I used the following words for this prompt, in random order:
Threaten Preserve Overjoyed Resource Product Behaviour Dynasty Harvest
She sat, blinking her eyes painfully against the light. I watched her anxiously.
I put my hand on her shoulder. “How long have you been sitting in the dark like this? You have to let some light into your life occasionally.”
“Not if it hurts,” she complained.
“You look like a mess,” I told her. “What is this downcast behaviour, lately?”
“It’s nothing,” she said.
“No, it’s not.”
She sighed, eyes decidedly closed now. She didn’t speak for a long time. “What?” she snapped.
“Nothing,” I retorted.
“Alright, fine…” She hesitated for a long moment. She sighed again, before hesitating again a few more seconds.
“Alright, if you wanna know… you remember how overjoyed I was about getting a compliment a few weeks ago about my new haircut? A week ago, someone spat in my hair and called me ugly. Then when mom saw me washing my hair out later, I told her, and she agreed with them, thinking I was ugly.”
I looked at her sadly, disappointed in my wife. “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to her tonight.”
“There’s just one thing I’d like to know, Fifi. Did he do anything else… after he spat at you? You know, because some people… can sometimes step outside their bounds.”
“No?” said Fifi, definite in her response.
“He didn’t threaten you?”
“No, he didn’t, dad!” she moaned, as though I had just asked her if she had put product in the wash.
“I’m serious, Fi, men can be like that.”
“Dad, it’s not like we’re living in some ancient dynasty in which slaves get whipped every day and die of internal bleeding or something.”
“Maybe not, but you should still be careful. You never know who’s out there ready to hurt you or kidnap you or something awful.”
“Yeah, yeah…” she said.
“Not ‘yeah, yeah’,” I told her. “‘Yes, dad, you’re right.’ Say it with me.”
“Yes, dad, you’re right,” she repeated with me in a monotone.
“All right. As long as you know,” I said. “Now, do you think you might be up to helping me harvest in the backyard tomorrow? I’m eager to see how those Roma tomatoes are going. Perhaps we can use them in a delicious homemade pasta tomorrow night, huh? What do you think of that?”
“Sounds great, dad,” she said, not entirely enthused. I supposed it would be a slow process to get her back on track again. It was hard work trying to preserve her optimism, especially with an outspoken mother like she had.
I still hadn’t exhausted my online resource. Still, it was tough dealing with a sensitive daughter.
Thanks again to Quill Shiv, for her writing prompts. It’s not as good as the last one, maybe. But still; tell me if it’s believable.