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At the age of ten, everything and nothing gained meaning to Susana after the sudden disappearance of her mother. She once believed her father had something to do with it until her mother began to send her birthday presents and lots of money claiming it was the only way to keep up her negligence. She could go with that, after all, her mother is alive, or so she thought. Years later, her path unexpectedly crossed with the perfect billionaire son who brings light to her lost ambitions. But there, a lot must be given, and being unwilling to have her free life chained in the disguise of LOVE and CHANGE, brought her into struggles to decide between staying the same or being conquered by Patrick's advice. Patrick, whose home is the definition of scripts, believed Susana's carefree life will bring him a bright atmosphere. The deeper he sinks with her, the more he dwelt in her style. He knows she is the mood he ever wanted but there are things to set right before he loses himself in her world. Getting to know her better and her reasons for being so untamed, an ugly revelation about her mother's whereabouts began to unfold and have him caught in the web. All were down to hard choices between family and love. Can they rebuild on a forgiving slate? Or will they ignore their feelings and dwell in a cage of revenge?

Chapter 1: BRUTAL HOME



A shattered sound erupted below her bedroom and like every other night, her dreamland is interrupted. It pulled her out of sleep and into awareness of the hour.

Observing the sky through the open windows, she could tell from the thickness of the dark cloud that it is the hour of the Ox, and unflinched by the pollution caused by her parents, they are bound to it.

She yawned in frustration, nothing but a peaceful night's rest has always been her wishlist but as usual, her prayers have never been answered.

"You slutty b*tch!"

Her father's angry voice from the living room below got her framed and curling in bitterness. He is at it again. She'd wonder how a slender man could own such a roar of a voice; his screaming the calm night into wary isn't a string on Susana, she has accustomed to the voice that fear no more lives in her.

"stay away from me!"

Hearing her mother, she feared instead for her. He is going to beat her up again even as he knows she can barely stand on both legs to defend herself due to her shaky arteries.

Mother always shudders uncontrollably most nights and tonight is one. Her shivers are there even when she holds the saucer of eggs every morning fixing breakfast for her. The reasons for her unsteady muscles are unknown to Susana and she hopes her mother would stop being scared of Father and learns to be bold and fight back since it is down to it.

Weakness has never saved her and now, her pleas won't stop Father from hitting her either; it will only ignite him more.

"Tell me, Anna! What the fuvk did you do with him this time?"

He yelled louder causing Susana to quickly grab her robe and rush out to hopefully save her mother. Mother has warned her to stay in her room whenever she hears an argument like this one, sadly, she is not a child that listens.

Father's deafening yells came along with more smashes. She needs not to know what her mother did. At any cause, she doesn't deserve that ill-treatment.

Watching her mother succumb to weakness over time molded Susana into a fearless ten-year-old girl. She never wants to be in that helpless and pitiful state like her mother. The site is scornful.

"Stay away!...Don't, please. Come no closer."

Slouching on the center table, Mother pleaded with Father in a whisper but all she receives were kicks, making her grunt in pain.

The more Susana descends the stairs the more fierce she grips the rails. Seeing the living room newly designed with broken bottles and of course, the two vases on the center table which were replaced days ago after a fight like this were equally shattered.

Standing at the foot of the stairs, she looked at her mother rowing on the floor like a crawler. She is neither crying nor screaming, her moans, are faint and her pale reddish face tells she is doomed. She will collapse in a minute and if it happens, she may remain comatose for ages.

Susana hastily walked over and scooped her ignoring the cuts under her feet. The broken objects in the room pierced her tender feet, leaving threats of blood covering every surface. Susana is numbed from the cuts and shows concern only for her mother.

Wrapping her little hands around her back, she tried helping but her mother is too heavy to behold. She retired and squat to feel her face. Mother lifted her face in agony.

"Ohh, baby!"

Her mother weakly smiled at her which freed all the locked emotions Susan has been possessing.


"Go on, go back to your room now."

"Are you okay, momma?"

Mother only dropped her face and grunted and stretched to get a better hold of the table. Susana knew her mother isn't okay but didn't know what else to say.

"I will call for help."

She stood to grab the telephone. An ambulance or cop will do.

"No! No baby. Don't."

This is not the first time she would refuse help. She'd tell Susana that no one can help her, not even herself.

"Why again momma? You need help."

"Don't, please."

Susana shoved the tears threatening to drop and decided to do as Mother want.

"Ok. No help. But can you walk?"

"Back to your room Susana!"

Father's voice interrupted, alerting Susana again of his presence. She has forgotten about him. He bent and forcefully pulled her from mother and like a pulse, she dashed towards him and pushed on his belly with all her strength.

"Leave her alone!"

She screamed and finally gave in to her emotions and began to weep.

She hated her state, she has become her mother, weak and helpless. She stood weeping into her palms.

"I hate you," she whispered into her palms. She was inaudible, she only could hear those hate words. Mother told her never to use them but at the moment, she felt the adrenaline to explode her lungs with it.

"I hate you!"

She screamed unto her father's face. She felt good and fearless once again. She watched as her father stared in bewilderment, which reproduced her courage.

"I hate you...." She screamed again and more.

He retrieved his steps as his daughter kept screaming with her eyes shuts and veins widely exposed through her neck. Susana amidst her screams heard her father's heavy steps storming out of the living room and banging hard the entrance door.

One thing is certain, her father never hits her. He rather walks out at all times than turn her into a lunching box as he does to Mother.He does not know. If only he knows she feels the same pain as when he inflicted it on her mother. He may not have hit her, but hitting her mother is no different and generates no forgiveness.

