PDM Chapter 28
Kyle Harace. The man I married and the hero of war. At a young age, he revived his family’s noble status.
I still couldn’t forget the day I first saw Kyle two years ago.
It was like a vision.
Kyle’s gentle call coaxed me out of the illusion. It was only then that I realized I had been crying.
When I turned, I saw Kyle’s hand approaching me, and so I quickly wiped the tears away with the back of my hands. If I didn’t, he would have probably done it for me.
I turned my face away from Kyle’s hand, then he dropped it and moved away.
How ridiculous. You deceived me with your fickle kindness and fueled my heart to hope in vain.
Kyle’s eyes widened in surprise at the distant way I addressed him. His eyes trembled for a moment, and he clenched his fist and shook his head. Ironically, his eyes were filled with sadness and guilt.
Why? I finally realized my situation and wanted to live a new life. I looked on at his guilt with indifference.
“Aelle, that day…”
“I’m not curious.”
Kyle, who rarely lost composure, looked stricken. So he could actually make a face like that because of me. I didn’t have any feelings for him, but I had to admit it pleased me.
On the other hand, his eyes were filled with sadness, and I scoffed at it.
I didn’t know what he was sad about. I glared at him.
“Don’t get me wrong, Your Grace.”
“The reason I’m crying isn’t because of you, nor because of the child.”
“I’m crying because I feel sorry for what I’ve been doing for years.”
‘Please, marry me, Your Grace.’
“Please, divorce me, Your Grace.”
Kyle frowned and lowered his head. His gaze slipped away from me, and he stood.
“I’ll call for a doctor.”
“Please, divorce me.”
“Please, divorce me.”
I whispered my plea over and over again. Kyle clenched his teeth, rubbed his face in frustration, and sighed.
“Aelle, you need stability. It hasn’t been long since you got your energy back–”
“I’m more fine now than I’ve ever been. No, I’m rather grateful to you. I finally came to my senses,” I cut him off for the first time.
Kyle sighed and turned around as if he had decided that I was incapable of having a proper conversation.
“I’ll call the doctor, so rest.”
Nothing changed. Even if Kyle called a doctor, even if he returned, even if the world changed, there was only one thing I wanted.
“Madam, the sun has risen. You must get up.”
“The doctor said you should live life as usual.”
Laura woke me up from my deep sleep. I slept all day without even eating or talking except when I asked Kyle for divorce. It was nice not to think about anything when I fell asleep.
One day, Laura hovered her finger under my nose to check if I was breathing or not. Another day, Lil and Mas were there, and another, Kyle leaned against the wall, his arms crossed, as he stared intently at me.
‘Please, divorce me.’ I didn’t speak, but the words repeated in my mind.
I looked at Laura, Lil, and Mas. I was glad they stayed. If not, it would have added to the pain of losing my child and the loneliness of being left behind by my husband.
Lil and Mas were unexpected. They hated me initially, so I thought word would spread among the employees in no time. Later, I figured that Kyle ordered them to stay quiet.
“Madam, I brought you a meal.” Laura’s voice freed me from my thoughts.
I propped my arms to try and lift myself, but my body collapsed back to the bed. Laura made a pitiful noise before supporting me to lean against the headboard.
“Madam still doesn’t have energy, so I’ll feed you.”
Laura sat by the bedside, holding a tray of mushroom soup. Laura scooped soup with the spoon, supported its bottom with her palm, and brought it to my mouth.
I shook my head, and Laura groaned, putting the spoon down.
Laura put the tray on the side table and grabbed my hands, almost desperate. As she bowed her head to hide her bitter feelings, her white hair stood out.
Mas, who was quietly observing the situation, approached with a sunflower. She held the flower, her shoulders drooped, and her eyes bloodshot; she was the perfect picture of someone mourning the death of the deceased.
To Mas, I must have looked like a dead person. If I was neither alive nor dead, then what was I? All of a sudden, I thought it was worthless.
“Madam, it’s the sunflower you liked. It’s bloomed so tall and beautiful,” Mas said, holding out the flower.
I only stared at her, crying and gripping the sunflower, and did nothing to receive it. Before long, the sunflower in her grasp was twisted.
“Madam…” Mas buried her face in her hands and sobbed.
“Mas,” Laura called Mas sternly, pulling her away from me.
I heard Laura scold Mas. She told her that if the maids cry, the mother, who is in sorrow after losing her child, will have a hard time crying. Instead, they should be consoling the Madam, she said.
Consolation. Did I need to be consoled? I was fine, except that my mind and body felt like they were stuck underwater. They seemed to have misunderstood that I was heartbroken after losing the child.
Why did they think so? I was fine.
All I had to do was leave this mansion and start a new life. But what’s new? I couldn’t be reborn anyway.
“Madam.” Lil came over and handed me a smooth wooden box. She didn’t speak further even when I just stared at her, so I decided to open it.
Inside were the baby clothes I had sewn while waiting for Kyle. Laura said they all looked the same, but to me, they were all had different uses– one to wrap the baby for the first time, another to use after washing the baby for the first time, and another to put on the baby before holding them in her arms for the first time.
The room was quiet as everyone stared at me. I glanced at them, took the box in my arms, and pulled myself out of bed.
My vision shook, and my ears rang the moment I stood up but felt better when I shook my head vigorously.
Laura stopped me from moving further. “Madam, where are you going…”
“I’m going to throw it away.”
Laura’s eyes fell helplessly to the box.
“I don’t need it anymore,” I whispered and staggered towards the door. I could hear Laura sobbing behind me.
I stopped moving like a broken thread and turned around. The first thing that caught my eye when I did was a book lying on the console.
‘Forest of Quetrey.’
“Madam, we’ll do it.”
Lil came over and took the box. I stared blankly at the pile of books, my eyes lit up in silence.
When I was young, Father called my big brother a ‘d*mn geek.’ As if proving my father’s words, my brother sometimes confused me with strange words and actions, but I liked him. He always carried a book around, and he would give me interesting stories that Father didn’t tell me.
It was the day when my brother and I fled to the attic to avoid my father’s unprovoked beating. As always, Father was hurting my brother, and I held onto Father’s pants and begged for forgiveness, not even knowing what we had done wrong.
‘It’s okay, so don’t cry, Aelle.’
I sobbed as I stared at my brother’s swollen face, and he comforted me by holding me in his arms.
‘Aelle, did you know?’
‘Hic, uh, know what?’
‘There are things in the world that can only be lived by dying.’
‘Lies. How can one live when they’re dead?’
‘Aelle, you just don’t know.’
‘What don’t I know?’
‘Good memories become memories, but bad memories live only when they die.’
My brother’s empty eyes crossed the sun and stared at the corner of the attic. What did he mean, ‘ memories die?’
I couldn’t believe I had to die to live.
At that time, I thought Brother must have lied again. He often did that, lie and trick me with nonsense.
However, as time passed and I reflected on the vague memories, it seemed that in the corner of the attic where young Aelle followed her brother, there was a book called ‘Forest of Quetrey.’
Maybe my brother always carried around books with him to distract himself from his suffering.
Even the story he told me with tears running down his cheeks and bruises on his eyelids from Father’s violence must have been a kind of escape.
Since when had he been suffering?
I was less sorry to think that he was a geek and dismissed his actions as weird. If not, it would mean that my brother had a difficult life at a young age.
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