“…Your mother had fallen ill ever since that incident. She’s just deeply distressed.”
“Father, with all due respect, I’ve never once regarded mother as the victim. The real victim of the incident is Jin, who got kidnapped. I pity Jin for having to go through all that at such a young age. What kind of mother would vent out her trauma on her child who she might have lost forever? I don’t quite agree that mother is such a feeble-minded person. Even though she had not physically or verbally abused her, mother’s disinterest in Jin is nothing more than just another form of abuse.”
“That’s….” Patrick was quick to hold his tongue before he almost blurted out before his son. Enoch promptly continued as he carefully studied the look on his father’s face.
“There’s something which I don’t know about, aren’t there?”
“Father, please tell me what it is.”
Patrick opened his mouth again with a distressed look. “What I’m about to tell you must not leave this room.”
Enoch answered his father with his face stiff with tension.
“Yes, I promise.”
“Dana… your mother, thinks that Jin is not our daughter. She thinks the child had been switched.”
“I beg your pardon?” Enoch, who had braced himself for a big blow his father was about to reveal to him, asked back with bewilderment.
“I believe you remember the times when Jin had just been born and how much your mother had adored her before the incident happened.”
Enoch nodded in agreement as he could faintly remember the times when Jin was born—he was seven years old back then. He could recall the moment when he had first met Jin as a baby. She was held in the arms of his mother’s while his mother warmly smiled upon Jin despite looking tired.
“I too, couldn’t quite understand at first as to why she refused Jin, when she was safely returned to us after she was kidnapped. So, one day, as I could no longer put up with her, I urged your mother to tell me what was going on. And that’s what she’d told me that day.”
“Father… you can’t seriously think mother’s right, do you?” said Enoch with a disbelieving laugh. He found it all ridiculous.
“Let’s say that there was a chance she could’ve been switched from that incident. But Jin is an Anika. What are the odds for another Anika to be out there who looks just like her? I’d say none. Or are you saying that she was switched with Anika Flora?”
Patrick kept his silence, leaving Enoch with his unanswered questions. Sighing defeatedly, Enoch turned his heels around, heading towards the door.
“I’ll go tell mother that Jin is coming to visit then.”
“Don’t worry, father. I’ll just pretend as if I’ve never heard about it in the first place.”
After Enoch took his leave, Patrick heaved a deep sigh when he was alone in his office again. He wished he could just laugh it off just as if his son did just now, like he’d just listened to the most ridiculous joke, as that would make him feel more at ease.
He could still remember Dana divulging him for the first time of her affliction like it was only yesterday.
[Patrick, that girl is not my daughter. Our child had been switched for sure!]
[Dana, what are you talking about?]
[She’s not my daughter, I could clearly tell. Oh, my little Jin… I wonder where our poor baby is right now.]
Patrick couldn’t quite disregard his wife no matter how much she sounded absurd to others.
Dana’s mother had come from the Muen family. And Muens were known for their somewhat inexplicable abilities such as their power to foresee the future, or for their insightfulness. However, through the years, the Muens have been discreet with this ability of theirs, and soon, people forgot about it.
Before her passing, Patrick had been always astonished whenever his mother-in-law blurts out a remark every now and then. To his luck even, her remarks had greatly aided him on managing his business.
Dana, who must’ve inherited such abilities of Muen from her mother, was extraordinary when it comes to judgement of characters. Once, there was a time where he had almost been swindled if it weren’t for Dana’s shrewd warning. As otherwise, he wouldn’t have done a background check to find out the person was a swindler.
Now, Patrick felt responsible about how his family had turned out as he neither could fully believe is wife, nor he could give unconditional love to Jin without a hint of doubt. And to make things worse, Jin was coming home. He still had not figured out how he should behave when this moment comes; how to behave between the two women whom he loves most.