Chapter 4- Punishments, humiliation and an extra baggage
“Who’s playing hide and seek? I wouldn’t want to stay here if I were given a choice!” The kid stated haughtily.
Is that something you should say while crouching in the space between suitcases? Whoa! She’s wearing a cashmere coat in this kind of weather!
Ralia just raised an eyebrow then grabbed the handle of one of the suitcases. This action broke the makeshift hiding place revealing the girl who was hiding inside.
“No! They might see me, you fool!” The girl replied while grabbing the luggage. “Why do you think I was hiding here, stupid?”
Nydia thought she heard something snapped. She looked to her right and left thinking it was one of the bag straps. Then she saw her big sister wearing one of the kindest smiles she had ever seen on her. She felt cold sweat on her back. Ayna reacted even faster than her and already took three steps away from them.
“Hohoho! Fool eh? Stupid? I see… Hohoho!”
Nydia knew her sister didn’t like kids, especially kids who were disrespectful. She remembered her sufferings when she was young and couldn’t help but shiver. She silently prayed for this kid.
All of a sudden, Ralia’s arm shot up and grabbed the kid by the scruff of her neck and pulled her out of the luggage’s encirclement.
“Eeek!” The kid screamed in surprise and disbelief.
The kid kept struggling as she was dragged backwards to the busiest area of the terminal. She kept shouting “Stop!”, “No!” and “Let me go!” attracting attention.
“Stupid… kid…” Ayna said with a shake of her head. Nydia could only nod in agreement. Ralia was the extreme type when ditching punishments. It was either destroying what you love or making use of what you hate. Afraid of snakes? Get imprisoned in a room full of snakes for days. Taking three days to finally finish a 3,000 domino stack? She’ll quietly kick the stack just before you place THE VERY LAST PIECE.
She and Nydia carried their entire luggage while maintaining a few steps away from Ralia and the kid. The distance was enough for them to hear the voices of Ralia and the kid but at the same enough to be mistaken as total strangers from the people who were making a scene.
“Is this going to be okay Ayna-nee?” Nydia asked worriedly as she looked at the surroundings. “Won’t the security come and restrain Ralia-neesan?”
Ayna shook her head. “All I can see is a kid… being dragged… by her smiling guardian… Scary!”
She was right. Right now Ralia was wearing a saint-like smile as she walked in the middle of the large crowd. If she was raging mad, some kind-hearted individual might try to stop her from what could be abuse of the kid. But Ralia had a soft smile in her face confusing others.
“Why is that woman smiling while dragging that kid?”
“Are they going to the dentist?”
“Is that kid being punished? But that lady doesn’t look like she’s mad.”
“Is there a camera somewhere? Is this a prank?”
The people didn’t know what their reaction should be and so Ralia was able to bring the kid from one end of the terminal to the other. By the end of their ‘stroll’, the kid was a sniveling mess due to anger and embarrassment. She felt that she had another reason for hiding. All her hard work became useless after that public humiliation.
Nydia offered the kid a handkerchief. They were outside of the terminal waiting for a taxi. On the other hand Ralia had a satisfied look at her face. She didn’t seem to care that people were giving her weird looks.
“Don’t worry! It’s done now.” Nydia said in a soothing tone.
“Yeah! My life is done! I’ll die!”
Ralia clicked her tongue in annoyance. “You won’t die from a little embarrassment.”
“I remember some of the people were taking videos earlier. This kid might never be able to show her face in this bus terminal ever again.” Nydia said with a sighed. And so does Ralia-neesan.
“Ah! It’s already… in youtube…”
Ayna held her phone in front of them, a video was playing in the screen of little girl wearing expensive cashmere coat being dragged by a woman with a kind smile.
“Nooo!” The kid cried even louder.
Nydia was troubled. She looked at Ralia who wore an even wider smile when the kid cried louder and to Ayna who was already occupied with her phone ignoring everyone else. Obviously, the job of placating the girl fell on her shoulders.
Haaa… The troubles of having a sadistic sister and an apathetic sister.
“There… There… Don’t cry.” Nydia said as she stroked the kid’s back. “Didn’t you say you were hiding? Why don’t we calm down a little? Other people will easily find you if you are too loud.”
