A Month. That's how long it's been since my husband left me after our first night together. After taking my virginity, he left without a word, and he still hasn't returned.

I stared at the tea cup on the table, my sighs incessant.

I live in my father's house now. Initially, I managed to stay in our house with Gio for the first three days, but since I had no one there except the guards and the house staff, I decided to come back here.

I still remember the fury in Papa's eyes when he found out what happened on our first night. He said I wasn't worth being a wife, so Gio left me. I let it slide because I was used to receiving hurtful words from him. He had always been like that to me, even when I was still a child.

"Millie, do you need anything? Maybe you're hungry," josie, our housekeeper, appeared.

I smiled at her and shook my head. "No, I'm fine. I'm not hungry."

After saying those few words, I was left alone again.

Papa isn't here now; he's at the company. Our company's status has improved since news spread that I married Gio Locatelli. Our stocks have risen, and more investors are interested.

Originally, it wasn't supposed to be Gio I married. I was destined to marry Marion Huff, Papa's friend's son. But due to unforeseen events, Papa wanted me to marry someone who could uplift our business, not drag it down. That's when the Locatelli marriage offer came, which Papa quickly accepted. Initially, he wanted Sienna to marry one of the Locatelli, but it seemed they wanted the eldest child, which is me. So, even though it went against Papa's wishes, he agreed.


My thoughts were interrupted by Sienna calling me, my younger half-sibling. He's Papa's child from his second marriage after my mother passed away. I was too young to remember how my biological mother died; all I knew was that she died from a severe illness.

"What is it, Sienna?" I asked him.

She smiled faintly at me, sadness evident in her eyes. "Do you want to come with me? My friends and I are going to the mall; maybe you'd like to join us? Papa has been scolding you a lot lately. Shopping might help lighten your mood," Sienna suggested.

I shook my head. "No, I'm fine. Go ahead and meet your friends. Don't worry about me."

Despite being only half-siblings through our father, Sienna and I were close. Aunt Elsie, my stepmother, also treated me kindly, so I consider myself lucky, even though Papa could be harsh.

Sienna nodded, though it seemed like she didn't want to leave me alone.

After a while, I decided to enter my room. I glanced out of the window as my sister left, and when she disappeared from sight, I chose to lie down on the bed and rest. I always felt tired, even though I didn't do anything.


I tightly shut my eyes upon hearing my father's angry voice again. I thought he was at the office today, but it seems he made a detour to come home and scold me. I could feel he was about to throw something new at me. I'm really not his favorite child. To him, I'm foolish, and Sienna is the perfect child.

"Enrique, just let Millie be!" Aunt Elsie intervened, trying to restrain him.

The door to my room forcefully swung open. I didn't even need to look to know who had entered. It was obviously Papa.

I got up to speak with him, but Papa slapped some photos onto my bed, and I saw Gio in them.

"Look at these pictures! Someone sent these to us earlier. It probably hasn't made it to the media yet because Gio's family is likely trying to contain it. Your husband supposedly has another woman."

I wearily examined the photos and let out a sigh. It was Gio with a woman I didn't recognize, seemingly at a grand party in another country.

"I don't know, Pa. I haven't heard any news from him—"

"If you had been a good wife to him, he wouldn't have left you here and taken you with him out of the country! You're not even a useful daughter, let alone a good wife!" Papa retorted.

I could still hear Aunt Elsie trying to calm Papa down, but he seemed unwilling to be stopped.

"Why do I have to be blamed because of his infidelity, Papa? I'm not the one who cheated, am I? I'm not the one who left on the first night. Why am I the one you blame? Shouldn't it be Gio—"

I stopped abruptly, almost getting slapped by my father if it wasn’t for Aunt Elsie who stopped his hand mid way.

"And you dare talk back like a child! You haven't contributed anything to this family except being a burden! You can't even be a decent wife!"

"That's enough! Let Millie rest. She's tired of everything you've been saying to her, Enrique. Have some mercy on your daughter," Aunt Elsie continued trying to stop Papa, but she seemed quite angry with me now.

"If that man comes back and divorces you, Millie, you'll be in real trouble with me!" Papa left after uttering those hurtful words.

This was the usual scene in our house ever since I decided to live here temporarily because my husband was gone. I always received criticism from my father, and it was always Aunt Elsie, my stepmother, or Sienna who defended me.

"Please forgive your father," Aunt Elsie said, approaching me and gently caressing my arm. "He's stressed because of the company. Some are speculating that your husband might leave you, and others want to withdraw their investments. Enrique is venting his stress on you."

I knew that Papa valued every investment and Gio greatly. Because of them, our company was recovering from the brink of collapse. Now, with rumors spreading that my husband had another woman or might seek a divorce, those who invested in our company due to the Locatelli influence might pull out their shares.

Since I was accustomed to Papa's outbursts and hurtful words, I just let it slide. I was used to Papa berating me; it hardly affected me anymore.

The next day, I was shaken by the news that Gio was reportedly returning to the country. I didn't know how to feel about that. Papa continued to give me lectures, warning me that Gio might return and seek a divorce. I remained silent.

After a month of abruptly leaving me, now he wanted to show up? If he really intended to divorce me, that was fine with me. What I probably couldn't handle was the harsh punishment from my own father.

I wanted to run away. I had tried that several times but failed in my attempts. When Papa caught me trying to escape, he would lock me in the attic for weeks. He would bring me food, but it was still a terrifying experience. Maybe that's why I grew up afraid of dark places.

"When Gio Locatelli divorces you, I don't know what I'll do to you! Your mother should have taken you with her when she died!"

I gritted my teeth. If I had no appetite earlier, I had even less now.

Perhaps the most painful thing was hearing your own father pray for you to be gone from his life.

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