MoboReader> Romance > Harmonious Discord.

   Chapter 3 Self-determination.

Harmonious Discord. By Yumna Mahmood Characters: 13962

Updated: 2019-05-17 16:20


Mom greeted Adam just as I predicted – she hugged him and cried. She complained to him that he doesn't call more often and as usual, he made a void promise that he will. Where else, dad – he seemed even more distant than the last time Adam came home. It feels like dad is getting a little more distant from him after each of his visits and it scares me. I never witnessed a fight between Adam and my father, but each time Adam comes home – it feels like they are on the urge of snapping at each other. I might have never witnessed them fighting, but I did witness them almost getting into a fight. My father welcomed Adam with a handshake – he saw his son after three months and all they did was a handshake. And Adam – Adam didn't even try to make things better with dad. It is like their relationship is getting murky day by day.

We all went for dinner as planned. No one talked to anyone after a few seconds. We quietly ate our food while glancing at each other. It felt like someone forced us to sit with each other. Our eyes were talking instead of our words. Mom kept glancing at my father. Her eyes were begging him to not to start arguing with Adam. Adam glanced at me – telling me how much he dislikes it. I glanced at him back – telling him how upsetting it was to act like strangers when we are a family. Dad's glare was shouting at Adam – telling him how useless he was. And Adam was often challenging dad with his gaze.

Adam huffed and put his spoon on the plate before throwing the napkin over his plate, "You know what? I hate it when we all pretend that we don't have anything to say to each other when in reality we all are dying to say it aloud." He said irksomely. We all stopped eating and looked at Adam frowning. The air around us got denser. I worriedly averted my gaze towards my father who was clenching his jaws.

Mom put her hand over Adam's hand and lightly pressed it, "Adam, please not here." She asked him slowly. Adam looked at my mom and sighed before looking down at the table – while clenching and unclenching his fist.

"Why did you stop him, Martha?" My dad spoke hotly. "Let the boy speak. What is he going to do, huh? He will bash his parents in front of a packed restaurant. That's all, right? I mean like just look at him." Dad waved his hands towards Adam, who was glaring at my father. "Tattoos, long hair, weird dressing – he has already taken a wrong path – what worse can he do now?" My dad taunted Adam.

Adam slammed his hand on the table angrily – causing mom and I jump a little. I closed my eyes tightly and lightly shook my head. The chattering around us goes down – everyone was mumbling and looking towards us. "What is your problem, dad?" Adam asked him. "I am not a teenager living under your roof – I am twenty-eight and I can make my own decisions!" Adam said. "I like the way I dress, I like what I do. You can't you be just happy for what I am?!" he looked at dad and mom, "You both are always complaining, whining about life, depressing over the situations that shouldn't even matter! You both don't live and you don't let anyone live either. Try to understand this – I am my own boss. I will live my life as I like!" Adam's voice was getting louder with every second. "I am not Emma, whom you both can dictate and make me dance to your beat!" He snapped.

My eyes widened as I stared at Adam as he panted. My father angrily stood up from the chair, "We dictate Emma? What kind of nonsense is this?!" My father yelled. By now everyone was quietly looking at us – fighting like animals. The manager came and tried to talk to my father, but he ignored him and continued. "She is living her own life! She only made better decisions than you, Adam. Just because, she isn't a hipster like you, that doesn't mean she hates her life – she loves it!" My father shouted.

Adam laughed sarcastically and clapped his hands. "Wow – just wow. Are you even listening to yourself, Dad?!" Adam confronted. "Emma's living her own life? You make her breath your air, Dad – that's not what living means. You are suffocating her! You are a ringmaster of her life – You whip the hunter and make her live her life on your terms." Adam yelled.

"Gentleman, please – it would be better if you take this outside." The manager interjected as he placed his hands on my brother and father's chest and tried to separate them as it looked like they both will get into the physical fight any time now. My mother was still in shock by the manner thing were taking place while I kept my head bowed as I hear them heatedly discussing my life like I wasn't present there like I was a child who couldn't speak for herself – oh wait, that's exactly what it is. I don't speak for myself – I never did.

Silence filled in the restaurant – everyone was looking at us – judging us. "I am sorry, Sir, but I will have to ask you to leave." The manager politely yet sternly told my father. We were being kicked out – it couldn't get more embarrassing. I removed the napkin from over my lap and put it on the table before I got up and took my handbag and quietly left the dining area with my head down. I could hear my mother and brother calling my name, but I didn't stop. Some diners were giving me sympathetic gazes while others gave irritated gaze – my family ruined their peaceful dinner after all. I lowered my head and quietly walked out of the restaurant.

"Emma." I heard my mother calling my name as she followed me out. I halted in my way without turning around to look at her. I was trying to control myself – I didn't want to cry. Tears were burning my eyes, but I didn't dare to let them fall. She hastily walked and stood beside me while putting her hand on my shoulder, "Emma, I am so sorry dear." She said lightly. I sniffed and took a deep breath, "It doesn't matter, mom." I told her slowly. I glanced towards the entrance of the restaurant and shrugged, "They are always arguing like this. Everyone in our family tries to boss each other – no one ever thinks that they might be hurting others." I poured my heart out. Mom listened to me with her eyebrows knitting together.

"Tell me, Emma, do you really think that we dictated your life?" She asked almost nervously. Of course, she is scared that I might say yes.

I sighed and swallow the lump I felt in my throat, "You tell me, mom, do you think that you dictate my life?" I asked her. She kept looking into my eyes – her silence was the indication that she knows my answer, but before he could say anything – scowling Adam and Dad walked out of the restaurant. I sighed as my father walked passed us – my mother gave me a last glance before she followed my father – who unlocked the car and angrily sat in the driver's seat.

