The new place Freya had moved to was most certainly not an orphanage because the residents had the luxury of taking naps during the day. She found it peculiar that they didn’t eat breakfast together every morning, although they lived together, which meant that they didn’t interact much with one another. Freya soon became curious about the people in the house. She wondered what they did here, and her curiosity grew each day.
She observed that some people did chores around the house, but no one knitted, and nobody was out on the streets begging. Freya knew that the bread she was eating didn’t just come out of thin air, and she was curious about where the money came from. What in the world do these people do for a living? To add to her suspicions, she hadn’t done any work since arriving here, which was even more bizarre.
The moment she started questioning things, Shiloh appeared in front of her. He took off his long coat and handed one of the girls his wooden cane. The hair on his head had gotten a little thinner since the last time she’d seen him, but he was still wearing expensive-looking clothing.
“Mr. Vale. You’ve arrived,” Freya said sheepishly. She had a hunch that Shiloh wanted to break out of his businessman look and become a nobleman. And he had once said that he could buy a nobleman’s position if he wanted to.
“It’s been a long time,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Hello, sir.” Freya pinched her short dress nervously and bowed her head awkwardly. She was not happy to meet with the orphanage director.
“Alright, young girl. What was your name again?” The man’s glossy eyes scanned Freya’s wrists before studying her waist, chest, and neck.
The feeling was quite uncomfortable, naturally making her body tremble, and she was so nervous that she couldn’t make a sound. Her lips quivered for a while, and she barely managed to stutter her name, “I am F-F-Freya.”
“What kind of greeting is that to your father? Come over here.”
Freya had never referred to Shiloh as “father” when everyone else in the orphanage had called him that. It was awkward at first, and later on, she hadn’t felt like doing it. The man, whose eyes resembled a corrupt businessman, scanned Freya’s entire frightened body.
“You’ve gotten so big. Good.” Shiloh stood up and reached out to stroke her neck, chin, and shoulders. Then, his hand fell and patted her tiny waist. Freya felt repulsed by Shiloh’s touching and held her breath for as long as she could. She thought to herself that she’d prefer a beating from Sophia than standing there any longer.
“How old are you this year?”
“I’m fifteen now.”
“That is just perfect!”
She hadn’t a clue what he meant by that. It may have been a compliment, but she wanted to cover her ears because she felt uncomfortable listening to the sound of his voice. Freya trembled, gasping for breath now. The man was so gross that she felt like vomiting when she looked at him.
“Relax, young girl.”
“Yes, sir.” Freya thought she might indeed vomit if he continued feeling her up.
“Alright, Freya. The time has come to return the favor.”
She nodded fiercely, ready to diligently do what she had to. Whether it be cleaning or laundry, she would get it done. “I can do it well, sir.” She would have to live on the streets if he kicked her out, and terror grew inside her as soon as she imagined herself living a worse life than this.
When she balled her fists tightly, Shiloh nodded and continued, “You seem to have an understanding already.” He smiled, insincerely, as he stroked his long beard with his hand. “Freya, you’ll become a real woman here. And I’ll give you some nice clothes.”
A real woman? Freya thought about the people she sometimes saw in the streets: women who wore tight, short dresses and the men who smiled coyly at them. The ladies wore white gloves, and their hair was decorated with colorful accessories that matched their dresses. No way I’ll become a woman like that.
Freya couldn’t believe Shiloh’s absurd comment. She had never once even wished for new clothes, and she was confused by the strange way he was talking to her. Her experience was in cleaning, cooking, doing dishes, and helping Sophia get dressed up. She wanted to be assigned something she knew she could do well.
“Let’s take a look. Hmm.” Shiloh slowly scanned Freya’s body as if he were looking at products on a shelf. And then, out of nowhere, he shouted when he lifted Freya’s bangs, “Damn it! What is this?” The scar on Freya’s forehead was still visible, and Shiloh became enraged. He kicked the table and then threw a chair across the room. “That b*tch can’t even manage a product properly. What was all that money talk then?”
It sounded like he was talking about Sophia. Freya balled her fists even tighter, waiting for her turn to get cursed at when Shiloh screamed once again after lifting her bangs. Freya waited anxiously for his fist to connect with her face, and she clenched her teeth in fear.
Angered, Shiloh looked at her forehead once again and yelled, “Why in the hell is that scratch there?”
“Sorry. I forgot about it, sir.”
“You don’t even know how much this damage will cost me. You will never know!” Shiloh, who had been running wild with anger, sank to the floor and dragged Freya’s body down. Her body collapsed as she tried to understand his words. Someone save me!