears, but she couldn’t keep them from falling, and they poured from her eyes once more. Anna cried until she had nothing left to cry with.
Then, she realized that one of her shoes was missing.