"Eat this," I said, holding out the pill.
The girl ignored it and sighed. Obviously, she was not a fan of medication.
"It's for the fever," I explained, trying to remain calm.
She took it from my hand and studied it, then ate it with water.
As she lowered the glass, I noticed her face.
Her natural beauty was slowly starting to fade. Her skin had become pale and waxy, dark circles were visible under her eyes and her tangled hair fell over her eyes. Overall, her appearance did not make an impact on me.
Her temperature had started rising in the last few days. I had tried to calm her but her fear of me had created a completely new problem for both of us.
I had no doctor. I never really needed a doctor because I was a strong and healthy man. Whenever I needed counsel on medicine, I always called Bryant.
But should I ask him for advice? That too, for a fever for the girl who supposedly died a few weeks back. My initiatives clearly said no.
I frowned as the girl crossed her slender arms over her chest.
"How long exactly does a fever last?" I said, raising an eyebrow.
She shrugged. Obviously, her response was in no way useful to me.
Her disease reminded me of my own youth. I used to put my dirtiest socks in ice cold water, wear them and then run in the grass. I used to think that sickness might help me catch my father's attention.
My mind floated off to the bottomless memories of my past….my father being the worst of them.
I remembered eating my dinner quietly while my stepmother continued to bark at me. I remember my half-brother chuckling and grinning proudly as my stepmother praised him. Sometimes, I would lose my temper and kick him under the table to make him shut up. He would complain to his mother, who would start screaming that it was time to kick me out of the house. My father said nothing. He just ate his mashed potatoes quietly. He was not a poor man, no. We just ate mashed potatoes daily because his wife and son spent his whole salary on themselves. Also, they loved mashed potatoes.
I could still recall hiding in the woods and crying. Of course, being a teenager myself, I needed to hide the fact that I still cried like a child. Then my half-brother would follow me and mock my actions. I evidently remembered once when he mocked me too much, I lost my temper and killed his dog. He went crazy. The mad wife started screaming at my father to kill me. My father did not. Of course, he knew I was in a state worse than death, itself. No, my father threw me out of the house heartlessly and told me never to return. I was heartbroken. Though I did not love him as a father, I did expect him to love me as his son. I used to think parents love their young no matter what. But I was wrong. My father had clearly chosen his other son over me. He had chosen his new wife over my dead mother. It was him who taught me the lesson that love no longer existed in this world. Everything was about power.
I was in deep thought when someone pushed me off the bed. Surprised, I stood up and turned around.
The girl stood up, ran past me and into the bathroom. Inside, I could hear her vomiting.
"Maybe it's time I should contact Bryant," I thought to myself, frowning.
By the time she came back, she was shaking like a dried leaf in the autumn breeze.
I picked her up in my arms and brought my face close to hers. Her breathing soothed me a bit. At the moment, I needed someone to take care of me as much as she did.
I sat down on the bed and tucked her there, too. She was making little sounds of pain. Her eyes were closed. By her condition, I knew she was about to faint in a few moments.
I put a reassuring hand on her shoulder to make her feel better. Honestly, I wanted her to feel better, too.
She half-opened her eyes and noticed my hand. Weakly, she took it and placed it on her cheek.
I smiled sadly and ran my fingers on her cheek to show that I was still next to her.
She sighed and then closed her eyes. After a few seconds, she was unconscious of her surroundings.
"Is that the role children play in a home?" I thought "To just eat, play and sleep? But it's so funny. They do nothing and yet every parent loves them."
A haunting memory popped into my head again and my smile faded.
"Except my father," I thought, sadly. But then I smiled again. "Well, the joke's on him. I did not inherit his hatred. I love my daughter."