About Your Pride and My Prejudice - Chapter 23
Chapter 23: The Broken Love Oath
I don’t know how I managed following Mr. Graham. I didn’t know what was going on, but the moment I heard his terrible words, I was so surprised that I burst into tears.
When I arrived at Viola’s house, my face was already messed up with tears.
Mrs. Graham stood in front of the tightly closed door with tears dropping. We stood face to face with painful faces that looked just like each other.
“She won’t open the door for me……. Would you like to talk to her?”
“…..Yes, I will.”
Sure enough. Viola’s sobs leaked from inside the door. As if she had been crying for a while, her husky voice sounded cracked.
“It’s me, Melissa. Please open the door.”
It’s hard to believe that the bright and cheerful Viola declared she was going to die, but the fear of what would happen if she didn’t even let me in came flooding in like a tide.
“I’ll listen to everything for you.….”
At that moment, I heard the door knob turning.
“Come on in, Mel.”
As I quickly entered the room and closed the door, I couldn’t take my eyes off her face.
“Oh my god…”
Her face was horrible. Her lips were chapped, eyes were red like a rabbit…….
I embraced my one and only best friend and gently patted her trembling back. By the time I felt her tears calm down little by little, I asked quietly.
“What’s going on, huh?”
I held my breath. The first and last time I met him was on the night of the Victory Ceremony. The impression itself was good, his polite manners were adequate for our single meeting.
Did something happen to him?
“What’s wrong with Jacob? Viola?”
“Jacob…..hid his child…….”
“What? What does that mean?”
“Jacob has a child?”
Viola burst into tears as if crying again.
“…What should I do, Melissa…….”
I couldn’t believe what she said, so I just blinked vaguely.
It was the only thing Viola managed to confide me before she broke down sobbing and ran out of breath.
Jacob had a lover he met when he was seventeen. One day, she disappeared without saying a word and he was deeply heartbroken. To the point where he thought he would never love again.
However, it seemed that she, who disappeared, was carrying Jacob’s child in her womb. The woman, who was suffering from hardships of life, finally took her life, and the woman’s family sent the orphaned child to Jacob.….
“I was taking a walk by myself a while ago, but a neighbor came and asked…… if I know that Jacob has a child.….”
Viola had recently been in Piccom. At first, it was only the weekend, but the days in the capital gradually decreased. Without Tobias, I wouldn’t have had anyone to meet.
At this rate, I thought that news of marriage might be delivered suddenly, but something really unimaginable happened.
“When I heard that, I immediately questioned him… At first he denied it….”
“Did he eventually admit it?”
Viola buried her face in her palm and shook her head. Her delicate trembling shoulders were pitiful.
“So Jacob didn’t know that he had a child?”
“……He really didn’t know until the child appeared.”
“How old is he…?”
“Three years old… haa…….”
This was a really, really absurd situation. Jacob’s three-year-old son is now living at his cousin’s house, she said.
“Viola, what did your parents say?”
“Just marry him……. It’s a good family…… many people know we’ve been courting for a while now.”
“…..What are you going to do?”
“I can’t do it, Melissa. It’s over….”
It wasn’t like Viola, who had been begging me to start dating right away not so long ago.
“I don’t believe in love…….”
Somehow I became uncontrollably sad and hugged her tightly.
* * *
Viola thanked me. She said that just sharing the story with me gave her some strength.
After comforting Viola, saying that tomorrow would be a better day, I left her home, who fell into the world of sleep like waves.
I think that a person who comforts shouldn’t be shaken and should be reliable enough to lean on. That’s why I tried to act calm in front of my friend.
But I was also shocked by Jacob’s story. It is true that the affectionate appearances of him and Viola made me feel a positive appreciation for love.
When I imagined me and Tobias, who might become lovers someday, I would naturally overlap the two of us with the appearance of Viola and Jacob. They were the closest and most firm role models for me.
But if reality is that, the same man who can vow love to his lover for the rest of his life is also deceiving his lover–would Tobias be any different?
I’m not sure at all. Toby and I are not as deep as they are in the first place, so it will be much easier to face the end of the relationship for whatever reason.
Even though I was afraid to open up myself, I only knew a small part of him. Even after becoming an adult, I don’t understand the hearts of men.
Nevertheless, as I took Viola’s worry and care into consideration, I began to pour my heart into Toby with a similar sincerity.
This is very meaningful. It was for this reason that I decided not to go to New Ditch and hid the incident about the stalker. Of course, it would be his achievement to open my heart this much by doing the best.
Everything is going well, but I feel I’m starting to become more and more passive in my relationship with Toby these days.
What could it be because of? Viola and Jacob’s shocking story cannot be the cause as I came to know today.
Then, is it because I didn’t go to New Ditch right away? Are my feelings for him fading because I missed the hottest period?