Adam walked from behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. I could feel his gaze on my face, but I was too angry to even look at him. "Emma, I am so sorry." He said softly.

I shook my head, "You crossed your limit today, Adam." I tol

d him without looking at him.

He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, "He was being ridiculous, Emma." He tried to justify himself. I finally looked at him, "And you weren't?" I asked him to which he went silently, so I continued. "Adam, I never thought you would do something like that. No matter what he does or how he behaves – he is our father. You could have waited until we get back home. That was so inappropriate and humiliating." I said to him while he silently listened to me. "First you both fought in front of a packed restaurant and then you two talked about me like I wasn't there." I snapped at him. Tears were threatening to fall down, but I didn't let them. I sighed and tried to calm myself, "I can fight my own battles." I told him.

He frowned and stared me for few seconds before he replied, "Then why don't you?" he asked. I didn't have any reply to it. No matter how angry I was with him, but he was right – I never fight for myself. Just then I heard a car honk – I turned around to see my father honking, "Come on, Emma." He called me. I looked at Adam. He rubbed his forehead and bobbed his head, "Go home." He said. "And what about you?" I asked him. He chuckled, "I am not a kid, Emma. I will come on my own. And anyway, I need some time alone." He shrugged. I looked at him for a few seconds before I nodded my head and made my way to the car.

All the way back to home, my father put across how much Adam embarrassed him, how he was behaving badly and how disappointed and angry he is with him. My mother silently listened to him while I pretend as if I wasn't even present there. When we reached home, I didn't talk to anyone and tranquility went to my room. I could hear my father still angrily ranting and my mother hushing him – I ignored them and changed into a t-shirt and sweatpants.

I laid on the bed and thought, what was I really doing? I am twenty-six year old. Most people of my age are already on their own, enjoying their life and here I am – living with my parents, making their wishes come true. What was I doing with my life? I know I wasn't happy with the way thing were. No matter how much I try to pursue myself that I am happy – I know I am not. What will happen if I will take stand for myself? My parents will be disappointed in me – yes, but what about myself? Will I be happy knowing that I am the reason for my parent's disappointment? After Adam let them down – they hoped that I will be the one who will fulfill their dreams. If I will let them down – who will they look at after me? I sighed and turned over to my side. I slept with the thought of what I could have achieved in my life as far, but I didn't because I was too afraid to live and breathe my own air.

Next morning I woke up and somehow I was feeling even more depressed. I took a long shower and brushed my teeth. While I was in the shower I thought about Adam's offer. And just by thinking of it – I somehow felt excited. I felt good. Maybe it is time to take another step. Maybe it is not too late. What if I ignore Adam's offer now? What if I never get another chance again? What if it was my getaway from the life I don't want to live? Too many thoughts captured my mind. I changed into my pencil skirt and white blouse and applied a little makeup before I went downstairs.

My father was reading the newspaper while my mother was buttering the toast and Adam was nowhere to be seen. I sighed and tranquility sat on the chair while picking up a cup to pour some coffee in. My mother looked at me and smiled, "Good morning, honey. I made you some pancakes." She passed me the plate. "Where is Adam?" I asked her. Before she could reply my father interjected her, "Who knows? He didn't return home last night. If he is going to act so immaturely then it would be better he would just leave and go back to his hell." My father said hotly.

"At least in my hell I am happy and with people that support me." I heard Adam. I turned my head around to see him walking towards the table. "Don't worry, Dad, I will be gone by tomorrow." He told my father as he sniggered and sat beside me. He kissed my head and mumbled a soft 'sorry'. I sighed and offered him a small smile.

"Honey, where were you last night?" Mom asked him. "I stayed with my friend." He answered mom. "Adam, why don't you stay for a few days more?" My mom asked him while glancing at my father who completely ignored us and kept reading the newspaper. Adam smiled, "I can't, mom. I have important work to do." He replied to which my father chuckled, "Like you know what working really means." My father taunted Adam.

"Yes, dad, I don't know what working meaning – you are the only person who knows what real work is because apparently, the rest of the world is just wasting their time while you are the only one working. You must feel burdened." Adam taunted in return.

"Please, both of us – at least have breakfast in peace." My mother interjected, but my father ignored him and looked at Adam.

"Yes, I have a real job unlike you. Photography isn't a real job. All you do is goof around with friends and go on tours and spend all the money on tattoos, weird dressing and God knows what. Adam, unlike you, we have stability in our lives." My father argued with my brother. It bothered me how he was dissing his profession and the way of his living. Adam stayed quiet and ignored my father. My mom sighed and lightly shook her head.

I gulped and looked at my father, "Dad, I have decided to quit my job." I announced causing all three heads to turn towards me. My hands were getting cold as I was nervous. It only took my father dissing my brother choice of profession to stand for myself.

"Why?" my dad asked bewilderedly. "Are you applying somewhere else?" he asked and I nodded, "Yes – yes I am, " I answered. A proud smile lit up on my father's face and it twisted my heart – I was going to kill his dreams and it made me feel horrible, but it was either now or never. "That's what I call a good decision, dear. I hope where you apply for work will pay you better than your present job." Money – why does everything revolve around money? I sighed, "I don't know about that, but even if they don't – I will be happy, dad." I explained softly.

"Well, they better pay you well, since you have experience in the workplace." My father said. He wasn't getting it, but my mother was. I can already see the disappointment on her face. "What is this company called?" he asked. I blew my cheek out and looked at Adam who was carefully listening to me.

I looked back at my father. "It is called Adam and friends, " I told him and within a second my father's smile turned into a frown. "What?" my father asked. Adam chuckled and patted my back. "You are hired, sister." He said joyously while my father and mother looked disappointed – just what I expected.

I shattered their dreams, but I took a step closer to new experience and self-determination.

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