Please Believe Me Papa

Hi all, here’s a new story. By new I mean a story which I wrote a long time ago, but haven’t been brave enough to post until now. Anyway I’ve decided to keep the story in the timeframe which it was written, partially as a challenge to myself. I’m also taking a risk by not ‘westernising’ my characters for once so please do let me know if there is anything which you’d like me to clarify. Do let me know what you think!

The doorbell rang, jolting Stephanie from her power nap at her study table. Groggily rubbing her eyes, she grabbed her phone and noted that the time was 6.15pm. That must be the mailman. Quick!

She got up from her bed and rushed out of her room towards the front door. Her package had arrived from the US nearly 3 weeks after she had paid for it. Hastily signing the release slip, she closed the door and examined the box closely.

Then her brother’s door slowly opened and she heard the loud beat music of the Dota game’s theme music emanating from within as he peered out.

“Another package eh? What teddy bear did you get this time?”, he asked.

“David, as if you don’t order things yourself!”, she said as she walked past him.

“No, just in case you ordered lingerie or something, then that would be hard to explain to dad.”

Stephanie rolled her eyes. “I like stuffed animals. Besides, I don’t even have a boyfriend, so what’s the point? Mind your own damn business.”

She shut her door and locked it. Setting the box down on her study desk, she hesitated for a moment, before deciding it would be more prudent to open it just before bedtime. After placing the box beside her bed, she stood up and picked up Mr Jinks. She had ten stuffed animals populating her bed, but she still preferred Mr Jinks, a turquoise - coloured bear. Giving him a tight hug, she returned to her chair and picked up her Thermodynamics notes.

Little space could wait. In a sense, homework could wait too. She had to figure a way to make dad agree to her going for the event, but how to convince him that it was harmless?

Chapter 1

It was past 8pm when Stephanie got interrupted from her work again. The front door was opening again, and Stephanie knew her dad was home. She took a deep breath, and adjusted her frilly blue skirt, before getting up to greet him. She knew that she had to be on the ball tonight, if she wanted things to go her way. It’s not impossible Steph, you will get it.

She entered the living room, and greeted her dad. David, as usual, stayed put in his room. She went up to him and took his plastic bags of grocery shopping from him.

“How’s your day Pa? Was it very tiring?”, Stephanie asked, a little awkwardly.

“Yes dear, of course, what do you expect huh? Driving around passengers from morning to night is very draining. Income has also dropped since these Uber and Grab came along”, Mr Choy sighed.

“Oh ok. Yeah my friends also don’t listen, they see it is cheap but don’t realise it’s safer”, Stephanie parroted, wondering what her dad would make of David taking Uberpool to school every other day.

“Come, I’ll set the table for you Pa, you go shower,” she said politely.

“Hmm you are finally hungry today.” he remarked.

“Oh, and while you’re at it, remember to iron your brother’s shirt, he said he’s going out to… to do mugging today.”

“Clubbing, not mugging,” Stephanie mouthed silently.

“What, young lady?”, Mr Choy asked in a low tone.

“Oh nothing, I’ll just iron his shirt after I set the table Pa, no worries. Anything you say,” she forced herself to say.

There was an expectant pause as Mr Choy eyed her with steely eyes. and Stephanie decided to go for it.

“Uhm Papa, speaking dinner, could I go for my friend’s house for dinner tomorrow?

“Dinner? What’s so special?”

“Oh…cos we wanted to stay up to watch the season premiere of Stranger Things 2”

“Stay out late? Stephanie Chen, you are a grown girl, you cannot be loitering out late! What will the neighbours say? And the foreign workers will harass you. No, you don’t have to go for this.”

Stephanie stared at her father in despair.

“But Papa please! At least let me go for the dinner. I’ll be back by 8pm, I promise.”

“Why can’t you be more responsible like your brother, studying instead of going out for parties like this?

“But I scored better than him for my ‘O’ Levels last year, shouldn’t I get to enjoy a bit this year?” Stephanie said with a straight face. Mr Choy nodded, without looking at her.

“Let me think about it,” he muttered.