It was a pretty plausible guess, but unfortunately, I suddenly realized the answer.
No, I must say I knew it from the beginning.
This is all because of Alan Leopold, who saved me from the white snow. This is because his arms that saved me kept me from thinking of any other man.
Of course, Alan was only doing his duty as a gentleman, and any noble man would have stretched his arms without hesitation. I also know from my past experience that he will not take a look at me even if I expressed my gratitude. I can perfectly draw even the expressions he would make.
Nevertheless, I am obsessed with the idea of wanting to live in his shadow without despair, and desperately kissing his traces.
Alan is a fantasy to me. Perhaps that’s why, when I think of him, I’m trapped in a distant universe. Unfortunately or fortunately, in a distant reality that even the stalker’s gaze next to me is considered insignificant.
Even so, the stalker’s requirements should not be ignored. It’s foolish to go against his misconduct in a situation where I don’t know what’s going to happen, so for the time being, I need to follow his demands and look at the situation…….
I’m relieved that everything he asked for was doable.
Don’t go to New Ditch.
This request was already the second time. I didn’t go to New Ditch as he told me to.
Toby and I talked about going there around April, but wouldn’t the stalker leave me by then? If not, I can delay it a little longer.
Visit Antris at least three times a week.
Even if my house’s income is not great, my allowance is not enough to not be able to drink three cups of coffee a week.
Of course, if I go to the coffee shop three times a week, it will be difficult to buy the necessary things, but shopping can be on hold as I will be busy writing for a while anyway.
As for novels, I started reading the novel < Fugitive> again, so there is no problem for the time being.
You won’t go home with that man. If you don’t listen to me, I’ll trample him.
It’s a little creepy, but technically, I can meet Toby, but we shouldn’t go home together, right? Although it’s hard to figure out how to do it, it’s not an impossible requirement.
Complete the novel. And don’t show it to anyone. Write it only for me.
It is no longer surprising that he knew I was writing a novel. He might have overheard my talk with Toby from the coffee shop—while hearing about New Ditch—or glanced sideways past me, who was absorbed in writing novels.
But showing it to someone also includes sending it to the academy? I sincerely want to go to study abroad in the Principality of Lunoa, so I hope he doesn’t mean I can’t submit it.
I don’t know what it means to write for him, but what was more strange was the last sentence.
You started it first.
So, am I the one who caused him to stalk me and make these threatening requests?
Could it be that he’s mistaken me for some other person?
I know it’s an absurd idea, but if I was the one who made him a stalker, I should have done something or action against him. However, there are only a few people who I interact with, even if I were to count men and women.
Excluding the people living with me, Viola and her family, Tobias, Greg, Viola’s lover—Jacob, Longhorn, employees of bookstores, hat shop, and Antris coffee shop, ladies who talked or argued with me at the ball, and the doctor who took care of me.
First of all, the first clue to the stalker is the colour of his hair, but unfortunately, none of them has red hair. Among the women. I don’t know if it’s that beautiful woman who was choosing a cake at Antris, but she didn’t even make eye contact with me.
Oh, wait. Come to think of it, there’s one more person.
……At the moment, I was truly grateful that there was no one in the room except me.
“How foolish of me.”
Even after I said it, my face was burning because I was embarrassed. This… With a little exaggeration, isn’t it my wish?
What if he is madly admiring me because he feels the same way as me? So what if he’s chasing every move I make tomorrow? It’s not a coincidence that he saved me from the snow.….
……There was no such delusion. I shook my head and broke my thoughts.
You have to hurry to send the novel manuscript to the academy by March. The stopped hand quickly grabbed the pen.
“Wait a minute.
Anyway, why does an idea come every time you try to start something?
“The red hair that covers that face…….”
As if it’s disturbing him.
“Isn’t it a wig?”
Comments from Korean readers:
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Even if the main character had a previous life, she was hospitalized since middle school and passed away early, so her mental age should be considered as a high school student at best to a new adult level. It’s true that her response is too unrealistically passive and compliant, so it’s a little out of it, but I think it’s not a ridiculous situation considering her emotional and soft voice, low self-esteem, and mental age…
You listen to the stalker so well.
Weren’t you possessed? You don’t know what a stalker is? The stalker would disappear on his own? No matter how low your self-esteem is, isn’t it too complacent? The writer’s style and atmosphere are so nice. Please take good care of us until the end!
The novel’s heroine may be frustrating because active and enterprising women are in trend these days, but considering the background of the novel, she must have had a family education suitable for the times, and in her past life, she died in the dark in the past. Personally, I am enjoying this novel!
She can’t help but listen to him in that situation. Even if she reports it, she can’t catch him, point fingers, and the stalker is a rich man, the police are on the rich side, and the stalker mentioned to watch her family, Mel’s actions are not the answer, but that’s the only choice.