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The CEO's obsession

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People often say life is full of colours, but for me, it's always felt plain and boring, like watching an old black-and-white movie. All I want is to get through each day and break free from the struggles weighing me down. I never thought I'd find joy and excitement until he came along. Asher and I are like opposites. He's like the bright, warm sun, and I'm more like the calm, cool moon. Even though we're so different, he doesn't know what it means to be on different sides of the world, all he wants is to be on the same side as me. I used to think I wasn't worthy of love and that I could never fall in love. But when a charming, popular guy like Asher came into my life, everything changed. Now, all I want is for to be crazily loved by him. He came into my tragic and dull life, and made it all colorful like painting a blank canvas with the brightest of all colours.

Chapter 1

Nio's POV

This place is a danger zone for me. The right expression should be this place has always been a danger zone. Being in the face of danger has been a part of my life since I woke up two years ago, but do I have a choice? Not that I know of.

My back aches but none of that matters right now than my determination to survive. If I want to survive, I have to put up with everything. Despite the difficulties I face here, they are familiar and somewhat predictable, unlike the uncertainties and potential dangers awaiting me in the outside world, after all the devil you know is better than the one you don't know.

A voice echoes through the wall and I just know I need to move away from where I am before it is too late. Sliding the milk jar in my hand back into the kitchenette, I hastily brush off the evidence on my clothes.

Eating is a crime in this house and you should never be caught in the act. I'm not allowed to eat when I am hungry. I can only eat when I'm allowed to. Getting out of this place somehow is a top priority right now. It's been 15 hours and I haven't had anything to eat.

My eyes travel around the whole length of the kitchen in search of the keys. If I do not hurry, I will miss my chances of escaping.

Where are those damn keys?

Think Nio, think. You've been doing this for the past two years. You know her better than anyone else. Use this to your advantage before you get the beating of your life again.

You do know she's very unpredictable?

My subconscious counters. True. My sister is incredibly unpredictable. She's always on her game, never letting her guard down. This is why I can never be a match for her. It is why my life is so powerless and miserable.

The voices have faded, but the approaching footsteps grow louder. My hands tremble, and my body becomes so rigid that I could be mistaken for one of New York's statues.

“What are you doing here?”

The voice shakes me out of my innermost thoughts. I try to compose myself but I fail so badly. Her presence alone is enough to make me shiver. I want to put up a fight but day by day I lose the willingness to do that.

“I just asked you a question,” She says

I finally mustered the courage to look at my ferocious sister. She's standing a few inches taller than me thanks to the 7 inch heels she always has on, just to look down on me. Unlike me, she has a moderate shape balancing with the rest of her body, and as much as I hate to admit it. She is indeed pretty. From the look of it, she just got a perm done on her brunette hair.

“Nio!” She yells

Her voice breaks my composure and I start to tremble before I know what was going on around me.

​I need my pills right now

But letting her know I have pills is not an option. I should have gotten out when the chances were opened, right now a lot of unforeseeable dramas are about to unfold. I should at least say something. She hates it more when I stay quiet. What should it be? Nothing is forming behind my throat. Anything

“I came here to drink water.”

Her eyes bulged after my last expression. You'll think I demanded for her kidneys. Wherever this is going, I am sure it is nowhere near being good.

“And who gave you that sort of permission?”

“I-I-I"

“Stop stammering, idiot!”

“I haven't had anything to eat since morning that I have been cleaning,” She chuckles.

I don't know why but she's laughing and I can only imagine what is going through her head. If water is causing this much commotion, she must never find out I took from the milk, or else all heaven will break loose.

“You've been working for just 15 hours and you cannot put up with ordinary hunger?”

“I'm sorry,” I'm not

“You either vomit the water or you pay for it. I told you, nothing is free in this house”

“Naya, it's just water-”

What was that sound? I just got cut off by a sound that lands on my face. Naya just slapped me? I'm used to it but this is like the most trivial thing to get slapped for. My vibrating phone drops from my pocket and Naya picks it up before I can.

“Give it back. Karl is calling,” I say, though it comes out weaker than I expected but at least an effort was made. Karl is my boyfriend and I always draw the line when it comes to him.

She burst into her wicked laughter again. I cannot believe it's possible to have this level of loathing for my biological sister. Everyday of my life, my wish was that we didn't come in pairs. To be honest, I sometimes wish she was gone in place of our parents, if only wishes were horses.

“Give the phone back.”

“You'll be surprised that Karl didn't call to check up on you, but I do not need to go into details do I? See for yourself.”

She passes her phone to me, and despite the fact that I should be celebrating holding her phone for the first time since I was born, there is a more important event going on.

Hi baby. I tried to call your sister to find out whether she's at home or not, but she's not picking. Is it safe to come around? I miss you so much

Wait a minute. There must be a mix up somewhere. This has to be my phone. Naya is probably playing a trick on me. Karl wouldn't do this to me. Karl wouldn't do this to me. Karl wouldn't do this to me.