“Papa, please let me go! All my classmates will be there. I’ll… I’ll help you clean the taxi this sunday”.

Mr Choy eyed his step-daughter. She said she’ll be back by ten, but will she keep her word?

Stephanie set down the packets of rice on the dining table and sighed. She knew it was unlikely he would ever let her stay out past eight, so it would have been a field day if he had said yes.

Mr Choy sat at the sofa watching the news bulletin. Stephanie sat beside him, with the hope of changing his mind. Various methods hadn’t yielded, so she decided to try her trump card.

“Pa, did mum meet her Polytechnic friends after she graduated?”, Stephanie asked slowly.

Mr Choy didn’t look away from the TV. His expression remained constant, weary that this was another attempt to get him to say yes. Stephanie waited patiently. After an awkward pause, he started.

“I don’t know Stephanie. She had stopped working before I met her, and she avoided her friends because of her divorce. Then after we married she was taking care of you and David. She did meet her sisters but not her friends,” he said.

He then sighed. “It’s a real pity she died when you were ten. I really loved her, and I still do. There are some things a girl can only learn from her mother, like how to hold yourself in society, and Papa can’t teach you that cos I don’t know…”

David’s door unlocked and swung open. He walked out with his hair gelled up and dressed head to toe in black. He paused to he tie on his Fossil watch which he got for his 18th Birthday. Definitely going to Zouk, his bag is too small to be carrying school notes.

“Pa, I’ll be back by 12. Don’t wait up,” he mentioned as he walked towards the door without making any eye contact.

“Alright son, study well,” Mr Choy said.

Stephanie watched the scene with indignation. “Pa…”, she started to whine.

“I don’t think he…” she began, but got interrupted.

“Pa, Steph didn’t iron my shirt properly, she forgot the left sleeve,” he shot as he tied his shoelaces.

“Oi! I ironed it properly, don’t lie!”, Stephanie spat.

“Stephanie, be nice to your brother! If you don’t iron it properly then how about in the future?

“Pa, I did… he’s not… Did he even ask you permission before going out?”, she questioned.

“No, he is eighteen, he doesn’t need to,” Mr Choy replied.

“Bye Pa. And bye bye little sister,” David said cheerfully as he closed the front door.

“Hmph, you only let your son do what he wants,” Stephanie mumbled as she folded her arms and sat staring blankly at the television.[I]

It’s not fair! Why does he get to stay out late while I’m not allowed to go for a classmate’s birthday party? I should have outed him right then. But what’s the point? Dad won’t believe me anyway. It’s not fair.[/I]

Mr Choy sensed his daughter was upset. He sighed as he contemplated letting her go. At least she still had friends.

“Alright Steph, be back tomorrow by 10pm. Do not be late,” he conceded.

Stephanie looked up, the singular tear from her left eye still glistening. Was he really letting her go?

“Y-es I will. Thank you so much Papa,” she said as she gave him a tight hug.

“It’s okay Lotus. Now go study, that’s enough TV for today,” he said.

Stephanie got up and went to her room, suddenly feeling liberated.

Wearily, she collapsed onto her study chair and picked up her handphone. She then started to type a message for her friend Stacy.

“My dad said YES!” - Send. Within seconds, her phone beeped with Stacy’s reply.

“Yay! See you tml!”, it read.

Putting down her phone, Stephanie then got up and went over to her closet, rummaging through her clothes. Jeans and blouse? Nah, too casual, I should probably wear a dress. She picked up a dark blue dress and surveyed it. It’ll have to do.

Putting it back into the cupboard, her attention then shifted to the box beside her bed. She peered up at the door to see that was indeed locked. Then she got a pair of scissors and began to slice open the masking tapes. She had skipped lunch twice a week for six weeks just to save up enough money for this.

As her items didn’t ship directly to her, she had used a postal forwarder, which consolidated her packages into one box for easier shipping. Her hands trembling with excitement, she opened the box, and picked up her first treasure.

Two pink NUK 5 pacifiers, wrapped in plastic packaging.

