Episode 2. Letters from the Past (2)
Huge thanks to Krim for the kofis! (2/3)
Jane knocked on the bedroom door several times, but there was no noise from inside.
‘Is Madame sleeping?’
It had been a while since she started working, so she might be tired. Looking back, when Chloe came out of the study, she looked particularly tired. Jane’s honest feelings were that she didn’t want to wake up the Madame, who had collapsed from exhaustion.
But it was time for Master to come home. Chloe had to prepare to go out to greet him.
If it had been a usual day, she would have already finished preparing and gone to the door to welcome him. So Jane was surprised that she didn’t do anything today.
Seeing off and welcoming him every day for eight years was an important part of her day, so Jane’s worries became bigger.
Hesitating, Jane opened the bedroom door slightly. The curtains were tightly closed, and the bedroom was filled with only darkness. Jane swallowed hard in the difficult atmosphere.
She approached cautiously, sensing Chloe’s presence in the bed. Chloe, with a blanket over her head, looked unfamiliar. Jane spoke in the most gentle voice she could.
“Madame, Master will be coming home soon.”
It seemed like Chloe was muttering something, but Jane couldn’t hear it properly.
Jane moved a little closer and asked again.
“…I won’t do it today.”
Certainly, Madame was behaving strangely. Not only did she refuse to greet her husband, but her voice sounded unusual. She looked so happy until lunch though…
“Are you feeling sick, Madame?”
“No, it’s just that I’m… tired.”
“Oh, then what would you like to do for dinner?”
“I have no appetite.”
“But you have to eat something…”
“Jane, I’m sorry, but could you leave?”
“Ah… yes, yes! Sleep well, Madame.”
Her hoarse voice and sensitive tone were clearly different from usual. If Chloe were always volatile, it would have been insignificant, but the Marquess of Blanchett was never this stubborn.
It was clear that something had happened to Madame. However, there was not much Jane could do in this situation. All she could do was to pray that her Madame was fine.
“Welcome home, Master.”
Gerard sensed something strange as he took off his Knight’s uniform.
Why wasn’t his wife here?
Gerard quickly scanned the people who came to greet him. His wife’s maid was there, but his wife was not.
“What about Madame and Abel?”
“The Young Master was tired after class and is sleeping. It seems that Madame was also tired after organizing the study today.”
The old butler politely answered.
It was not uncommon for Abel to take a nap. But it was the first time his wife hadn’t greeted him. It was very tiring to organize a study. She didn’t have to overdo it.
“I’ve got your bath ready. I’ll prepare dinner when you come out.”
The old butler naturally accepted Gerard’s jacket as he spoke.
“Yes, thank you.”
“And about Madame…”
The old butler glanced at Jane behind him and continued.
“She’s going to skip her meal today because she doesn’t feel like eating.”
“What, is she not feeling well?”
Gerard asked Jane directly.
“Oh, no, she just said she was tired. I think it’s because she used a lot of energy in the study today.”
“Tsk. Shouldn’t you have made sure she didn’t overdo it?”
Gerard gave the old butler and Jane a small rebuke. He headed off to the bathroom, but walked past it to the bedroom. He had to make sure his wife was okay first.
“My Lady, are you okay?”
There was no answer from inside.
Did she fall asleep?
Gerard carefully opened the door, and darkness met him.
The darkness was so thick and deep, it was as if it was pouring out of the door. He received a small nod from the butler, who had followed him, and entered the room.
Gerard cautiously approached the bed where his wife was sleeping. A figure he believed to be his wife was completely covered with a blanket.
“My Lady, I am here.”
“Did you have a hard time today?”
Gerard gently pulled down the quilt that his wife was covered with.
But he was greeted with her back. Somehow, her back seemed stoic and angry.
“You must be very tired. But you should still eat.”
Using his sense as a knight, he knew his wife was not sleeping. Then why was she so silent and only showing her back? Gerard felt increasingly anxious.
“Show me your face, my Lady.”
Gerard, unable to overcome his anxiousness, grabbed Chloe’s shoulder and gently turned her over. Chloe’s body was pulled by Gerard’s hand without any resistance.
“If you are tired, I’ll bring your food to the bedroom…”
The woman’s face was lit up by the lamp next to the bed. Tears began to fall from Chloe’s eyes as soon she looked at her husband’s face.
“Wh- My Lady! What happened? Are you sick?”
Gerard didn’t know what to do. He wiped away Chloe’s tears with a clumsy gesture.
He looked all over his weeping wife without asking questions, but there seemed to be no injury. The friendly action made Chloe cry harder.
“Doctor! Get a doctor! Now!”
Gerard shouted at the butler, who was waiting outside the door.
After such a commotion, the doctor came. The doctor examined Chloe and reported to Gerard.
“I think she was overworked. She will be fine if she eats nutritious food and gets a good night’s sleep. She is also showing mild signs of dehydration, so please make sure she drinks water frequently tonight.”
“Oh… I see.”
Chloe listened blankly to what Gerard and the doctor had to say. But nothing was processed.
She wished that all this was a dream.
But reality persistently dragged her back into this miserable situation.
His husband had just finished talking to the doctor and was returning to her.
‘Don’t come closer.’
Chloe needed a little more time to think.
She didn’t know where to start or how to talk to her husband.
‘How can you make me so miserable? Should I let go of him? What if he really wants a divorce?’
Gerard, unaware of Chloe’s complicated mind, continued to speak softly.
“Did you hear what the doctor said? He told me to give you something to eat, so you should at least eat that.”
“Aren’t you thirsty? Here, have some water.”
Gerard poured water into a cup and handed it to Chloe. Chloe took the cup with trembling hands and drank the water.
Gerard watched worriedly as she drank the water. In fact, he was pretending to be resolute, but he was more surprised than anyone else.
It was because he had never seen his wife, who always smiled mischievously, cry so sadly. He was so startled that he even felt a pain in his chest.
“By the way, my Lady, I have never seen you cry so much. Was it that hard on your body? Did something happen to you?”
Gerard asked impatiently as soon as his wife took her mouth off the cup.
“Yes, my Lady, please tell me.”
Gerard concentrated and prepared to listen, but Chloe couldn’t speak. Words reached the tip of her tongue, but her voice did not come out of her mouth.
‘Did you marry me because of Leila’s request?’
Of course, that wasn’t the only thing she wanted to ask.
‘What the hell is this letter?’
‘Why did you keep it?’
‘And what the hell did you say in response?!’
The questions that her husband should answer were overflowing.
But she was afraid to ask directly. She was not confident that she would be okay hearing his answers. If she had to find out the truth, it wouldn’t be from him. She’d rather go to Leila.
While cloaked in the dark, Chloe grabbed her head, tossing and turning.
‘What should I do? What should I do? What would Leila have done?’
Many times she asked pointless questions. She decided she needed to check the truth with Leila first. It was not too late to be angry with her husband after everything was clear. A wise lady would certainly behave like that.
But she knew herself. In fact, all of these were excuses. She just wanted to run away from this terrible reality.
Because she still didn’t have the courage to face it. It felt like the universe was laughing at her who thought she had changed from eight years ago.
In any case, the reasons were many, but the conclusion was one. She had to go North!
“I had a dream… a dream.”
‘I had a dream. I had a long dream for eight years. A dream of a wife loved by her husband.’
“In my dream, Leila…”
It was time to wake up from the dream. She had to go to see Leila, the source of all these problems. She had to hear for herself how this happened.
“What about Leila?”
“She was dead.”
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