Millie Kang

Millie Kang knew her life was over. Her mother didn’t understand her anymore, and her father had never understood her. She sat alone in her bedroom, tears streaming down her face, her thoughts a mess, feeling like nothing mattered anymore.

“They can’t stop me from seeing her,” Millie said softly to herself. Thoughts of Amanda Mason filled her head again, and she wondered what had gone wrong.

They only kissed once, and she wasn’t even sure what it was, but Amanda’s parents, and her parents, had ruined everything. They’d been friends since the start of high school and had shared everything. When Millie started to feel differently about Amanda, she’d tried to hide it for a while, but after Amanda’s parents found it, it had all gone bad.

Millie’s parents were strict Catholics, a doctor and an engineer that emigrated from Singapore to Australia when Millie was only six months old. They’d pushed their only child her entire life to follow one of those paths as well, but Millie had lost interest there as well. The only thing Millie wanted professionally was in her hand.

She stroked her small Moleskine notebook softly, feeling the covers. It was nearly full now, with stories, poetry, occasional drawings. Writing was the only pursuit that made Millie feel good anymore, and it was all she wanted to do. Her father had laughed that ambition off, and her mother, while slightly more encouraging, had been dismissive about it as well. It made her feel angry, and she felt that build up more inside her.

Looking around her room, Millie saw the relics of childhood, barely changed in several years. Her parents didn’t let her see boys (not that she’d found one yet that interested her), didn’t let her go out much, and had always strictly controlled her activities. Suddenly, it didn’t even feel like her room anymore.

Millie stood with a purpose she hadn’t felt all day and allowed the rage to consume her. Her face felt hot as she ripped it all down. Pulled down wall hangings, dumped shelves on the floor, ripped up anything she grabbed. It meant nothing now.

“Got to get rid of it,” she mumbled softly, again to herself. Her parents weren’t home, and why she wasn’t locked in her room, she was used to them locking her inside the house. It hadn’t occurred to her before that it was draconian, bordering on abusive. It was just how things worked in her life.

She marched into the kitchen and picked up a book of matches from the top shelf. Without even thinking about the consequence, Millie went back to her room, piled the mess into a tight pile, then started striking up matches and lighting every single flammable thing she could see. A small fire took quickly, and she sat back on her bed and watched her old life burn. She sat on the bed and poured through her notebook again, wanting to escape into her mind.

What Millie didn’t think about at all was that she’d just set her house on fire. Later she’d sincerely wonder if that was her intention, but in the moment, it felt cleansing. But it had also blocked the door to her room, leaving the way out of the room blocked.

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