After three hellish nights accompanied by four nosebleeds, chest aches, and headaches, she manage to pass the project which she finished, alone. Her passing the project with her name only earned the ire of her other groupmates but she started and finished it alone, she can just let them taste her hard work for free. And today for her self-reward, she visited her favorite bookstore, B&M.

She hummed happily as she browsed through the book section. She read their titles and authors while skimming and tilting her head. Aliyah takes out a book with a familiar title and opens it, screaming inwardly.

”Fudge! it finally had an English translation, ” she exclaimed as she flipped through the pages, reading the familiar names written in the book. The exhaustion on her face vanished as she skimmed the book. Closing the book, she squinted her eyes and looked for another book she recognized.

”Huh, sad. Wait a minute…is this Fragments?! Oh my goodness….its finally being illustrated?! ” Pulling out the book with glistening eyes, a small smile on her lips is plastered as she flips it cover to cover.

”Okay, Im buying it..! ” With an excited sigh, she bit her lips as she clutched the two books in her chest walking towards the cashier. The line is small and the cashiers speed is fast, Aliyah is already checking out when she felt her pocket vibrate.

Aliyah answered the call with a frown, as she was about to greet the caller, a hurried voice greeted her, ”Go Home! Go home right now, Ali! Hurry back! ” Whats wrong- wait, who is the caller first anyway? Aliyah put the phone away and her frown deepen as she who it is. Its from her older sister, Gabriel. ”Stop shouting! I can understand you! Wait, ”

Aliyah glance at the price and took out her cash to pay. Receiving the plastic bag, receipt, and change, she said thanks and left the store. ”Okay, what is it? Why do I need to go home? Calm down! ” Hearing her sisters hurried and hushed voice, Aliyah started to panic. She hurriedly waved her hand for a taxi.

A taxi stopped and she hurriedly boarded it, telling her address right away. ”Hurry home or Moms gonna burn your collections! I mean those books you hid by flipping the cover! ” Aliyahs eyes widened. ”Stop her! stop her, Gab, please! Im heading home, please stop Mom until Im home! ” Aliyah ended the call and hurried the driver. Silently praying that shell arrive at the right time.


Slamming the taxi door close, Aliyah felt like she became Flash for a minute and caught her mother aggressively throwing her books in a black trash bag. She immediately runs to stop her mother, ”Mommy! What are you doing! Stop! Ma thats my book! Ma stop! ” Her mother flings her hand away. Aliyahs action seems to make her mother even angrier.

”What book?! These things are indecent! Such shameless books! These are against the teaching! Is this what you are learning at school? They taught you how to sin? To go against nature! Ill call and complain right away! ” Horrified. Aliyah immediately knew what she was talking about.

She frantically shook her head and stop her anyway, ”Ma…they are fiction! Not real! Ma, please…I bought them with my money…those are expensive…mommy please…please! Please stop involving the school…they have nothing to do with my interest! ”

Her mother paused and slowly removed her hands, looking at her with dismay and rage. ”Now You
e talking back huh! Is this what you learn on the Internet to disrespect your parents! And what money! Who do you think gave and worked for that money huh?! You think these books can feed you! Go ahead and cook that! ”

A tear fell out of her eyes. One, two, three…continuous until she can stop it anymore.

”Ma…please…thats not what I mean…internet has nothing to do wi— ” Her words were cut by a loud and hard slap to her right cheek. She glances at her mother with a look of disbelief. Her eyes trembled while looking at her mother. This caused her mother to pause but still blinded by rage, she continued.

”You! Keep Talking back! Do you have something to be proud of?! Im your mother! You
e just my child! ” Aliyah didn let out a sob as she tried to swallow it back, she spoke with a quivering voice, ”Ma! Sniff…please! I do— ”

Gabriel grabs her sisters arm, whispering to her, ”Aliyah stop talking back to Mom, ” Gabriel glance at their mother, eyeing her with a pleading look. ”Ma please let this go…Ill talk to her, ” Shielding her sister from her mothers rage, she pleads at her. ”Please…ma, ”

”Talk some sense to that sister of yours! Ill be taking this as fuel! Shes just wasting her money on this nonsense! ” Aliyah watched as her mother marched down dragging a big trash bag. Aliyahs knees wobbled and she fell to the floor, her strength leaving her. Her sister did nothing but hugged and comfort her, rubbing her back.

”Hey, hey, Im sorry. I was in the bathroom when this happen, and when I came out…Moms mad and throwing your books. ” Gabriel cupped Aliyahs cheeks, looking at her with a sorry look, ” I tried to stop her, I did. I kicked some of your books under the bed so she wouldn see them, under the cabinet, under the duvet. I tried really, but I can completely stop her so, I called you… ”

Aliyah nodded. She understood, that her sister can completely stop their mother without their father when she start getting mad. ”Its okay… ” She stood up and gather her books, tears slowly falling one by one. ”Its okay… ”

”Ill try to stop mom again! Or…at least salvage a few! Wait for me.. ” With that Gabriel departed, leaving Aliyah muttering and collecting her books. ”Okay… okay… ” She glanced back, with tears falling down.

She let out a long sigh before wiping her face, ”Sniff, okay Ill wait…sniff. ” She really hopes Gabriel can talk their Mom out of it.

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