“What’s the point?” The girl spat. “With what happened earlier I’m sure somebody has already seen me and informed my uncle that I was here.”
Ralia just shrugged her shoulders as she flagged a taxi. They loaded their things with the drivers help at car’s trunk.
Nydia could only helplessly look at the girl. She felt guilty that her older sister traumatized the poor kid but couldn’t stay any longer to soothe her. They were in a tight schedule.
“Hurry up, you useless brat!” Ralia shouted. She was already sitting inside the taxi with Ayna. Nydia pat the girl’s head as she said a simple goodbye. The kid seemed to look distracted looking at her right side. Nydia entered the taxi.
Suddenly someone pushed her inside the taxi causing her to crash on top of her older sisters.
“What the hell?”
Various voices could be heard at the backseat of the taxi. The driver was amused with the situation he saw in his rearview mirror. On the other hand, Nydia felt she just jump off a cliff into a magma pit. She tried to right her position and get off her sister’s but she lost control of her limbs for a few seconds. Not to mention, there was someone who was making herself comfortable at her end, pushing her towards her sisters.
She knew she was going to regret it but still looked at her older sisters’ faces. Ayna looked like she was ready to chop of Nydia’s head and arms while shouting various curse words. Ralia on the other hand got squeeze towards the other door. She just looked annoyed. She might have used all her anger points earlier when she went for a stroll with the kid.
The car door slammed shut as the same kid from earlier shouted, “Drive!”
“No!” Unexpectedly it was Nydia who reacted. She was already in a sitting position having survived Ayna’s verbal barrage. It was a tight fit with four people squeezing in the seat even if the fourth one was a kid. Usually Nydia would squeeze herself to the car door to give her sisters ample space. She couldn’t remember how many times Ayna’s temper got triggered because there wasn’t enough leg room for her to move around.
The kid glance at the back of the car and panicked. “They found me! We have to hurry!”
“A runaway?” Ayna asked in a voice full of thorns. Uh oh! Looks like Ayna-nee lost her temper. I hope she doesn’t get violent. I’m sitting between her and the kid! *sob*
“No! They’re here to kill me!”
“Then die! Do we look like we care whether you live or not?”
“Uhmmm… Ayna-nee you’re talking to a little child. I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell her to just die. Besides I wouldn’t want anyone to die even if it’s a person I just met. So let’s calm down, okay?” is what Nydia wanted to say in this situation but stayed silent. Like what was mentioned before: she wasn’t suicidal. Especially now she was in a close-space with absolutely no distance from her sister.
“But it’s your fault they found me! I just wanted to hide until I get a chance to ride the bus to Sogid city.” She wailed. The kid seemed to have forgotten it was her who decided to hide under their luggage.
The kid kept glancing towards the back while talking. Nydia got curious and turned her neck to look. There were a lot of people coming in and out of the terminal but Nydia still found them. There were two men wearing suits heading there way. One of them was talking to the phone while the other guy was staring hard at their direction.
“You commoners wouldn’t understand! I need to get away from this city or my uncle will kill me!”
“Who are you calling a commoner?”
“Somebody still uses the word commoner these days?”
“The three of you, SHUT UP!” Ralia shouted. She was even frowning at Nydia.
Eh? But this is the first time I opened my mouth. Alright, maybe my voice was the loudest but still!
“Mister, let’s leave.” Ralia spoke to the driver.
The driver who was just waiting the whole time started to drove away. Shouts could be heard outside. The two men who finally caught up with them tried helplessly to make the car stop, slamming the trunk and trying to open the car door that was locked. The kid held onto Nydia’s chest trembling the whole time. She looked genuinely frightened. Nydia didn’t know how much the truth in what the kid was saying but she decided to believe in her.
“Are you kidding me Ralia? Don’t tell me you decided to help this kid?” Ayna ask in annoyance. Meanwhile Nydia’s eyes widen in surprise.
Could it be? Ralia-neesan noticed that the kid was scared and felt sorry for her? She decided to help? Really?
“What the hell are you talking about? I guess you didn’t realize the meter was already running since we sat in the taxi?”
Ah? As expected, this is the real Ralia-neesan.