Ever since the age of two,Fumiko was raised to be the perfect daughter and perfect wife for her future husband.All she's ever known was trying to her best exceed her father's incredibly high expectations for her,so she could make her father proud and be the daughter he always wanted her to be.
However,it wasn't easy to exceed his expectations because her father wasn't easy to impress.Making her sure her hair was always in pristine condition whenever he saw her often made Fumiko anxious.
Fumiko would wash her very long,jet black hair and comb her hair from the roots of her head to the sides of her hips three times,just to make sure a single strand of hair was never out of place.Her hair was also very thick & dense along with being really long and down to her hips,so it took her a bit longer to comb through her hair completely without cutting any corners.
Then,she would choose a hair accessory to compliment whatever dress and short sleeve cardigan sweater she was wearing.Usually she would choose a headband matching the color of the cardigan or a silver flower hairclip to pin a side of her hair back.
Fumiko didn't except much praise or attention from her father by doing what he already excepted from her,but she still put all of her effort in making a good presentation of her appearance since this what her future husband would want from her.At least that's what her father has always taught her,one of the myriad of lessons she was taught so far by her father.
But,taking near perfect care of her hygiene and physical appearance wasn't the hardest part of trying to live up to her father's expectations.Nowhere the hardest part,Fumiko always took extreme pride in her appearance and she actually enjoyed do so.
It was other forms of scrutiny of her personal life that would make Fumiko feel upset or even slightly perturbed.Fumiko's diet was one of those parts of her personal life her father heavily controlled,which lead to Fumiko becoming more and more self-conscious about her body.
She thought it was normal for a little girl to hate her body when she stepped on the scale,even though she was at perfectly healthy weight for a 10 year old girl...unbeknownst to Fumiko at the time.Her father's words and ways of "helping" made her feel worse,which only her diet worse.
"Honey,I'm doing this for own good...you don't need to get chubby because I let eat whatever you want." Fumiko's father said,cutting her dinner in half and putting the rest into a tupperware container.
Fumiko stared at her small, half empty bowl of white rice,half of a small piece of lean chicken,and a small serving of broccoli.She frowned at her dinner,hoping the half servings of her meal would be enough to get her through the night without hunger pains.Fumiko grimaced at the thought of losing sleep due to hunger pain and nausea-incuded hunger pain.
"Stop complaining,beauty is pain and you need to face the pain rather than whine about it."Fumiko muttered to herself,scolding herself for being greedy.
"Dad is right,you don't need that much food...don't be gluttonous."She mentally reminded herself,trying to show some self-restraint.However,her stomach said otherwise and let everyone at the table know by growling.Fumiko looked down at her plate and saw no food had remained,which shocked her and made her eyes widened almost as big as her dinner plate.
"Dad,I think Fumiko is still hungry!" Charlotte exclaimed,taking note of her younger sister's stomach growl and empty plate."She'll be fine,Charlotte. Fumiko is a little girl,she doesn't need that much food."Noah replied,looking at his oldest daughter with a look of annoyance.
"You did cut her food in half,that's probably why she's hungry."Naozumi chimed in,pointing his fork at his twin sister's empty plate.He rolled his eyes at his father trying to needlessly defend himself instead of taking responsibility for his actions.Naozumi wasn't surprised at all,his father always tried to justify his actions somehow....no matter how stupid they were.Even though the look he gave his father was a stoic one mixed with annoyance,he was growing worried about his sister.She always was seemed anxious or overly stressed out when their father was around.
"Dad,Fumiko is ten and she's going through puberty....you can't just deprive a growing girl of nutrients."Charlotte spoke up again,now giving her father a look of disgust.Charlotte knew better than anybody in the room because she had studied nutrition and how it works in medical school.She also studied and thoroughly researched about different types of eating disorders.It really shocked her how lightly her dad was taking Fumiko's nutritional needs.
"You should give her back the rest of her food,it would be considered starving a child if you didn't."Caesar responded,venom and anger too palpable to go undetected in his voice.He knew his father was narcissistic and only cared about himself,but this was a new low he had hit.Depriving his younger sister of half of her food then having the nerve to try and justify his actions.
Caesar turned his head just to glare daggers at his father,though probably couldn't tell with his long,blonde bangs covering half of his face.His arms were crossed and he could feel his eyes turn an icy shade of blue like they always do when he's angry.
Caesar could tell he just got the attention of his father with his unfaltering glare,bracing himself for an argument he knew was inevitable at this point.
"Are you threatening me?"Noah questioned,glaring back at his son."I'm tired of everyone giving their two cents on how and what I feed my daughter."Noah continued,irritated that his authority is being questioned by his other children.He didn't need to explain himself to them because they aren't raising Fumiko and he felt disrespected & disgusted that his kids were ganging up on him like that.
"Maybe we wouldn't give our two cents if you weren't always being selfish and narcissistic."Caesar retorted,turning his attention away from the ceiling light and back to his father."We told you that Fumiko is obviously still hungry and you just don't care that she is hungry."Caesar started,the same anger and venom in his voice.
"You refuse to give her back the rest of her food under the guise of "doing it for her own good" and not "wanting her to get chubby" because your own narcissistic bullshit!"Caesar yelled,the anger and venom in his entire body reaching its peak.
"You know what? I don't care anymore,I'm going to eat upstairs."Noah said,huffing as he walked away with his plate of food in tow."I can't believe I have to deal with this,all because my kids couldn't mind their own damn business."Noah muttered,walking up the first set of stairs.
