Chapter One :Chapter 1

Ortega was running back home with three heavy bags full of groceries in her hands. Not minding the fact that the bags were heavy, she kept running with all her might, her face was filled with sweats.

One would think that she was being pursued with the way she was running.

Mrs Lisa, her stepmother, sent her to the market to buy some groceries. Ortega was given fifteen minutes to get the groceries and she knew that she would be punished if she got back home late.

Ortega wasn't given any transport fare. Their house was very far from the market so she had to run in order to get back home before the stipulated time her stepmother gave her.

"I'm sorry!" Ortega apologized to a man she bumped into. Then she kept running under the hot afternoon sun.

Her face was covered in sweats and her breathes were heavy as she ran. She breathed out in relief when she sighted their house from afar.

She covered the remaining distance and walked to the front door.

"Where is that godforsaken bastard named Ortega? Hasn't she arrived yet?!" Her stepmother yelled from inside the house.

Ortega twisted the door knob and pushed the door open, then she stepped inside with the three shopping bags in her hands.

"I am here." She said as she stepped inside the living room.

Their living room was well furnished with beautiful furnitures and items. The floors were all tiled from wall to wall.

"I gave you fifteen minutes to go get the groceries from the market and you spent more than the time I gave you, huh?" Mrs Lisa asked angrily as she walked towards Ortega.

"Why did you come back late?" Mrs Lisa asked, standing in front of her.

Mrs Lisa was a robust woman with an average height. Ortega was a feet taller than her.

"The market was far and I had to trek so that's why I arrived late" Ortega answered.

"Maybe she went to visit her boyfriend." Her stepsister, Vanessa, said as she descended the stairway to the living room.

Ortega was a year older than her. Ortega was 23 years of age while Vanessa was 22 years of age.

Vanessa wore a short black gown which revealed her thighs and a black fashion bag hung around her arm.

She wore a heavy makeup on her face. A black wig was also fixed on her head, making her look like someone who was going to a party.

"Is that true? You went to visit your boyfriend when I sent you on an errand, right?" Mrs Lisa asked again with a frown on her face.

"I swear I did not. I only went to the market as you instructed me. I did not visit my boyfriend." Ortega replied, shaking her head in disagreement.

A heavy slap landed on her face after she said that. Ortega touched her face and she felt Mrs Lisa's palm imprinted on her face due to the impact of the slap.

"How dare you lie to me! Who do you think you are to do as you please, huh?" Mrs Lisa said as she pulled Ortega's hair.

"I said I did not visit my boyfriend!" Ortega yelled in tears and she pushed her stepmother away.

Mrs Lisa landed on her butts with a shocked expression written on her face. But her expression changed into an angry one instantly.

"Mum!" Vanessa rushed to her mother and helped her up.

"I'm sorry... I didn't mean to.. to push you." Ortega apologized with tears streaming down her face.

"I see you've grown wings. But I don't blame you. I blame that wretched mother of yours for giving birth to a useless child like you!" Mrs Lisa said in anger.

More tears streamed down Ortega's face when she heard that statement.

"My mother is not wretched!" Ortega fired back. Vanessa smirked and walked closer to her.

"Go and tell that to your mother wherever she is." Vanessa mocked and poked Ortega's forehead with her finger.

"No lunch for you this afternoon!" Mrs Lisa said to Ortega, then she faced her daughter.

"Sweetheart, where are you going to?" She asked.

"I wanna visit my new boyfriend and I won't be back until midnight." Vanessa replied.

"Alright then, take care of yourself and your boyfriend." Mrs Lisa teased.

"Goodbye mum." Vanessa replied and walked towards the door.

"Bastard!" She cursed Ortega, bumping into her knowingly. Then she walked out of the house.

"Are you gonna keep standing there like the fool you are or take those bags to the kitchen for me?" Mrs Lisa said.

Ortega carried the three bags and walked to the kitchen. The bags were quite heavy but she still managed to take them to the kitchen.

"Go to my room and pack all my dirty clothes then wash them. And you must not make use of the washing machine, you should wash those clothes with your hands." Mrs Lisa ordered.

"But my hands are wounded." Ortega said, showing Mrs Lisa her wounded hands.

"I don't care about that. Now get out and go wash those clothes!" Mrs Lisa yelled.

Ortega stared at her stepmother in disbelief and wondered why a human would be so heartless. Then she walked out of the kitchen.

That wasn't the first time she would be ordered to wash Mrs Lisa's clothes. Sometimes, Mrs Lisa would ask her to also wash Vanessa's clothes.

Vanessa wasn't allowed to do any chores In the house. She was treated like a princess while Ortega was the only person who did all the house chores.

That was the type of life she was living in her home. The life of a slave.

Ortega got to the room Mrs Lisa shared with her husband, Ortega's dad. A tear slipped out of her eyes as she stared at the picture of the man she called her dad.

Ortega never received the love of a father ever since she was a child. She was always treated like an adopted daughter while Vanessa was pampered and showered with love.

Ortega wiped the tear off her face. Then she packed Mrs Lisa's dirty clothes and took them to the backyard where she started washing them.

- Later at night -

Ortega was sleeping peacefully in her room when she suddenly heard a loud knock on the door.

"Open this door Ortega!" A masculine voice yelled from outside her room.

She got down from the bed immediately she recognized the voice, then she walked to the door and opened it.

"Good evening dad" she greeted the man who was standing in front of her with an angry expression on his face.

The man was Ortega's dad, Mr Nicholas.

"Come outside!" Mr Nicholas said angrily.

Ortega wondered what she might have done to make her father angry.

"I said come out!" Her father yelled and Ortega flinched in fright.

She slowly walked out of her room and followed her father to the living room.

"Your step mom reported you to me about what you did to her this afternoon." Mr Nicholas said as he unbuckled his belt. He removed his belt and held it with his right hand.

Ortega stared at the belt in fear and she moved three for steps backwards.

"Your stepmom said that you almost beat her up after she sent you to the market this afternoon. Is that true?" Mr Nicholas asked angrily.

Ortega's eyes widened in shock when she heard that.


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