A Stepmother’s Marchen - Chapter 17
“I know everything! You’re not married to my father because you like him anyway! You’re not even here because you like it!”
“You get… sick all the time because of us! You don’t like us, we are a nuisance to you! I mean… you know, we’re weak, spoiled and annoying, and if it doesn’t change, you’ll leave like my parents!”
Elias, who screamed, began to cry. I just stared at Jeremy with blank eyes at this horrible sight I had never dreamed of.
Jeremy, who was rubbing his back, coughed and avoided eye contact.
“You should have listened to me.”
“What! You were confused too.”
“Ah, that’s because you kept telling me not to, you fool.”
“Ugh… why am I the fool? Whoo-hoo…”
Looking at the two arguing, I felt as if someone had punched me in the back with a hammer.
Why…? Why, why the hell…?
No, nothing has changed. Maybe it was like this from early on. What the young me in the past didn’t realize may be what I am seeing right now.
So far, they are only children who have just lost their father after their mother.
I was young at that time, so it was natural that I didn’t even know what the children were thinking, or feeling; Emotions of anger, sadness, and compassion mixed together. Thinking about that, my heart throbbed without knowing why. At the same time, I was angry at myself.
What will you do if you are thinking of future events that haven’t happened yet? The result is a scar that can never be erased.
Ha, I never wanted to be proved in this way that my past choices were right… It was my mistake.
“Did your uncle say that?”
When asked calmly, Elias, who had been crying, winced and shrugged his shoulder.
At the same time, my anger soared, “But why didn’t you tell me directly?”
“Who told you to think alone and decide on your own?”
While Elias was just whimpering pitifully, Jeremy was mowing the green grass with his feet. The twinkling autumn sun made the two boys’ tangled hair dimly colored with thread.
“Listen, I… I think you guys are very self-indulgent, cocky, and complacent, but I’ve never thought of you as a nuisance, okay? I don’t care what other people say. And I’m not gonna leave you guys. Maybe one day in the far future, but not yet.”
Words I had never thought about were coming out. I took a deep breath, feeling the dark green gaze staring at me desperately.
“I don’t know why you listened to such nonsense.”
Elias, who was wiping away tears with his sleeve, hiccuped. Jeremy scratched his head, coughed, then looked right into my eyes with a strangely soothing smile.
“So that was a rumor? You really don’t want to leave, do you?”
Holy Father, Holy Mother! Is this Jeremy? Was this boy who’s grinning in front of me the same one who let me go when he grew up and turned 21?
As much as I can’t believe it. Nevertheless, it was inevitable that it felt ironic. Or was there something I missed?
“Why, do you want your wicked stepmother to leave soon, my eldest son?” He shrugged his shoulders and burst into laughter.
“Is that it?”
“Is that all you’ve been hiding, is there anything left?”
“That’s all I know,” Jeremy’s reply was really quick. Elias, on the other hand, was dangling his rolled-up shirt and lowering his gaze.
With my arms crossed, Jeremy, who sensed something unusual, squinted side by side. Elias looked up in a fit of anger and screamed, “Rachel… I mean, the demon granny my aunt brought in.”
Unlike the reception room in the main building, I now sit in front of Lucretia and Lord Valentino in a room which is used for more personal or intimate encounters.
Lucretia, who was playing tag with the twins, and Lord Valentino, who visited to help his nephew train as usual, were just smiling.
“From now on, you two will never step foot into this mansion again. It would be much better if you tell your brothers that as well, it would save me a lot of trouble.”
There was a moment of silence.
Neither Lucretia nor Valentino seemed to understand what I meant. No, rather, they looked as if they couldn’t believe I really said that.
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