She stared at it, observing its orange and pink parts. She didn’t know what the parts were called. But she knew she probably had to wash them first, so she placed them on the bed beside her, and picked up the next item.

Pink Fleece Adult Footed Pyjamas - the packaging proudly announced.

Tearing open the plastic packaging, she unfurled it and held it open against her ceiling light. It felt as soft as silk. Hugging the material for a moment, she knew she had to wear it tonight to bed. But she put it down on her bed, to pick up her next item. The biggest individual package, it was the most discreetly packed, and was something she had been looking forward to - her very first ABDL diapers.

Stephanie tore open the packaging and held them out. She held four diapers in her hands - two ABU Cushies and two ABU Lavender diapers. She took a deep breath. The Lavender Scent smells so good!

Then she set to work. She placed an ABU Lavender Diaper and the footed pyjamas under her blanket. Then she gathered the other three diapers, and went over to her closet. Kneeling down, she pulled out the stack of old clothes from her bottommost shelf, which hid two identical baskets. She pulled out the first to reveal her stash of baby items. There were three baby pacifiers, a yellowed bib and a newer pink one, a baby’s milk bottle, and a tiny Doraemon blanket, neatly folded. She put one of her new NUK 5 pacifiers within, and replaced that basket.

Then she pulled out the second basket. This contained her diaper stash, and held half a pack of Goodnights XL, a pack of unopened Mamy Poko Pants XXL, and a nearly empty pack of Tena Value Adult Diapers. She stuffed the three diapers into the basket, and shoved everything back into place.

She paused for a moment, wondering if she should be spending this much money on diapers and baby stuff. Although a significant portion had come from her Chinese New Year’s Red Packet money, she still felt that her dad would be mighty upset if he found out that she had been buying diapers using part of the lunch money he had given her. But then again, I did work during the holidays part-time at the provision shop below, unlike David. And I don’t buy all those expensive computer parts.

Shrugging her shoulders, she picked up the other NUK 5 pacifier and went to wash it. Returning, she stripped off her skirt, sat down on her bed and picked up the ABU Lavender Diaper. Opening it up gently, she admired its cartoon motifs and deep violet sides. She slid it under herself and began to diaper herself.

Once done, she pulled off her t-shirt and slowly slid into the pink footed pyjamas. It’s soothing comfort kicked in even before she had zipped it up. Plonking onto bed, she rolled over and grabbed Mr Jinks. Hugging him, she curled up into a ball, her diaper crinkling slightly as she did so, and stayed in that position for a minute, revelling in the comfort of her sheets and her favourite stuffed toy.

But she knew she had to get back to work. Sighing, she sat up on her bed, amused that she couldn’t close her legs because the diaper was thick. Standing up, she waddled over to her study chair and sat down with a crinkle. She then pulled out her thermodynamics notes.

Interesting story so far, you have me on the hook and looking forward to reading more

Chapter 2

Stephanie was running. Her room door was open, and her dad was sitting on her bed, waiting for her with folded arms.

“Lotus, Lotus… You know that diapers are only for children, so why are you wearing them?”

No, it can’t be. Dad can’t have found out about them! She felt herself fainting, falling down, down, down into a miserable well of abyss.

‘Beeep, beeep”

Stephanie jolted awake, realising it had only been a nightmare. Groggily, she picked up her phone. It flashed 6.10am.

No! I cannot be late!

She quickly got out of bed and unzipped her footed pyjamas. Now in just her diaper, she folded up her pyjamas, and tucked it under her pile of clothes in her closet. But then, she felt a slight jolt in her lower stomach. Squatting, she released her gas.

Ignoring it, she sat at the edge of her bed in the darkness of dawn, and began to gingerly peel away the tapes of her ABU diaper. She knew from experience that refastenable tapes had a tendency to tear, but she was more worried that pulling them off quickly would make a sound that might awaken her step-father and step-brother. Once she had removed it, she stuffed the unused diaper between her mattress and her bed, intending to use it that night. Chucking her footed pyjamas into her closet she donned on her shirt and skirt, and went to take her shower.

