He turned off the television.
"You already watched too much." He said.
"Please, you said I could keep watching if I stayed quiet."
"Listen to me, be a good girl, or you will go back to your room."
She looked at him furtively as he was going back to the kitchen. He seemed so tall to her. She
thought his head was about to hit the ceiling. It didn't. She turned back to the black screen.
"When is mom coming back ?" the girl asked. " You said she would come yesterday. She
"Honey, I told you she is having some troubles right now. People are taking care of her. She
will come back once she feels better."
"I want to go home."
"This is your home too now," he smiled. " You will get used to it, you will."
"I am not having fun anymore."
" You are acting like that because you're hungry. I understand. But I cooked. I made your
" You don't know my favorite. Stop lying to me."
"That's what you think, honey. I always pay attention to every detail when it comes to you. You
know I care."
She felt his eyes on her neck.He kept talking.
"You are important to me. You know that, right? Or you would not be here. You choose to
come, I asked you. I am the one who really cares. Your mother never cared. That is the only reason why you are here. You have to realize that now."
She could hear him walk toward the living room again. She slowly looked up as he stood in
front of her. He reached for his pants pocket. She froze, breathing slowly. It seemed like it took
him forever. He took a picture out of it.
"Hey, that's me!" she exclaimed. "Where did you get that ? "
"Don't you remember, honey? " He crouched at her height.
"I took it two years ago, in the park. I loved watching you play with the other kids. I always
look at this picture when I miss you."
She suddenly got up from the couch.
"I want to see mom now. Please."
"What a polite little girl. I guess she did raise you well." he whispered.
"Why can't I see her? You promised." she asked, her voice trembling.
"You grew up so fast."
"Is she gone forever?" she asked. A tear touched the ground.
"You will get used to me, you know. It's only been a couple of weeks. They always get used to
He kept talking, his fists clenched. He seemed thoughtful.
She sat down, whipping her tears with the sleeves of her grey dress. It was white when she
arrived. She desperately looked at the closed windows.
He came out of his trance. " Amber, honey, stop crying. You know I don't like seeing you like
that. I am here. Let me go and get you a napkin."
As he left the room, she quickly reached for the remote. She turned on the television. As soon
as the image appeared, she let out a muffled cry scream.
It was a picture of her. She looked so happy then. She had the littles braids her mom did so
well. A journalist was speaking. She couldn't hear him. But she could read the big words in red, scrolling on the screen. Still, she couldn't fully understand them.
"Arlington, Texas: Five years old girl abducted last month still not found, according to local police .”