All of sudden, Dana and Kasser turned their heads around as they both had sensed the urgency in the steps of someone who came running in great haste. Out of breath from running, Eugene looked alternatively at her mother and her husband with a flushed look on her face. She felt relieved as the atmosphere didn’t seem very heavy around them.
Dana narrowed her eyes as she watched Eugene, catching her breath. ‘Look at her. Did she just come running thinking that I’ll be hard on her husband?’
Dana was left speechless while a laugh escaped her unwittingly from her mouth. It would be a lie to say she wasn’t disappointed at all. She knew deep down in her heart that it was only natural for a child to get married and start having a family of her own. However, it saddened her to think that she had missed her one and only chance in life to live with her, seeing her daughter grow into a woman.
She rose to her feet and went up to Eugene. “I see you’re awake. Have you had your breakfast yet?”
“No, not yet.”
“Then you must be starving. I’ll go ask them to prepare lunch a bit earlier today.”
Dana gave her daughter a small tap on her forehead as she walked past her. Eugene laughed sheepishly at the thought that her mother had found out the reason why she had hurried.
Eugene went up to Kasser and took a seat right next to him on the sofa. “I’m terribly sorry. No one came to wake me up, so I didn’t know you were waiting for me this long.”
“I asked them not to.”
Seeing that there were two teacups on the table, Eugene decided to ask what she’d been concerned about. Just in case.
“Has my mother said anything weird to you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Umm…. anything that might have offended you somehow.”
“No, she didn’t.” Kasser tittered a little as he stared into Eugene’s face. He knew there was something weird about her expression when she came rushing in.
“Did you just come running to save me, out of concern?”
“I ran at my full speed.” Eugene gazed at him as he broke into laughter. It’s only been a day, but he was looking dashing more than ever that she could almost feel herself thirsting for him. She wondered if she was having some sort of withdrawal symptoms. She just wanted to admire his face to her heart’s content, without any intervention from her surroundings. Also, she couldn’t wait to finally tell him about the truth, confessing that she was not the same person he had known for the past three years.
“Let’s go, now.”
“To our home. There’s something I need to tell you.”
Wiping the grin off his face, Kasser fixed his gaze upon her. Eugene could almost feel the intense heat rising from his blue eyes. Unwittingly, she swallowed down her saliva as his lustful glare swept over her.
Eugene got up with a jump when her name was called out. A faint smile flashed across Dana’s face as she walked in. She had clearly sensed the awkward air between the two and reflected that she must have interrupted them when they were about to kiss.
“Lunch is almost ready. Let’s go have lunch first.”
“We would like to leave now.”
“What? Why don’t you just stay for lunch? Is there anything wrong?”
Eugene shook her head strongly as she clung to Kasser’s arm. “I want to go home and eat with him. There’s so much for us to talk about. And I can’t wait to tell him about the things we shared last night.”
“But still. There’s no need for you to rush.”
“I’ll come visit again. It’s not that far from our home anyway.”
As Eugene insisted on leaving, she and Kasser made haste and got onto their carriage as if they had a pressing emergency. Since both her brothers happened to be out and her father was with a guest, they were sent off by her mother alone.
Dana felt her emptiness in her heart as she watched their carriage leave. It was a completely different feeling from what she had felt when her son got married. She wondered if this was due to the difference between a son and a daughter, or if it was because she was her youngest child. Or was it because of all the years she had longed for her?
She was infuriated to hear that her real daughter had undergone such hardships while her imposter lived in a clover. Although Eugene didn’t go into much detail, assuring her that it was all in the past, Dana could feel that she had suffered much in life.
‘I couldn’t be happier to see that you’ve found your happiness. My dear daughter. You have the right to be loved. In fact, you should be loved tenfold more to make up for the years you’ve lost.’
As long as her daughter was happy, it wouldn’t be a pain anymore even if she had to live another twenty years without seeing her.
Dana stayed rooted to the spot, even after the carriage was no longer visible in the distance.