As she entered the bathroom, she glanced at the toilet. She knew that she had to go, so she sat on it. She slowly peed, but after a few seconds of thought, she stood up instead and flushed.

Getting out of the shower, it was a mad dash to iron her school uniform and pack her school stuff. Looking at her watch, she knew she’d have to give breakfast a miss. She grabbed a paper bag holding her dress and high-heels, checked her room and her closet one last time, before leaving.

It was now recess, and Stephanie was sitting with her classmates at the canteen ravenously devouring her lunch. Sitting opposite to her was Stacy, sipping a just cup of tea in contrast to her famished friend, and her other classmates.

“You sure you can survive the rest of today on just that?”, Stephanie asked.

“I have to. Need to lose some of my fats,” Stacy joked as some of the guys chuckled.

“Just kidding, there’s going to be a feast tonight at Hillary’s birthday party, just preparing my stomach for the goodies!”, she added, glancing over at the birthday girl seated at the neighbouring table with their other classmates.

“Are we all meeting tonight before walking over?,” asked Isaac, a timid boy as he looked up from his phone.

“Yea, we can meet at Bayfront station at 6.30,” Lily offered, and the rest of the group concurred.

“Half the school is going to be there!”, Isaac fretted.

“So tell us Stephanie, how did you get your dad to let you go?”, Stacy asked.

“Well, I didn’t tell him about going to Marina Bay Sands, he’s too conservative. So I told him it was a 1SR11 class gathering at Hilary’s place, and it isn’t exactly a lie either. Even then he didn’t agree at first so I started to…”

“Hey Steph, isn’t this your brother David?,” Isaac interrupted, holding up his phone

Stephanie took the phone and stared down Isaac’s Instagram feed. It definitely was him, but who was this blue-haired girl beside him? And why was he holding her by the hips, while holding onto a beer?

“Yea that’s him,” she replied quietly as the rest of the group jostled to see the photo.

“She’s… She’s my second-cousin, and I’ve seen her hanging out with him for some time now. Her dad is a manager at some bank, so she’s quite loaded,” Isaac quipped.

Stephanie made a noise that resembled a rat being trodden on.

“Well, that’s none of my business. Explains his phenomenal dressing style,” she muttered.

“Speaking of dresses, what colour are all of you wearing? Should we colour coordinate?”, Lily asked, trying to deflect attention.

“I’m wearing a dark blue dress”

It was nearly seven by the time the group of six entered the Sands Ballroom. Stephanie winced as every step she took reminded of the amount of money she had spent on getting her hair and face done for tonight. Three people were late as usual but they decided to enter as a group.

The room was a huge event space, and it was crowded with youngsters, many of whom Stephanie couldn’t recognise and guessed were her secondary schoolmates. There were a good number of adults as well, whom she guessed must have been her parents’ business colleagues.

Being a repeat student, Hilary had just turned eighteen. So her parents, who worked at Great Eastern, had seen fit to throw a birthday bash for their daughter. And boy, they had let her go wild.

Hilary was standing at the front of the ballroom, beaming proudly as she stood beside her parents and brothers as they received guests. She was decked in a glittering sapphire dress with her hair done nicely, and looked like a modern-day princess.

The entourage of classmates made their way to the front to present their presents to Hilary, thereafter posing for a photograph with her.

“You look gorgeous,” Stephanie said as she hugged Hilary.

“Thank you babe! Enjoy the dinner, don’t be shy,” Hilary said kindly as she took her gift.

The group quickly sat down at their designated table and began to watch a band performance. Dinner was to be served soon. Hilary was still receiving guests, some of them were her friends, some of them were her parents’ friends.

At one point, a family group entered. One of the teenaged girls sported blue hair. Stephanie immediately recognised her. She exchanged glances with Isaac, who sat there nonchalantly. The man shook hands with Hilary’s dad while the girl hugged Hillary. But then, Stephanie felt a stab of panic. Was her brother around here somewhere too?

The girl was with her parents. She squinted and stared, but David was definitely not in that group. She had to keep alert, in case he did eventually arrive. If he spots me, he would surely out me to dad! But then again the girl was with her family.