"Hey baby," she turned to her mother's voice and quickly reach to support her who was trying to adjust to a sitting position."Do not cry." Mother said amidst cough.


"Wipe your tears, Susana. Here, I will do that for you."

Mother raised her shaking hands to Susana's face and wiped some tears. She assisted her mother in doing the same, using her already wet palm to dry her tears.

"Good. I don't want you to ever waste a tear for me or anyone. Do you hear me, baby?"

"Yes momma."

Although her mother's words were clear and stern, her voice gives her away to frailty.

"You are shaking momma. Dada is no scarecrow. Don't be afraid of him, momma."

Mother nodded. She never wanted Susana to see her like this. Before her birth, she had promised to be the best chapter of Guardian and ensures she never sees or lives in a panorama. She has failed. She brings nothing but worries upon her.

"Can you walk momma?"

"Get me some water, will you?"

Mother grunts in pain and watches her daughter run into the kitchen, she knew she has failed as a mother, but she hopes for redemption and time to make her life better.

She took the water her daughter brought and led them afterward to bed. She assured Susan she doesn't need a doctor before petting her to sleep.With a broken heart, she went downstairs to clean up the mess the fight had caused.


~Phone rings~

"Anna!" Said the caller.


"You will be needing a pen."

"No. I need nothing anymore."

Her cracked voice opened the door to tears and they rolled down her cheeks.

"Did he hit you again, Anna?"

"I deserved it."

"You deserve better."

"what I deserve is to keep away from you." A long silence erupted within as Anna struggled to control her shaking hands and sobs. "I need to be a good mother."

"Meet me in three hours."

"No, I am staying away from you."

"This is not what you need. A distance from me will worsen your state."

"It is not true."

"Change of plans. You don't need a pen for the location. And Anna, we can never keep away from each other."

"Leave me the fuvk alone," she gasped.

"Three hours. Do not make me come to you."

After minutes of crying and consolation, Anna buckled and make her daughter some scrambled eggs for breakfast as usual.

She has to stop the tears to avoid more black eyes. Last night was one she wished to erase. She knows she looks like hell but she has no other way to be there for her daughter if not the little meal she is privileged to make her most morning.

Her ten-year-old daughter has become an adult because of her incompetence. She hopes she remains as strong and as homely even when she officially turns an adult.

Watching Susana eat brings her warmth and for a short time, she forgets her wrongs and smiled down at her beautiful daughter.

"Thank you, momma."

"Come here," She pulled Susana in her arms and sniffed her hair as she held her in a tight hug. "I love you, baby"

"I love you, momma."

Having her child sent to school and the living room cleared of the broken glasses. She drew a hot bath and buried herself beneath the tub. Her husband has gone to his studio. Good thing she didn't wake up to him. She would stay in the tub with a bottle of 'Château Corton Grancey Grand Cru ' until she can hear herself.

Her husband, Sanco has changed completely. She wouldn't blame him. Everything that is happening is her punishment for not refusing drugs. Sanco isn't this way because of her doing drugs; he was part of it in the past during high school and college, he is for some jealousy reasons.

Sanco came out clean when Susana happened and was left with only alcohol. Anna couldn't let go which finally brought her involvement with Derek.

Derek's appearance brought a lot of situations. Not only did he engage Anna in all manner of the drug business, but he also started an affair with her. He is right, she can never keep away from him. He has become an addiction just like the drugs he gives her too.

She has torn her family apart; Sanco became a monster and Susana has learned to hate. She heard her say those words to him last night, 'I hate you ', she hates her father because of her misdeeds. This isn't what she bargained for. She has to find a way to set things right.

Two hours later, she drove to the safe house where all loopholes began and where she hopes to patch them all. Derek bought the green apartment five years ago. He had started with this little thing until he had her on his palm like a puppy. The house under her name and the sweetness he voiced to her during their naked moments made her a failed wife and mother.

Driven into the garage, she parked her red Toyota beside Derek's car. She repeated within her that she is going in there to end whatever it is Derek thinks they have and after that, she could go home and start anew with her family.


Derek welcomed immediately he saw the slender pale woman in a blue gown walk into the terrace on her red heels.

"How perfect!" He complimented.

Anna strode in front of him impatiently.

"Relax, darling. You know I dislike impatience."

Derek started on the observation of Anna. He reached for the glasses of wine on the white table.

"Join me," he offered a glass.

She waved off the offer.

"Do you have any idea how savory you look right now? With that look on you, I may skip the vital subject. So, save yourself darling, and wine with me."

Anna gave in and gulf down the whole liquid in the glass.

"Good."Derek took the glass cup and return it to the table. "so?"

"Derek, I..."

"Shhh. First, there is someone you should meet. " Derek interrupted her.


"I will lead the way, sweetheart."

Anna shrugged and looked past Derek's back without making a step. She wonders who is this important and why must she meet.

"Move now Anna. We have kept him waiting enough."

Anna doesn't have many options. Following suit, she walked into the building with Derek.



PATRICK:I yawned up.Each sunrise breeds a version of anguish in me, not the beauty of it but its purpose as a new day. Everyone expects me to rise to something productive whereas I have given no meaning to life. I'd rather lay on the bed than live to anyone's expectations but I am in the family and neighborhood where my future has been excellently determined, therefore, I must wake to their goals.If you tag us as a wealthy home, you are not wrong now; at least, it is the only factual thing about us. My billionaire father has acquired wealth that I hope someday, he won't be penalized. I don't know his job. I don't know many things. If my family is either the definition of a decent home or otherwise, I am yet to decide. At twenty, there are numerous things I haven't done and wish to do but don't know how to and want to, so as to remain perfect and not disappointing a


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