She was sitting down aimlessly in her parents’ room when she heard her phone ring from the other room. She sighed and got up to answer it, muttering something about who it might be. Her father was sitting gently rocking back and forth on his rocking chair, and he looked up at her as she passed by.
It was her friend, Umar, and she momentarily closed her eyes in mild irritation before attending the call. He’d have a task ready for her, as he usually did whenever he deigned to call. She wasn’t even angry, just a little annoyed. The electricity was out, and the backup system was malfunctioning. She didn’t risk turning on the lights in the open kitchen, where she took a seat at the table.
She attended his call and began to speak to him. Her guess was on spot, Umar did need her to write another story for his portfolio, because he was oh-so-busy, with exams and family drama, and it was just this one time. She didn’t bother making an excuse. She simply told him it’d take her an hour to get to it because…she was out of the house. There. She didn’t feel too bad lying, but she did feel a little odd when her father came to stand a little distance away.
As far as she knew, he didn’t want anything in particular. He just stood there, hands behind his back, rocking back and forth on his heels. She wondered why he couldn’t just go rock on his chair again. Then, he slowly went towards the refrigerator and pulled out an apple, and started munching on it, all the while not taking his eyes off her. She ended the call by the time he finished his apple and went back to the room inside. He slowly followed her inside, and said nothing but would occasionally glance her way.
They sat in awkward silence for a while until he spoke up.
“I want to check your phone,” he asked.
She knew this was coming, and he’d just lost any trust she had in him.
“Okay, you can have my phone,” she agreed, “but please refrain from talking to me again.”
He was flabbergasted, “I just want to check your phone, there’s no big deal about it? If you have nothing to hide…” he trailed off suggestively.
“It’s not about hiding things, dad. It’s about you not respecting my privacy. It’s about you not trusting me enough, and why should you? It’s not as if I have given you a reason to, right? By always listening to you, even when you yell, or call me names, by being the obedient daughter, by never being allowed to go out when everyone else is having fun, I have given you no reason to trust me, right? Does it even matter?”
Her dad repeated his request, rather demanded she hands over her phone. She tossed it over after unlocking it. He scrolled through every app, at an obnoxiously slow speed, and put her through a torturous inquisition.
By the time he was done, she felt no love for the man.
True to her word, she didn’t speak to him beyond necessary questions again.