“Relax Stephanie, I don’t think David will come here”, Stacy said over the music, as if she had read Stephanie’s mind.

“She’s probably playing around with him and besides, her rich parents might have in mind some suitor for her,” she added.

“But she has blue hair, they might be liberal enough to let her choose for herself,” Stephanie retorted, catching Isaac’s eye again on the other side of the round table.

“Ah, don’t worry too much, look the food is here - enjoy the feast!”, Stacy said, picking up her chopsticks and turning her attention to the first course. Stephanie reluctantly picked up hers.

“Happy birthday to Hill-ler-ry! Happy birthday to you!”, the whole room sang in chorus.

There was an expectant pause as Hilary blew out eighteen candles from her enormous cake, followed by a round of applause.

Stephanie felt her arm being tapped by Lily.

“Hey, could you girls follow me to the toilet? Now’s the best time to go, before the cake comes,” she said.

Slowly, the three girls got up and slunk out of the ballroom. Stephanie had convinced the others to not use the the toilets in the ballroom as they would have had to pass the blue-haired girl. It didn’t help that she couldn’t spot her in the crowd.

For such a huge place, the nearest toilets were supposedly located at the other end of the building, one floor down. The girls walked for nearly five minutes before they finally found it. It took a while to be done in their dresses, even more so for Stephanie, whose tugs in her stomach were starting to get pronounced.

But, they soon started for the ballroom, and realised that they were lost. Stephanie led them on, pretty sure they were on the right path. The corridor and the view from it looked familiar. But when they reached the end of the corridor, they realised they had missed the lift. Instead, they were facing a service staircase. The music and low moans of people moving above was now audible.

“Let’s just go up by here,” Stephanie suggested.

“But it’s a service staircase,” Lily protested.

“Don’t worry Lily, it leads right back to the ballroom, we can even hear it,” Stacy reassured.

“You girls sure?”, she asked, uncertain.

“Yes, yes,” Stephanie said as she turned the handle and opened the door.

A strong smoky smell filled their noses. Someone had obviously been smoking here illegally.

The girls quietly walked up the flight of stairs, mindful that their heels might alert the smoker. Stacy was leading the pack, and she stopped dead when she reached the top flight. The other two bunched up beside her, staring equally in shock.

Stephanie could not believe her eyes. The blue haired girl and David were lying passed out on the floor beside her, evidently passed out. But what was this candle and aluminium foil, and white pills? The truth hit her like a sack of cement. Slowly, she took out her phone and took a photo. She slip away from her family for this?

Quietly, the girls walked out of the stairwell, and the couple did not stir. They were now near the entrance to the ballroom.

Stephanie gripped the wall.

“Stephanie, that’s Syabu. And don’t ask how I know,” Lily said quietly.

“I knew that he was experimenting with cigarettes and stuff, but this?”, she whispered, more to herself than to her friends.

She then spotted the bouncers in the distance.

“Guys, please, not a word about this to anyone, even Isaac!”, Stephanie said, and lead the two of them back to their table.

The girls’ moods were muted as they ate their cake. But Stephanie waited just long enough to listen to Hillary’s birthday speech before admitting that she wanted to leave. The group of six then left the party, with the boys wondering what caused the sudden change in their moods.

<end of chapter>

Hey, haven’t seen anything from you since The New Wing. Good to see you back at it.
You may be happy to know that I don’t think anything needs clarifying. The different culture is apparent, but if you write it naturally, I see no reason for the relevant intricacies to be clear through context.

Thank you Vearynope!

Chapter 3

Clutching her bag containing her dress and heels, Stephanie walked as fast as she could from the metro station to her flat. She had hung out with her friends at the Vivocity arcade without keeping track of the time, and it was past ten already. Why didn’t I set a reminder alarm? She scurried into the lift and jabbed the button, waiting anxiously for the lift to reach her floor.

The living room lights were on. Papa must have been waiting for her. Butterflies populating her stomach in earnest, she slowly entered her house.

