"B..ro...ther..." A girl sprawled on the ground in a dark storage room reached out her hand to the only source of light by the doorway.
"Who are you calling brother, slut?!"
"He's not your brother, bitch!"
"B..ro...ther..." The girl kept on calling weakly.
"Shut up!" The girl was slapped by one of the girls surrounding the beat-up her.
"Lucas already has his darling, don't even dare to take up his time!"
"Yes, yes, that's right! Lucas already has Maria! Get lost!"
"Yes! Right, Maria?" The surrounding girls looked back at another person standing idly by the door.
"That's right. Lucas is mine. How dare she take him away from me?" Said the girl they called Maria.
"Yeah! How dare you?!" A henchman shouted at the weak girl who kept calling for her brother.
The girl named Maria walked towards the crowd.
She squatted in front of the weak girl and pulled her hair, making her look up.
"Lucas doesn't even recognize you as his sister. Why don't you just quit it and die?" Maria said. Maria immediately let go of the girl's hair, rather, she threw down the girl's head.
The girl was then back to lying face-down on the ground, unable to move any longer.
Still, she kept calling for one person.
"Shut up! We're sick of your pathetic calls!" A stomp to the girl's body.
"Your brother will never come for you!" Another stomp.
"Ah right, you don't even have a brother!" And another stomp.
"Don't think that by acting pitiful, you can get his attention, ugly bitch!" Maria kicked the girl's face on the ground.
"Let's go, girls." She huffed and called her henchmen out.
"You're lucky we're letting you off lightly." Said the last girl to go, spitting on the weak girl on the ground.
"B..ro...ther..." The girl called out once more.
The weak girl... she... Amelia... only wanted a family.
Kidnapped at age 2, she was sent to the orphanage once the kidnappers got their ransom.
Lucky to be sent to an orphanage instead of being killed or sold, or unlucky to not be killed and be left to suffer?
Amelia didn't know.
At age 5, Amelia was adopted by shady people for the support money. Amelia wasn't taken care of at all, always left to feed herself by herself with leftovers when her ‘parents’ were already done eating, always neglected and left alone by herself. At least, she was able to go to school as it was required for her parents to make her go. She received proper education, and for Amelia, she enjoyed going to it, as going to school was the only time for Amelia to be with other people. Amelia excelled in her studies. When she was in 6th grade, her teacher offered her an opportunity to study to a private school that offers more excellent education via scholarship. However, with the kind of parents she has, of course, she was unable to go. Instead, she went to a public middle school that wasn't exactly the best. Still, it didn't hinder Amelia. She instead always went to the library to make up for the difference in education.
However, when Amelia aged 13, she bloomed like a flower. Even her ‘father’ started to look at her in a strange way. Amelia, who became aware of it, became a little afraid. That's when she started wearing glasses, and cutting her hair very short to avoid the lustful gazes people in their neighborhood are giving her. Luckily, she was able to avoid the gazing from getting worse. However, her ‘mother’ who clearly saw how her ‘father’ looked at her became wary and jealous of Amelia. Every time something goes wrong, she blames it on Amelia. Every time she becomes frustrated, she pins it on Amelia. Amelia, being the obedient girl she is, kept silent all the time and took in all the harsh words and beatings.
When Amelia turned 15, she couldn't take it anymore and ran away from home. Her parents wanted her to not pursue a higher education and quit school, but she didn't want to, as she truly desired to learn. What's worse is that her parents wanted her to go into prostitution, to sell her body for them to earn money. Amelia didn't want any of that and ran away.
Amelia lived by working on part time jobs, faking her age. She didn't work in very respectable establishments that require strict processing of employee resumes, but she did at least work in decent ones. Though, the pay is hardly enough for her to get by. She went to high school also under scholarship so that took off her load a little, but she still needed to work multiple shifts on the job after school and during the weekends to eat and pay rent to her bed spacing in the employee dormitory of one of her part-time jobs.
