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  • "I saw the results of your exams, young lady."
  • Mom and Dad gathered my sister, Maya, and me in the living room while assessing us. Above all, fright seems to overwhelm my inner self as I avoid their intimidating stares.
  • "And I have to say, I'm disappointed," Mom said.
  • Due to excessive tension, I felt pressure in my chest. I closed my eyes to tolerate physical and verbal sufferings while enduring my parent's hurtful words.
  • Why can't they see my efforts? The only things they always notice are my mistakes and shortcomings as a child. The same goes with Maya, it's strangling.
  • "No one remembers no. 2, Ms. Marinette Middleton," Dad added.
  • The rank 2 on top students of the class was given to me yet they weren't satisfied with my achievement. Being the top one means everything to my parents but never did they considered a second best.
  • "And you," Mom said, pointing at Maya. "Stop dating random guys. No one in this family can date until having a stable job, understood?"
  • I gulped.
  • "Relationships are not all about love, you can't even handle your grades properly!"
  • We don't even have the freedom to love someone? It's not as if we are rebellious children. Maya and I have been the most obedient child as I can imagine! When will we be enough for our parents?
  • "You're both grounded. Give me your phones!"
  • "But Dad!" Maya and I exclaimed.
  • "No buts!" Dad yelled. He throws us his stares and I was terrified to make eye contact with him. My hand trembles as we handed our phones to Dad.
  • "Go to your room and study!"
  • No...
  • Today is our 3rd monthsary, and I promised to go out on a date with Leo. I don't want to disappoint him for not showing up. He's the only person I make with no excuses.
  • With shoulders down, I walk towards my room and locked up. A loud bang across my room was heard which I supposed is Maya's door.
  • An idea pop into my head and I can't even believe what I'm thinking as of now. What if I run away just for tonight?
  • After having dinner, I stole my phone back from my parent's bedroom. For once I want to reward myself with something called 'happiness' that I can't get from my family.
  • As I scroll through my phone, I received a message from Leo.
  • Leonard: Don't forget our dinner date later. 6 pm, be on time ;)
  • Me: See you!
  • Placing my phone down, I shade my lips with berry macaroon using the lip tint Emma gave me and put on some on my cheeks too. I tried to pick the most decent dress I could ever find and wear it on. Picking from the sandals, I didn't know which one suits best. I was busy thinking through not until the door of my room suddenly opened and I was as a shock as Maya is.
  • "What in the world-"
  • I abruptly pulled her in and locked the door.
  • "Maya, please listen to me," I said. She's still haven't process anything she's seeing from me. "I need to go somewhere right now. I have a date with someone inexact."
  • "OMG, Mari is in love?!" She covered her mouth with both of her hands and giggled. I hushed her so she could calm down a little. "Fine, I'll help you. But you need to tell me all the details tomorrow morning."
  • "Yes, tomorrow morning," I assured.
  • Maya retouch my makeup and pick a different dress for me. Looking at the mirror, I felt more blooming and I just want to say that I'm beautiful! Ack, I'm so excited right now!
  • "I'll cover for you. Be back before 11 pm," Maya reminded. I mouthed a 'thank you' for her help before leaving the house. Good thing, my parents slept early and I was able to sneak out.
  • As I come out of the taxi, I happily walked inside the restaurant. I could never forget about this place. This is where Leo first took me on a date and I couldn't be more excited for today to meet him!
  • The restaurant was filled with people mostly couples, chatting and giggling with one another. I sat down on a vacant seat and took my phone out of my bag to message Leo.
  • 6:00
  • Me: Leonard, I'm here!