The sound of their evening constitutional news bulletin was blaring a little softer than usual, Stephanie thought to herself. She kept her heels, took a deep breath, and entered the living room.

“Stop there young lady.”

Stephanie stopped in her tracks, tightly gripping her schoolbag.

“You promised me you will be back at ten. What time is it?”, Mr Choy asked softly.

“10.20 Papa.”

“WHY SO LATE?”, he roared with fury. “DIDN’T YOU PROMISE ME?”,

“Y-yes Papa,” Stephanie offered quietly.

“You know very well that the neighbours will gossip if you stay out late. And you are seventeen, and you are still disobeying me. Don’t you feel ashamed of yourself?

“Yes Papa,” Stephanie choked, with tears welling up in her eyes.

“You don’t ‘yes Papa’ me for everything. As a girl, you shouldn’t stay out late, things can happen and society will speak bad about me. You have…”

“But Papa, David is still outside.”

“How dare you compare yourself with your brother? He is eighteen and he is out STUDYING! Not like you loitering around in the name of birthday parties,” Mr Choy snarled.

“But… But Papa, David isn’t studying”, Stephanie began.

“That’s it. First you come in late, then next you try lying about your elder brother? He even sent me a picture of him studying in his school library.”, he said, looking away in disgust.

Stephanie stood there, stunned that her brother had gone to such elaborate lengths.

But she had a picture of him laying high on the staircase. Then again, this wasn’t the best time to show it to him. It would be worth more to blackmail him with it. Moreover her dad would have become even more incensed at her for not having been where she said she was.

“If only I had a daughter, she would have been more ladylike!”, he muttered.

Those words pierced Stephanie like shards of glass.

After all, she was a helpless step-daughter, who insisted on calling him ‘papa’ instead of ‘uncle’.

“I’m sorry Papa, I’m really sorry. I got lost while taking the train, that’s why…”, Stephanie mumbled feebly as hot tears fell onto her dress.

Mr Choy glared at her for what felt like a full minute, his expression slowly softening. He sighed.

“Why are you young girls so helpless? Next time call Papa and say you will be late. If you are really lost I can come pick you up. Don’t loiter around, it is not safe. Understand?”

Stephanie nodded, hardly daring to believe that her ruse was working. But Mr Choy still felt that he had to drive the message in.

“Since you didn’t do it knowingly, I won’t ground you. But I want you to wash the taxi and vacuum the interior, for two weeks instead of one. Papa will help you. Is this fair?”, he asked.

Stephanie knew that this episode could have ended with a slap. So she mumbled a ‘yes, very sorry Papa’, before scurrying to her room.

Stephanie had just stepped out of the bathroom when she heard the sound of the front door opening. David was back. She waited, out of sight in the kitchen, as she heard him walk over to his room as he ignored Papa’s single-line greeting to him, before slamming his door shut.

She returned to her room to hang her towel to dry. Taking in a deep breath, she picked up her phone and walked out, past the living room where her stepfather was, and stopped in front of David’s room.

‘Knock knock knock’, Stephanie rapped at her brother’s door.

“Go away, I’m changing,” came a bark from within.

Stephanie sat down on the sofa in the living room, albeit at a distance from Mr Choy. Apart from the initial glance when she had entered the living room, his eyes were focused on the television. She still felt shaken from her encounter half an hour ago, but now she had more pressing matters to settle. Five minutes passed, and she went up to the door again.

‘Knock knock knock’, Stephanie went again, with Mr Choy eying her.

“What?!” replied a highly irritated voice.

“Kor kor, I want to talk to you,” Stephanie said, trying to put on a somewhat normal voice.

There were a few footsteps, then the door opened. David left the door open and shuffled back to his bed. Stephanie entered and closed the door behind her.

She never really liked entering his room. The windows were hardly ever opened, his study table was a mess of books and gaming paraphernalia, his clothes littered the floor and she was forbidden to sit on his bed on by their dad so that meant she usually had to stand as David was always seated on his chair. But this time he was already lying on his bed, with his party clothes still on. Stephanie wondered why Papa didn’t ever suspect the mismatch.