But then one day, during her first day-off in a long while, she incidentally helped an old woman taking a walk in the park. The old woman suddenly had a heart attack, but luckily, Amelia was able to send her to a nearby hospital on time. But the hospital demanded her to pay initial fees. Amelia had no choice but to pay with her savings. Amelia thought how could she be very unlucky in life.
Amelia didn't know the old woman, and the old woman didn't have anything she can use to identify her. Amelia had no choice but to stay with the woman, as she could not be at ease leaving behind a sick person with no one to take care of her. But after a few hours, a few men in black, looking like bodyguards, barged in the room of the old woman. Amelia was too surprised to move from the chair she was sitting on, and she was even more surprised to see a woman who looked to be around her 40's, looking like the older version of her. Amelia had her fake glasses off that time, and though her hair was short, one could still not deny the similarities in their facial features.
The woman who also saw Amelia seemed to be as equally surprised herself. The woman suddenly gasped, covering her mouth, and a sob escaped from her. Amelia was entirely confused with that reaction. Then a man came in, and though he was also wearing a black suit, it was clearly more expensive than the others', and he went very close to the woman, so she guessed she was her husband. Then when he looked at where his wife was looking and crying at, his expression also became surprised.
"A-melia..." The man called out, looking at Amelia.
With that, Amelia became even more confused. "How did you know my name, mister?"
"You're really Amelia?!" The sobbing woman approached her, and a little frightened with the sudden outburst, Amelia was taken aback a little.
"Honey, calm down. We're not entirely sure." Said the man.
"B-but!" The sobbing woman began, but it seemed she was able to calm down a little. "You're right." She told her husband.
Then she once again faced Amelia. "Darling, you are named Amelia, you said?"
Amelia was a little wary, but nonetheless, she nodded.
"Where are your parents, dear?"
"I-" Amelia was about to say she ran away, but with these strangers, she just couldn't divulge such an information. "T-they're at home." She said instead.
"I see." The woman became downcast.
The man, seeing his wife became sad with that answer, asked Amelia, "Can we meet them?" His wife's eyes became a little brighter with that.
"Who are you people?" Amelia warily asked.
"Ah. Excuse us. Miss must have been too surprised. This is who I am." The man then handed a business card given to him by a bodyguard.
CEO OF ZHAO FINANCIAL GROUP
"?!" Amelia became very surprised with that that she immediately stood up and bowed down. "Sorry for being rude just now, sir!" Amelia hurriedly apologized.
"Dear, you don't have to apologize." The woman held Amelia up and caressed her face. "Can we meet with your parents?"
Amelia became stumped on what to say, but she finally let out the truth. "I- I ran away, ma'am."
"What?" The woman then looked worried. "Are you okay, dear? Are you living just fine?" The woman suddenly bombarded her with questions that are a little out of line for a stranger.
Amelia was taken aback once again, and didn't know which question to respond to first.
The man patted his wife, signaling her to calm down again.
"I'm sorry." The woman apologized, knowing what her husband meant with that tap. "You... just look to be my daughter." Amelia couldn't respond to that. How could people exactly, well not really exactly, but that much look alike?
"I- We lost her when she was 2." The woman continued. "Why did you run away?" The woman asked instead.
"I-" Amelia once again didn't know what to answer, her mind only being filled by the sound of the cardiogram beeping in the room.
The couple waited for her response, looking expectantly at her, that Amelia was pressured to say something. She couldn't take it and answered, "My parents were not my real parents, and they were not exactly the adoptive parents one would wish for."
The woman sobbed once again. "Perhaps, you really are..." Then she began full-blown crying, her husband drawing her into his arms, comforting her.
"Miss, would you care to go on a test with us?" The man asked.
"Test?" Amelia asked in return
Amelia became surprised. "Uhm, what for?"
"You... may be our daughter."
Amelia couldn't believe how things were turning out this way. How could they just offer to do DNA testing to a mere stranger?
