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“End of discussion”
His deep voice boomed throughout the room and silenced Bette immediately. Her eyes welled with tears and her bottom lip quiver but the brunette held it together. She knew her father couldn’t be swayed once he put his foot down.
She pushed her emotions down and lifted her chin, “Yes, sir”
“Good. Now go upstairs and pack enough for the summer. I will send the rest of your things at a later time”
That was it. Conversation over.
There would be no reasoning with him. No summer vacation, no Tina.
Bette immediately made her way to her room in search of her phone, desperate to call Tina. Maybe she could sneak out and they could meet somewhere. Maybe they could-
“I do not see you packing”
Bette whipped around at the sound of her father’s voice, her heart pounding against her chest.
“Daddy, you scared me”
He was as emotionless as ever, “Why are you not packing?”
“I-I was just looking for my phone”
Melvin held up Bette’s phone a moment later causing the brunette’s eyes to widen in surprise. When did he have a chance to grab it?
“A distraction you do not need”
Bette felt her lip quiver once again. Her father was trying to keep her from saying her last goodbyes and it was killing her.
“But my friends-”
“Are another distraction you do not need” He stated firmly as he pocketed her cell phone. “You saw them earlier today. It isn’t necessary to waste time with goodbyes. Let them remember you as they saw you during the ceremony”
Bette took a step towards her father as she let her sadness overwhelm her, tears streaming down her cheeks. She didn’t care that she was crying in front of him, an act she so rarely let him see but she was desperate. She wanted to make him feel an emotion other than the coldness he was displaying. She wanted him to care.
“But daddy, Tina-”
“Is a distraction”
“She’s not!” Bette exclaimed, surprising herself. She never raised her voice to her father, something that surprised even him, the emotion flashing across his harsh features. “I love her daddy and she loves me”
Melvin scoffed, “You are too young. You do not know what love is”
“Oh and you do?!” Bette stomped her foot, anger fully taking her over. “Then why isn’t mom here, huh? You say you loved her but you let her go. I will not do that to Tina. I love her and we will be together”
Melvin was silent for a while, long enough that Bette thought she had finally gotten through to him. She felt horrible for bringing up her mother but if it got her the result she wanted, Bette would live with the guilt. Then Melvin crossed his arms over his chest and Bette knew. He had not changed his mind.
“Finish packing and be downstairs in an hour. Your flight leaves tonight”
“Tonight?!” Bette’s eyes widened as she ran to the doorway, her father already making his way down the stairs. “But daddy-”
Melvin stomped his way down the stairs as Bette felt her entire world crumble beneath her. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think and just stood there in stunned silence as her father disappeared from view. She felt completely lost, not knowing what else to do except for the one thing that came naturally.
She sank to the floor and cried.