“Make it quick. And this had better not be about some school concert!”, he said, his speech still slightly slurred. She decided to heed his words.

“Oh dear Kor Kor, don’t worry. Cos all the times you make me do your laundry and your chores based on the fact that I’m the ‘woman of the house’ are coming to an end now,” she said, perhaps even cheerfully as she sat down on his study chair.

“What talking you? Did your friends put ‘ideas’ into your head during your tea party just now?”, David sneered as he gestured an open-and-close quote.

“No, but I found out your secret and that gave me ‘ideas’,” Stephanie said, mimicking his hand gesture.

The effect was immediate. David sat bolt upright on his bed.

“What rubbish? I… I don’t keep secrets! I’m very… open,” he started unconvincingly.

“Mhm. Then what about your good time at the MBS party tonight eh. Seems you were ahem… high up the staircase…”, Stephanie chuckled at her own pun.

“W-what? Nonsense. You have no proof I was high,” David spat out, before realising his mistake.

“Ah, so you admit that you were high eh? On Syabu nonetheless!” she screeched.

“Lies lies LIES. Who is telling you this kind of lies?”, David yelled, his voice very loud, knowing his expression had given it away.

From the living room, Mr Choy had overheard some raised voices.

“Dave, Steph, don’t argue at night,” he raised his voice.

Steps looked over at her brother. For the first time in as many years, she was seeing true fear manifesting in her brother’s eyes, when it would usually be the other way around. She had intended to merely blackmail him, but the temptation within her grew to out him right then to their dad.

As if he had read her mind, David shook his head violently and started thinking. There was no way she was talking about it.

“I mean, anyone can tell dad I was drunk on Samsu or something. But you don’t have proof, and if you did, you probably photoshopped it,” he spat.

“Oh yes I was at MBS alright. But don’t worry, Dad won’t be half as angry if only he knew that his goody two shoes son, his only son, was actually a drunkard who was dating some high class blue-haired bimbo.”

“Shut up! No, you don’t have proof. There’s no way you can prove this. And even if you do, dad will just punish you with Taxi chores,” David shuddered, evidently frustrated.

“Oh yeah, then what about this?”

Stephanie held out her phone, which flashed the scene from earlier in all its glory. Then she started to recoil into her seat, for she realised that she had unleashed a monster.

“FUCK YOU DELETE THAT PICTURE,” David roared as he lunged forward onto his step-sister. He trapped her in her seat and there were yells and high-pitched screams as David attempted to snatch away the phone from Stephanie.

“What is going on in here?”, came a low voice.

Both of them looked up to see the door had been opened and that Mr Choy was standing in the doorway.

David stood up and looked sheepishly at his feet, knowing that he must have looked very criminal about the way he appeared to force himself at his step-sister’s phone. Stephanie began to cry in earnest, the hard blows her step-brother had landed on her head and chest were excruciating.

“You are not children. It has been years since you two have fought this roughly. David, what is this, why are you beating your sister, a woman?”

David stood there silently, while Stephanie attempted to wipe away her tears. Mr Choy walked over and hugged Stephanie, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“I had expected better from you son. Whatever you are arguing about I’ve told you to never fight someone over it, much less hitting a helpless girl…”

“She’s not helpless Pa,” David started.

“Silence! I want to know, what exactly was it in you phone that you two were fighting for,” Mr Choy said, looking straight at Stephanie.

“It’s… it’s n-nothing Pa,” Stephanie stammered.

“Yea it’s nothing,” David croaked along.

“No, it was definitely something which I think I should know about. Show it to me this instant!”

David looked at his toes, looking ready to accept the death penalty while Stephanie silently unlocked her phone and passed it to Mr Choy.

He looked at the screen for a few moments. David collapsed onto his bed, his face as white as a ghost.

“Is this what you were fighting over, David. A silly picture?”, Mr Choy asked with a tone of incredulity.

David looked up. The phone screen flashed a picture of his WhatsApp Profile picture, which had been defaced with the words ‘Chief Irritant”.

<end of chapter>