Raihanna stormed out of the cafeteria, into the freezing open. The streets were quite busy; not even some weather could stop the world. But what about her? She needed the world to stop the storm raging inside her.
She did a quick turn to ensure that the man- she didn’t even get his name- wasn’t following her. When she was sure that he wasn’t, she started to walk slowly towards home.
What was she turning into? First a chronic liar, now a cheap slut? Where were the days of wearing Sana’ani dresses and black hijabs, and saying her prayers at every godly hour?
How much she loved to help the servants in the kitchen and play with her three younger sisters. When she weaved clothes and made jewelry, and travelled about five hundred kilometers to the central Sanaa Sana’a city by the market square, to sell them.
She didn’t have to work; her father’s wealth was enough to build her own empire. But she was young and naïve, and those things gave her so much joy.
‘You’re exactly what I asked Allah for,’ her father had said numerous times, with pride glowing in his eyes.
Then her veil had come loose one morning on her way to the market square landmark, and a foreigner on tour had told how exquisitely beautiful she was, and how she could have the world wrapped around her fingers.
He had gone his way, murmuring something about not clearly understanding why the people used traditions to imprison their women. But he had planted a seed of desire and self-consciousness in Raihanna’s innocent heart.
And she hungered for more.
Only Vladlena could provide what she hungered for. She only, made her feel safe.
Vladlena was her home.
It has to be done.
For the first time since she met Raihanna, Vladlena made a concrete decision. One that couldn’t be swayed by anything, not even love. She wasn’t going to throw away the long live relationship she had shared with her father just because of some cheap feeling.
Although a ruthless man, Alexei was her world. She had looked up to him since she was five, when her mother had walked out of their lives, in their little home in Tolyatti, Russia, because her body wasn’t accustomed to poverty.
Alexei had done everything possible to give his five year old a suitable life, even if it had involved moving from one region to another. All her life, Vladlena had believed her father was some detective who got transferred frequently because he was doing a great job.
But when she had hit sixteen, it was time to join the family business. Besides, her innocence came in handy; the victims trusted her far too easily.
So she had dedicated sixteen years of her life to serving her father and paying him back for not throwing her out to the streets. For believing she could be useful to him at the end. For using her.
It didn’t matter wherever she went to, whatever she did, whomever she fell in love with, she would always come back to her father.
Alexei was her home.