Tears that were pooling in Dana’s eyes ended up streaming down her face, leaving wet traces along her cheeks. Seeing the lady cry, Eugene couldn’t help but be amazed as the lady’s beauty seemed incapable of impairing. It was almost like she was watching an outstanding performance of a remarkable actress as the whole story seemed so far-fetched to her.
But Dana’s expression had every indication of being genuine as she truly seemed overflowing with joy. It was without doubt the rapturous face of a parent who came to realize that her child, who was long believed to be dead, was actually alive all along. Besides, the story made absolute sense although it was something beyond Eugene’s imagination.
Eugene was familiar with tales such as the ‘Prince and the Pauper’ where an imposter pretends to be and steals the rightful place of the main character. What makes such tales interesting was the part where the imposter strives to escape suspicion as well as the sense of guilt that follows in the end.
All of such tales had similarities in how their story ended as the imposter never comes to replace the main character no matter how much they tried. Moreover, the story will come to a tragic end if the imposter ends up being overambitious, whereas the story will end with everyone finally returning to their rightful places if the imposter reflects on his behavior and learns his lesson.
‘But what are the chances that the main character turns out to be an imposter instead?’
Eugene couldn’t quite believe that such an unbelievable miracle could possibly happen to her. Her suspicions grew as Dana’s story sounded too good to be true. It was almost as if it was a well-written script.
Countless thoughts had crossed her mind in that fleeting moment. Has the lady found out that she wasn’t Jin after all? Just when did she find out and who else knows? What if this all was a plot of Sang-je? Is it possible that he’s only trying to see how she’d react using Jin’s mother as bait?
Eugene gazed at Dana, with her face rigid with tension.
‘Just act naturally and smile. Try not to arouse suspicion.’
But no matter how much she warned herself, the muscles of her face did not obey her. It was if they were hardened with plaster. While she thought to herself that she needed to keep her cool to carefully comprehend the situation, she couldn’t help but to feel swayed by the mere possibility.
It truly was unbelievable, but yet she wanted to believe it. How magnificent would it be if everything which she believed to belong to Jin was rightfully hers in the first place?
Eugene pulled herself together from such thoughts and steeled herself once again. She knew well from numerous experiences that great expectations can lead to great disappointments. To Eugene, life was endurable if one’s only wish is to get by every day without anticipating anything in the future.
Her such belief had not changed even after she woke up finding herself in another world overnight. Eugene spent her everyday with sole resolve to live through another day. Not once in her day had she ever felt the heavy burden, which could be defined as a sense of guilt or uneasiness, disappeared from her heart.
‘“Is there anything you can remember?”
Eugene shook her head from side to side for a response without saying a word as she was afraid that her voice might come out sounding hoarse. Her shifted her gaze down to Dana’s hand which was grasping tightly around hers. The lady’s hand was so fair and delicate to the point where veins were visible while her palm was soft to the touch. The owner of such a fragile hand, which showed no sign of roughness from hard work, was claiming to be her mother.
“Well, you were only three… So I guess it’s only obvious that you hardly remember anything.”
‘When I was three…’
Not many would possibly remember much of their early childhood unless they were gifted with photographic memory. But it was worse for Eugene as she had no single memory of her childhood.
In her past life, she was nine when the accident happened to her. After having almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning, she surprisingly woke up not remembering anything of her past nine years of living. Even the memory of what happened in the six months right after the accident was vague to her as if looking into a turbid pool of water.
Eugene’s brothers made a great deal of fun of her regarding the accident.
[That brat. Do you remember how we all thought she had become be a retard after she got poisoned by the gas?]
[Of course, I do. She babbled like an idiot and even forgot how to read.]
[She may now act like a conceited know-it-all, but there’s no denying that she had only learned how to read at age nine.]
Eugene’s brothers giggled as they made jokes about her painful past. She used to cry a lot whenever they did that but after realizing that it would only encourage them to do so, she learned how not to respond to it at all.
But according to what her brothers had said, it seemed like Eugene became a fool when she finally regained consciousness a few days after the accident. She didn’t understand what people were saying to her as she babbled incomprehensive words in her mouth. She lost her ability to read as well. Worse of all, she didn’t even recognize her own family.
It sounded obvious that Eugene suffered a serious aftereffect following the accident. However, her parents had neither the money nor time to invest in curing their daughter. Eugene was saved not by her family, but rather by a teacher in her grade school.
The teacher, whom Eugene owes her life to, was a freshly appointed teacher who was both young and enthusiastic. She had a great affection for her first class of students. So as Eugene’s absence prolonged, she went for a teacher visit at Eugene’s house and was shocked both by the environment she was living in and by the total indifference of her family.