[She isn’t my daughter.]
Patrick could never forget the grief-stricken face of his wife when she first said that to him. Dana then behaved like she was not in her right mind for quite some time before she was back to her old self once again. But after finding out that she was only holding up to carry out her responsibility as the head of the family, as well as a wife and a mother, it pained him greatly as he couldn’t be of any help to his wife.
He never saw his wife laugh from the bottom of her heart again ever since their daughter was lost from them. But right now, he could tell from her expression that she was truly overjoyed for the first time in a long time.
Patrick, who was first bemused with Dana’s change, found himself smiling along with his her as nothing mattered more than the fact that his beloved was smiling all over again.
He spread his arms out to his daughter. However, Eugene appeared hesitant at first to accept it. Urged by her mother, she walked up to Patrick despite her slight reluctance. Father and daughter had then embraced each other rather cautiously.
Her father’s embrace was much firmer than her mother’s that she felt like he was reassuring her that she could lean on him anytime she wanted. On the contrary, her mother’s embrace felt like she was promising her that she would never let go of her again no matter what happens. Eugene quickly blinked away her tears before she slipped out of her father’s arms. It was such a quick and awkward embrace.
“You don’t remember anything about growing up in this house?”
“Yes… As they aren’t my actual memory. But I do have some occasional images coming into my head. Maybe they are some parts of the memories that’s left inside my body.”
“If that’s the case, let’s make plenty of new memories together in future.”
“I would love to do that.”
Patrick couldn’t help but to feel strange when he saw Eugene’s innocent, childlike smile. Feeling sorry for his daughter, who was constantly shunned by Dana, Patrick had tried his best to take a lenient view Jin’s behavior. But despite his efforts, he couldn’t deny his discomfort around Jin from time to time.
However, it wasn’t solely because of what his wife had told him about. It was rather because he had begun to feel like her innocence was lost from her eyes. To put it bluntly, he felt like she was using her feminine charms to get what she wanted. And he just couldn’t understand why his daughter was behaving in such a way to her own father.
Patrick was disgusted with a sense of guilt whenever Jin clung to him with a coquettish smile. But he couldn’t bring himself to push her away with a serious look either, in fear that it was only him who was being overly paranoid. But there was no way of knowing as it wasn’t like he could consult anyone regarding such matters.
But right now, he was assured to find that his daughter’s smile was nothing like anything he remembered. All that he could see from her face was the innocence of a child that he couldn’t love enough.
‘Ah…’ It was hard to explain but he felt like he could finally understand what Dana meant when she said that their daughter had finally returned home to them.
“Well then, try calling me father first.”
Eugene’s eyes rounded for an instant, but she gave a nod with a little waver in her eyes. “Yes… father.”
Patrick was all smiles upon hearing that. And when Dana went to his side, he opened his arms to give her an embrace as if it was the most natural thing for him to do. There was no need for words as Dana and Patrick seemed to understand each other just by the look in each other’s eyes.
Eugene was moved by the sight of her parents who seem to have a deep faith in each other.
‘Maybe someday…’ Eugene pictured her future with Kasser in the hope that one day, should their passion fade with time, that their love for each other will develop into a form of comfort, just like her parents.
“Ahem.” Enoch gave a little cough to attract their attention and offered his open arms to Eugene.
“Jin. Welcome back.”
Since father seemed to have decided to accept his sister, Enoch concluded that he would do just the same. However, he was only doing so for the sake of his parents as he still had his doubts left in the back of his mind.
It was hard for him to take his mother’s word for it but he was tired of the long-running feud between his mother and sister. Therefore, he had decided not to throw the wet blanket when things were finally working out for them. He had always regarded that it was his responsibility as a successor of the house. to heal the breach between mother and his sister.
Eugene stopped right before Enoch and held out her right hand instead. “I’m glad to see you too, Enoch.”
Enoch, who had spread out his arms to look overjoyed with the unexpected reunion, shook hands with his sister, looking rather abashed.
“Why are you discriminating between me and father?”
“Seriously, Enoch. It’s too cringey for adult siblings to give each other a hug.”
Arthur ended up bursting into laughter from the side while Enoch felt deeply wronged when Patrick chimed in to agree with Jin while reminding him that she was no longer a child. It had always been him who was put in an awkward position as Jin had come running into his arms whenever he happened to meet her outside or when he greeted after seeing her with Flora.
Enoch felt strange too when he saw Jin shake hands with Arthur. He was astonished by how a person can seem so different when nothing has changed except for her demeanor. She clearly was not the same person who he had known as his sister, but that didn’t disturb him in the least. He knew they would be able to get along in no time.
Enoch’s face softened when he saw his mother and sister laughing, looking into each other’s eyes. He never knew there would come a day to see his mother regarding Jin with such warmth in her eyes.
He must admit that he was just playing along with everyone until a moment ago. But not anymore, as now he was dying to find out more about what had happened to them in the last twenty years.