"Why don't I have a brother?"
"Because you need a mommy to have a brother."
"Why don't I have a mommy?"
Lili's father's tone went from relaxed to serious.
"You don't have a mommy because you killed her."
He stood up from the chair he was sitting in and put the newspaper he was reading down.
"Go to your room now, Lili. I'm going to work."
Lili's father grabbed his briefcase and headed for the door. Lili sat on the ground where she had been playing before and asked,
"What is it, Lili?"
"Can you get me a brother?"
He said nothing, instead he walked out the door and left her there.
She stood up and ran to the window. She watched her father pull out of the driveway to their house and drive away. He'd left her alone in the house again. He hadn't assigned anybody to take care of her, not a nanny or a relative or a neighbor.
Lili got hungry, so she went to the kitchen. She was too short to reach the cupboard, and there wasn't much to eat anyway, so she drank some orange juice from the carton, some of it dripping onto her dress.
'I didn't even get to tell daddy that I love him before he left again..'
Lili was not underprivileged at all. Her father was quite wealthy. He provided everything for her; pretty dresses, shiny shoes, toys, a radio to listen to and a television to watch, he even braided her hair before he got ready for work.
But he ignored her.
He didn't even feed her regularly. She was somewhat small for her age because of the lack of food.
On weekdays when she went to school, he didn't even say goodbye, or 'be good'. When she achieved something, he dismissed it. When her teachers called to tell him how well his daughter was doing in class, he said he had other things to do. He simply bought her the school supplies she needed and dropped her off.
The title 'Daddy' meant nothing to him.
He never smiled at her, never hugged her, never complimented her. Lili never received an ounce of affection from him. Not since she had been born.
This was why she wanted a brother; so she could have someone who would pay attention to her.
Lili was now stuck at home for the day until her father returned. She turned on the television and flipped through the channels. Television wasn't going to help anything. All the shows had a perfect family. A mommy, a daddy, a sister, and an older or younger brother. Why didn't she have a mommy and a brother?
"You don't have a mommy because you killed her."
"Your mommy's dead. You took her away."
"You're a killer, Lili. Did you know that? You killed somebody."
Whenever Lili asked about her mother, she was always reminded of this. Her mommy was dead. Had she really killed her? How could she kill somebody she never even knew?
Lili turned the television off and went to her room.
Lili had countless dolls that her father bought her, and began to play with her two favorite ones. She had only one boy doll. Whenever she played, she always picked the one she thought looked most like her and the boy. She'd pretend that they were brother and sister.
"I wish I had a brother so that he could play dolls with me. He would be the greatest brother in the world! He'd love me a lot and play with me and go places with me. If I had a mommy, she would too! Daddy's boring, if I had a mommy and a brother it would be perfect."
Lili put the dolls down and went back to the living room. She looked out the window and squinted to look at the park a few blocks away. She saw all the other children playing with their friends and siblings and felt longing for that once again.
She looked around the house. She was still the only one there. Her father wouldn't be back for a few hours..
She closed the door behind her and began heading for the park.
She sat on the swings and idly pushed herself back and forth. It wasn't lonely here, but the kids weren't coming to talk to her, nor was she talking to them. Still, it was better than being alone in her house.
"Okay, you go talk to that girl over there and get her to come here, you got that?"
The little boy nodded and happily went to the playground where Lili was.
Lili was still on the swings enjoying the sound of laughter when a boy younger than her came to her.
"Oh, hello." she greeted.
"Hi!" the boy said.
"Um.. What's your name?"
Lili was happy that the boy was talking to her, but she had no idea what to say.
"You look like my big sister!"
"Yeah. But she died."
"Oh, that's really sad, Hugo. My mommy died, too."
Hugo reached for her hand and held it. "Come and play with me! You can be my big sister of you want!"
'Big... Sister? That means... That means I'll have a brother! A pretend one, but he'll be my brother!' Lili thought.
Lili got off the swing and followed Hugo to where he would lead her. Behind the park there were some woods which Hugo led her through.
"Come on, just a little further!"
She continued to follow him until he suddenly stopped in front of some parked cars. "What are we supposed to do here?"
Suddenly, the door to a van opened and Lili's eyes and mouth were covered as she was forced in. She only saw she other cars, then darkness. She couldn't say or see anything.
The last thing Lili remembered was falling hard against the ground somewhere with a dull, stinging pain everywhere. She could feel the life escaping from her. She didn't know what those people did to her, but they left her alone and defenseless.
"W-what do I do?"
She stood up and managed to walk a few steps before finally collapsing.
"Hey, are you okay?"
The rain was pouring heavily.
A man with blonde hair and merciful emerald eyes was looking at her.