One Blood, One Wish, One Magic (8)
Sometimes Rosen imagined that she would have her own child when she was older, but it felt so vague and distant. More importantly, the imaginary child would never be Hindley Haworth’s. She would run away before that.
Emily, on the other hand, desperately wanted a child of her own. It was her desperate wish. Emily said she didn’t even care if it was a child of Hindley’s blood.
“Won’t you hate it if the baby is the same as Hindley?”
“If I give birth to a baby, it will be mine. I will raise him. And if Hindley has a child, he might change.”
“Let’s raise them together. Then Hindley… You wouldn’t believe it, but Hindley wasn’t originally a bad guy. I told you, we were old lovers. He changed after I miscarried many times.”
Emily was acting as if if she had a baby, everything would be fine. But a baby would never be the answer.
What if she couldn’t have another living baby?
What if the child was a daughter?
Would Hindley sit still?
Nothing would change. It would be even more terrible. The number of people who got hit would increase from two to three.
Every time Emily said that, Rosen asked, feeling frustrated.
“Is it Emily’s fault? All of this?”
“…I’m not saying that.”
“Do you really think he’s going to change after having a child?”
Where did her momentum that swung fists go from when Emily first saw Rosen?
Rosen cringed when the topic of a ‘child’ came up. Emily couldn’t even respond to what she said. Her heart ached.
Hindley had tamed Emily with fear. Rosen had been here for months, but Emily had been here for years. And she knew how helpless the beatings were. It was the most effective means of control, even in orphanages, by the principals and teachers.
If you got hit, even if you realized that it was unfair, you couldn’t resist. Just watching them approach made her heart race with fear.
“Just promise me one thing. When winter comes, run away with me. Don’t hesitate.”
Rosen held Emily’s hand with watery eyes. For this situation to end peacefully without running away, either they or Hindley had to die. However, Hindley was fine even though she prayed every night that he would drop dead while drinking.
[Fellow citizens of the Empire, I’m Ian Kerner, the commander of the Leoarton Squadron. This is a formal notice that an air strike alert is being issued. Talas’ squadron is currently flying towards Leoarton. Close your doors and take your valuables…]
And the war continued.
No one believed it would be over soon.
The sirens rang more and more frequently, and they quickly got used to Ian Kerner’s voice.
Hindley didn’t use the basement cellar as a shelter. The facility was too unreliable to protect his precious life. Every time an air raid alarm went off, he fled, alone, to a large shelter in town where his friends were.
It didn’t matter to Rosen, but she couldn’t help but feel twisted when she saw him running away. She spat, throwing up her middle finger at his back when she was sure he was too far away to hear her.
“Coward. Get hit by a bomb on the way home!”
Emily usually laughed until she was out of breath when Rosen said things like that. It had always been that way. Hindley occupying a large part of her life didn’t stop her from cursing him. She believed that Emily loved her more than Hindley.
But something was wrong that day. Emily just dragged Rosen down to the basement without laughing.
“Let’s go, Rosen.”
“What’s going on?”
Rosen felt unusual and asked. Emily did not answer. They held hands as they walked down the narrow stairs. Neither of them could say anything. After a while, when the gas light went out, and darkness enveloped them, Emily crouched down and opened her mouth with difficulty.
“When you run away… Go alone.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t go.”
She had an ominous feeling as Emily wrapped her arms around her belly and bowed her head. Without covering her ears to avoid the siren. Rosen stared at Emily’s flat stomach.
“I’m with child.”
“I know my body. This is my last chance. If I lose this child, I’ll never have one. I’ve lost so many children…”
Rosen didn’t understand. Emily’s voice trembled. It was difficult to drag a pregnant woman and run away. No, it was almost impossible. But Emily had said she would go anyway.
‘Let’s go and give birth to your baby wherever we go. I’m not leaving alone. Of course, I will go with Emily.’
Rosen wasn’t upset about the fact that Emily was with child. What made her angry was the deep resignation on Emily’s face at that moment. Then, Rosen realized. Being with child was just an excuse. Emily had no intention of leaving Hindley from the start. Emily lied to her.
She had already given up everything but pretended not to.
“Is it that important to prioritize a child who is not even formed yet? Hindley’s child? More important than Emily herself? You promised me! We were going to run away! We won’t live like this!”
“Do you think I can run away? I’m sure I’ll be caught again!”
“How do you know without even trying? You’ve never done it before!”
“And what if I ran away? Do you think I’d have a place to go? This is the safest place for me!”
Emily jumped up and shouted at Rosen.
“You, you don’t know… What it’s like for me outside. If I get caught again, I’m really done. Really…”
Emily cried and pointed to the necklace around her neck. Rosen stared blankly at the d*mn thing that had constantly been strangling Emily from the moment she first saw it. The shackles kept Emily in custody and, at the same time, saved her life.
Rosen knew. There was nothing she could do about it. Nothing. It was too big and too much for one person alone.
“If you were going to stay anyway, then why did you promise you would run away?”
“…Don’t live like me.”
“Unlike me, you are still young, lively, and brave. Don’t give up and live like me…”
At that moment, the anger that had gripped her whole body subsided. Rosen dropped her shaking shoulders.
No more tears came out.
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