Dana opened her eyes with a start when she felt the warmth of a wet cloth brushing across her forehead. Startled by her sudden awakening, Patrick recoiled his hand.
She fixed her gaze and stared blankly into Patrick’s face. But she was soon overcome with emotions when she saw her husband’s worried face as he checked on her.
“I had a dream, dear.”
Dana teared up as she spoke. As she closed her eyes, hot tears streamed down along the tail of her closed eyes, wetting her temples.
“Jin… I saw our daughter.”
Looking down at Dana’s tearful face, Patrick asked her with an ambiguous expression.
“Dana, if you aren’t confusing dreams with reality… Are you saying that you dreamt of Jin after having met with her not long ago?”
Dana stopped sobbing as she opened her eyes. She gazed back at Patrick with much clearer focus in her eyes than before. Patrick had to seize on Dana as she tried to sit up from bed all of sudden.
“Slow down. Take it easy.”
Dana kept tugging on his shirt even as she sat up slowly with the help of her husband. “Jin, I must see her right now. Where is she?”
“Calm down, my darling.”
“Where is she? Jin. My daughter. I must see my daughter. Call her at once, now!”
“Alright. But you will need to compose yourself first. Don’t you think Jin will be startled to see you in such a state?”
“Ah.” Her tight grip around her husband’s arm dropped powerlessly when Jin’s puzzled expression crossed her mind. Dana felt a deep ache in her heart when she recalled how Jin held her hand with reluctance and pulled away eventually, looking away from her.
She tried to suppress the surge of emotions with great effort.
‘He’s right. I guess I was impetuous.’ She realized that her earlier response may have struck as frantic in people’s eyes.
“How long have I been like this?”
“For about two hours perhaps.”
“Has Jin… left already?”
“Of course not. She’s just waiting without. She wouldn’t leave you after seeing you passing out right before her eyes. If she were that heartless, she wouldn’t be our daughter in the first place.”
“Don’t say such things!” Dana retorted sharply. “Jin is undoubtedly our daughter.”
Patrick wore a sheepish look after being snapped at by Dana. He only meant to pull her leg. Bewildered, he was curious as to what probably had gotten into his wife who had treated her own daughter as if she were invisible until today.
Patrick found himself sighing whenever he thought of his daughter who was rather perverse in disposition. But on the other hand, he did feel sorry for her as well. He reflected that parents should be of more support the bigger the child’s problem is. Thus, he used to feel frustrated at how his wife treated Jin with excessive indifference.
But then one night, he saw his wife standing alone in the empty hall with her gaze fixed at the door of Jin’s chamber, which was closed shut in the dark. He forbore from calling out to her as he had never seen her look so forlorn before.
Besides that, he also had spotted Dana gazing after her daughter from behind. She looked so sad and agonized as if she were on the verge of tears.
Despite the reason for her pain remaining incomprehensive to him, he somehow knew that she didn’t have much choice over her emotions as well. As he didn’t want to torment her further by adding to her existing agony, he decided that he would not fault her in the ways she treats her daughter. Instead, he tried to give his daughter both his and his wife’s share of love.
There were indeed a lot of questions which he wanted to ask his wife regarding her sudden change of attitude. It clearly wouldn’t be because she had grown a sudden attachment to Jin after reuniting with her for the first time in three years.
However, he knew that she wouldn’t spare him her time for such questions now. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that there would come a day where his wife asks for her daughter the first thing after coming back to her senses.
“I’ll go get Jin.”
“Wait.” Dana halted Patrick from rising to his feet and beckoned the maid instead. “Bring me a mirror.”
Dana straightened her dress and fixed her hair while looking at her reflection in the hand mirror that was brought by the maid. Patrick couldn’t help breaking into a laughter at the sight of his wife busying herself to look more presentable before meeting her own daughter. While he was excited to see the thick wall which was standing tall between his wife and daughter to finally crumble away, it somehow elicited jealousy in him as well.
“Darling. Just when was the last time you busied yourself before a mirror for me?” Patrick asked her with a hint of mischievousness in his voice. Dana rounded her eyes while the maid dropped her head as if to stifle her laugh.
She quickly shot an accusing look at her husband’s sneaky countenance. “Stop being ridiculous and go get Jin.”
“As you command, my lady.” Patrick turned around, still with a smile on his face. Dana couldn’t help but smile towards the retreating back of her husband. Feeling the lump in her throat, she knew that she would have lost her wits if she didn’t have her husband’s shoulders to lean on.
After Patrick took his leave, Dana took a few deep breaths to calm her racing heart. She was never this nervous even on the day she succeeded to claim position as the head of the Arse family.
‘What could have happened to her?’
No one believed her when she accused the Jin that came back to her arms of being a fraud. And now… her daughter was switched again during the three years she hadn’t seen her. Dana could not possibly be mistaken for she had inherited this ability from her bloodline.
There must have been some sort of incident that triggered the change. However, Dana had never once heard of any peculiar incident involving her daughter in the last three years.
The faint sound of the door being opened sounded almost as loud as a thunder to Dana’s ears. With her breath held, Dana watched as her husband and daughter entered the chamber. Despite her efforts to keep her composure, a wave of emotions washed over her as soon as she saw her daughter coming in.