As soon as his father was out of sight,Caesar stormed over to fridge and took out the tupperware that contained the other half of Fumiko's dinner.He put the container into the microwave for about one minute and waited until the time was up.Making his way back to the table where Fumiko was sitting,he handed Fumiko her dinner with the warmest smile he could possibly muster up.
"Here,you should eat...whatever Dad has told you,it isn't true and you don't need his approval for anything."Caesar said,hoping there was something he could say or do to make Fumiko realize that.He understood more than any of his siblings to be rejected by his father and feeling like it's the end of the world.
Before he could even finish his thought,he felt a small yet impactful embrace around his body.He looked down to see Fumiko hugging him tightly,burying her face in his shirt.
"Thank you for standing for me....you didn't have to do that."Fumiko declared softly,almost wanting to cry because she knew how cruel their father could be to Caesar.Or any of her siblings for that matter since their father only valued his goals and desires while everyone else's were nonexistent.
"There's no need to thank me,you didn't deserve to have any of that said to you....nobody does."Caesar responded,hugging her back while stroking her hair in an attempt to make Fumiko feel better.Caesar's words finally started to make sense to Fumiko,which made her feel worse the more she realized it.
Fumiko didn't deserve any of her father inflicted upon her.She didn't deserve to feel the constant,crushing pressure of perfect daughter or the perfect wife.She didn't deserve to not have a say in anything she wanted to do or wear.
She didn't deserve all of cruel comments about her father said to her any time she wanted eat something unhealthy.She didn't deserve to be told that her thoughts,feelings,and opinions don't matter nearly as much as her father's or her future husband.
She didn't deserve to feel like her father's personal puppet instead of a person with her own feelings and her own dreams.Fumiko felt so naive for believing that she could ever be unconditionally loved by her father.Fumiko felt so betrayed by him,knowing that her perpetual discomfort from everything he said and done to her....never actually mattered to him at all.
Fumiko felt so disgusting and used by the person she thought she was supposed to trust more than anybody.She was overcome and overwhelmed by these feelings that she expressed them the only way she knew how when things got really bad:crying.Fumiko began to sob softly into her brother's shirt because she couldn't take it anymore and he was person physically closest to her.
Her sobbing became more intense until she started to hyperventilate from the stress and emotional stress.During her sobbing,she felt herself being lifted from her chair and a hand stroking her hair.
When she finally opened her eyes,Fumiko felt a warm blanket over her small,petite body.She looked around to see where Caesar carried her and she realized that the room she was in belonged to Caesar.
"What's wrong,Fumiko?"Caesar asked,gently and softly."I know you're hurting and I have a feeling that Dad definitely has a lot to do with why you're hurting."Caesar continued,looking directly at Fumiko.
"Please tell me,I promise there is something I can do to try and help you."Caesar pleaded,hoping Fumiko would talk about what trauma she undoubtedly sustained from their horrible father."There's a lot of things he has said and done that has really hurt me....I couldn't just tell you everything in such a short amount of time."Fumiko explained,wiping the tears around her eyes.
"Just take your time,don't force yourself to talk about it all at once."Caesar responded,letting her know that he wouldn't force her if she was uncomfortable.
"I hate how he makes feel about myself,it's like nothing I do will ever be good enough for him....I feel like I don't matter at all to him and I'm completely worthless in his eyes."Fumiko started,holding her arms and looking at the edge of Caesar's bed.
"I'm not physically overweight or even close to it,but he makes feel I'm fat and ugly and every time I look the mirror....I see a fat,ugly girl that nobody will ever love."Fumiko said softly,closing her eyes like she was about to cry again.
"I'm so scared that I will meet a man like Dad and he'll treat me the same way...I'm scared most men are like Dad and that's why I'm afraid of most men."Fumiko confessed,squeezing her arms and avoiding eye contact with Caesar.
"I'm so sorry for being scared and I'm so sorry I wasn't strong enough to not cry."Fumiko said,genuinely not knowing what other way to express her remorse.
"I wish I could be the daughter Dad actually wanted,so maybe might actually he love me."Fumiko explained her thoughts,tears rolling down her cheeks."Maybe if he loved me for the way I was....I could love myself without fear of disappointing him."Fumiko confessed her biggest emotional wound and insecurity caused by her father,more tears rushed down her cheeks as a symbol for how many repressed emotions she had formed and kept hidden away throughout the years.
"I completely understand why you feel the way you do and I know what might you help you heal your suppressed trauma."Caesar responded,now somewhat relieved that Fumiko actually open up to him.
"Do you want to try therapy? Therapy might really help with some of the trauma you do have."Caesar asked,getting up off the chair he was sitting on to sit next to Fumiko."Even if it doesn't help for a long period of time,it really helps you learn more about your mental health and how to cope with it."Caesar explained,trying to convince Fumiko to give therapy a try.
"You won't fully heal from your trauma,but you will know how to cope with it."Caesar stated,wanting to be completely honest with Fumiko about how therapy helps people.
"So,you can be happier and lead a healthier,happier life....we all want that for you more than anything,Fumiko."Caesar said,hugging his younger sister.Fumiko noticed that Caesar was doing his best to try and comfort her,so she hugged him back.
Fumiko understood her trauma would never completely heal,but her heart definitely could.She wanted to be happy again and she wanted to be happy for everyone who actually cared about her.
"I want to try therapy,I'm ready to try and heal."Fumiko replied,hoping she would find the healing she needed to help close most of her old wounds.