- Chapter 9 -

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Mom came home nearly five minutes after I arrived and dad came almost an hour later. First, we sat at the dinner table and ate some Chinese food that dad had brought on his way home from work. I happily stuffed my face with it noodles because I was starving. I haven't eaten anything since I snuck out the house. It was quiet as usual. It has been like this since after the principal informed them about the situation on Thursday. I felt like I was given a slap on the wrist because I was only suspended for one day. I didn't mind staying home on the following Friday, only if things weren't super tense like they were on that day. After our eery quiet dinner, I helped mom clear the table before they began to bombard me with questions. Once again for the past five days.

"I didn't know you were sexually active."

"I didn't have to tell you two about that."

"We're your parents. Why wouldn't you?"

"Because I don't have to tell you guys everything? Do I ever ask super personal things about the two of you? No."

"Don't talk to your mother like that, Tiana. You really got the nerve."

"Next question, please."

"What made you commit a despicable act with that boy? What's his name? Taehyung?"

"I don't know, mom."

"Are you going to even answer these questions seriously?"

"I don't know? You tell me."

"Tiana!"

"What happened to you? You used to be such a good girl who always respected her parents and got good grades."

"I still do get good grades, dad. What does that even have to do with this?"

"I don't even recognize you right now. You're not the daughter we known and raised for sixteen years. You're like a whole different person."

"Because I'm finally growing up? I have to start living my life. I'm not going to be your perfect little angel forever. And I'm pretty sure every parent who has a teenage son or daughter goes through this."

"We understand that you're getting older, but that doesn't mean you have the right to disrespect us and go behind our backs to do bad things. Like you being around those boys. I don't think you should hang out with them anymore."

"Preventing me from hanging out with my friends isn't going to change anything. It's only going to make things flare up even more."

"You have no say in this, Tiana. We tell you what to do, not the other way around. Now, if we say that you can't hang out with those boys, then you'd do as we say and not hang out with them. Do I make myself clear?"

"To hell with the both of you then."

I got up from my seat at the kitchen table and ran upstairs, ignoring their calls for my name. I went into my room and slammed the door shut, locking it as well so they wouldn't get in. I sat on my bed and stared at the door as I heard the clicks of my mom's high heels getting louder as she approached my room. She knocked on my door and attempted to open it. Luckily she couldn't. She called my name several times but I continued to ignore her. Moments later, dad joined her and the two worked together to try to get me to come out of my room. I didn't pay them any attention as I remained silent and fell back onto the bed. I stared at the ceiling, their voices becoming more muffled as I tuned them out. I closed my eyes, slowly drifting out of unconsciousness. I could no longer hear anything and I was surrounded by nothing but darkness.

• • •

I had to be out for a couple of hours before my eyes shot open and I quickly sat up. I darted my eyes over to my alarm clock, looking at the bright red numbers. It was 1:16 am. Was I really sleep for nearly 5 hours just like that? I didn't even get to freshen up and change into my pajamas. But at least my parents were no longer outside my door. They probably gave up a few minutes later and went to their room. The things they said to me really struck me in the heart. They didn't recognize me? I'm a whole different person? Do they even know of something called puberty? Everybody goes through it. It's a shame that they get on me when them themselves were probably going against their parents and hiding things from them when they were my age. I didn't even want to see their faces when morning comes. I just need to get out of here and go away for a day or two.

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