What Amelia didn't know was that the couple was desperate enough to find their long lost child. The woman couldn't conceive anymore, with the difficulty she had with her first born. But even with all the connection they had, they still weren't able to find their child for more than 10 years. They were able to trace the kidnappers, but unable to find out where their daughter ended up. One of the kidnappers turned out to be one of their daughter Amelia's trusted nannies, and she and her accomplice were captured, but not before they already dropped off Amelia somewhere. There was a massive search done for Amelia, but in the end, she was never found.
"Um..." Amelia became stumped once again.
"Please." The woman looked back at her from within her husband's arms.
The plea made Amelia unable to refuse. "O-kay."
They manage to immediately take the test from another, bigger hospital. The old woman she helped before was also carefully moved to that hospital.
With all the rushing for the DNA test, it still needs time for the results to show, and so they weren't able to determine if Amelia really was their Amelia. Instead, they invited Amelia to their house for the meantime, but Amelia refused, saying she still had classes the next day.
The couple really wanted to thank Amelia by inviting her to their house, but Amelia was somehow able to adamantly refuse. The couple didn't push her to go with them any more, and instead got her address, since she didn't have a phone, and gave her money for the help. Amelia wanted to also refuse the money, but because the couple wouldn't take it back and she also needed that money as she didn't have savings anymore, she brought it home with her.
A few days later, a few men in black waited for her on her way to her part-time job from school. Amelia couldn't refuse, and so she went with them to see the couple once again, but not before letting her manager know. She can't afford to lose her job, after all.
But it turns out that she didn't need to do that anymore. The results of the DNA test proved that Amelia was indeed their Amelia. The couple became tearful, while Amelia didn't know what to do, or what will happen to her from now on.
What happened was that Amelia was taken back to their house, making her leave all her part-time jobs. Amelia couldn't refuse, now that she found her real parents. Moreover, parents that actually seem to care. Her existence was still not announced to the public, as her parents wanted Amelia to settle in first. And there at her parents' house, she met that person.
Her older brother.
Rather, her older step brother.
He was the typical rich boy, living a free life with an extravagant lifestyle.
He didn't like Amelia.
The couple was not able to supervise their children, as they thought they were already and enough, moreover, they were too busy with their work and plans to set up an international branch.
Because of that, they're out of the country often.
About the woman who Amelia saved before, it turned out to be Amelia's blood grandmother. Her grandmother escaped surveillance that day, saying she wanted to explore the outside for awhile by herself. Then her health suddenly weakened, and all that happened. Meeting her grandma, Amelia didn't know what to feel again. Her grandma was entirely different, though. She would often make Amelia go to her weakened self and hug her. But because of her health, she was brought to another country with better medicinal advancements to recuperate soon after.
With that, in the big Zhao mansion, only Amelia and her brother, along with servants who always stayed in the background, lived there.
Amelia continued studying in her current public high school, as only a few months were left before her graduation.
But for college, she went to the same university as her older brother, Lucas.
For the past few months in staying in the mansion, Amelia would do her best to communicate with Lucas, but he still wouldn't acknowledge her in the absence of their parents. Also, he would always be out with his friends, and though he never stayed the night, he would always come back very late.
When Amelia entered Lucas' university, she found out that it was no ordinary university, but a university for the rich and privileged. Amelia, just beginning to get used to the upper-class lifestyle, was not able to fit in, especially because social circles were already formed before due to everyone's connections with each other. She would often find Lucas to ask for his guidance, but he would still not acknowledge her. People also doubted Amelia's real identity, as she asked her parents not to put up a social debut for her, and Lucas didn't acknowledge her at all.
This was where her suffering started.
With Lucas, being what seems to be the King of the university, not acknowledging her, led to bullying.
And that's exactly how she lost her young life, still wanting to be saved and recognized by her older brother.
If given another chance to live, perhaps, she would still pursue to make him look at her. That's the kind of girl she is. Stubbornly pursuing what she had started, seeing through to the end the things she had begun.
If given another chance to live, she would strive to become stronger.
If given another chance to live, perhaps, her little life wouldn't just end like this.