Maybe if I chant that for as long as I can, it will erase the fact that he actually did that to me.

“Why do you look surprised? This isn't the first time this is happening? Is it?”

I can't find my tongue. I need to say something. I need to fight back. It's true that this isn't the first time. Karl is the third boyfriend Naya is snatching away from me, but I just did not see this coming. Not Karl. He's just a nerd like me and he doesn't seem like he has it in him to betray me.

“Nobody will ever be able to truly love you Nio. It's time for you to give up and focus all slaving for the rest of your life,” Naya says, her eyes bearing her intentions.

“Why? Why do you keep doing this to me? Why can't you just leave me alone?“

“The day you go down on your knees and cry your eyes out is the day I'll start considering that option.”

Finding my bag is the next thing on my priority list. I cannot bear to be in her presence for a minute longer. My hunch was right. It was a bad idea coming back to live with her again but that was the only way I could survive this life. Unlike Naya, I do not have access to any of our parents' inheritance. She makes me work for the money that should be benefiting us both. If I stay here for a second longer, I will lose myself and that is literally the only thing I have left. My dignity.

“Let me out of here.”

“That's not happening.”

“Naya, I want to get out of here right now and I am not joking.”

“And I said it's not happening.”

This bitch is really going to go to this length.

If I have to wait here until Karl arrives, I will never be able to forgive myself. Think Nio, what is your nemesis mostly afraid of? That's it. Naya will never want me to escape her wrath by ending myself first. I need to use that card right here and now.

“There is no way you are stopping me from leaving this house. Even if I have to jump from the rooftop to the ground level”

Goodness please let this work, let it work on her please.

“Fine. But if you leave you are never coming back.”

“Deal.”

I hurry upstairs to pack the few belongings I have that cannot even pass as a beggar's taste in clothes. I do not know when Naya will change her mind. I need to be out as soon as possible. Do I have anywhere to go? No. But will I give everything it takes to leave here? Absolutely!

There's no point trying to reason with her. She is hell bent on making my life miserable. I pause in front of the mirror to take a look at my disoriented self. Lately, it's really tough to look at myself in the mirror. Why bother with a reflection that doesn't help me get what I want? What's the point when I'm working hard while my sister gets all the benefits?

I hastily tie my shoelace before I trip in front of my enemies, not going to be the first time anyway. Then, I gather up some toiletries and toss them into my bag, figuring I'll be needing a lot of it. There's not much else in the room besides my worn-out clothes packed in a box. After removing some random items that were making it hard to close, I dragged the box across the tiled floor.

What's next after this? The question keeps popping up in my mind but honestly, I don't have an answer. All I know is I want to avoid Naya at all costs. If I'm being truthful, things couldn't be much worse out there. I take back my statement. My mind is swirling with different options, but right now, that's not my main concern. My attention is fixed on the car parked in front of the gate. Oh no, please tell me Karl didn't just show up here. Why does life have to be so harsh to me?

“Oh you're still here?”

I roll my eyes while backing her and I try to stand firm, but my tense shoulders betray my nerves. This is exactly what she wants - to break me - but I refuse to let her win. I grip my box tighter and head towards the door. As Karl nears the entrance, I feel my composure slipping away. I'll never fight for a man who can be bought without considering my feelings. Karl pauses abruptly when he sees me standing there.

Don't talk to me please. I want to tell him exactly that but I can't find my lips. He takes another step closer.

Don't come near me.

“Nio,” He calls

“I don't want to talk to you, please just go away, ” I whisper

“Listen to me. ” He grabs on my wrist, “it's not what you think.”

My vintage box gives out, clattering to the floor. Now this guy is really overstepping. Who does he think he is? I swiftly reach for his hand and forcefully remove it from my body.

“What am I supposed to think Karl?”

“Nothing that has not happened before,” As expected, Naya interrupts, though I anticipated her arrival sooner.

I glance between them, seeing nothing but a lack of shame and self-worth, my head shakes in disappointment. Shame has left the conversation. Before they can escalate the situation any further, I huddle on the ground, collect my belongings, and decide to leave. I've endured enough mistreatment, and it's time for me to embark on a journey of self-discovery. It's time to revisit what happened two years ago.

Chapter 2

Nio's POV

The campus buzzes with activity on this Sunday, adding another layer to my already dubious luck. My plan to find refuge in a classroom for the night seems hindered. With my paycheck held by Naya, who likely won't hand it over anyway, I am down to zero account balance. I resist picturing what they might be up to. Can't one of them just have a stroke of bad luck, like slipping and breaking a leg? What? That's me being generous.

My stomach grumbles even as I snack on a bench in front of my department's quadrangle. There's a lot of activity around me, with some people seemingly never taking a break, even on Sundays. The central clock in front of the department keeps ticking away, showing it's already 4:30 pm. Can't everyone just clear out? I could really use some peace and quiet; please make room for the homeless.

My stomach grumbles again, but I try to convince myself that the snack I'm currently nibbling on will suffice. I really need to sta

Heroes

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