Chapter 28 — Seven Years of Life (七年の人生)
“Well then, please excuse me.”
“It was delicious, thank you for the food.”
Marin removed the empty cup from the table and left the room to clean it. Although she served Violette tea every day, Marin’s master who always thanked and praised her that the tea was delicious had a brighter expression than usual today. That being said, Violette’s tone of voice was only bouncing a little if compared to her usual slightly tired voice.
Marin had never seen even such a very minuscule change in the last seven years. Violette was always steeling herself, similar to a dangerously blown up balloon just before it bursted. When Vahan family welcomed the concubine as the legal wife, Marin was worried that Violette’s strained tension would eventually snap, and her emotions would explode.
But then, the recent Violette had a much softer expression than before.
For Marin herself, it was a very joyful thing. Marin’s beloved master was too unfamiliar with pampering herself, so even if she was feeling bitter or sad, she couldn’t thoroughly understand them well. Violette didn’t know how to vent all of the emotions that were accumulating inside her, and Marin didn’t want to see her hiding her negative emotions behind a veil of joy and delight if possible.
If there was a moment when such a Violette was at ease even just a splinter, there was nothing that made Marin happier than that.
(Let’s prepare Violette-sama’s favourite foods as tomorrow breakfast.)
She should be forgiven for trying to support Violette’s change of mood by doing something that Violette wasn’t aware of. If Violette knew how they were consciously doing this for her, there was a chance that Violette would refuse it out of courtesy, so Marin could only revise the small quantity of the usual breakfast.
That also meant that she would have to change the menu for the other family members, but after such a long time, there was no way that man would even care about that kind of thing now.
(Ah, but I have to be careful about Maryjun-sama.)
Only Maryjun realized that only Violette’s portion had different menu. Her observation might be praiseworthy, but it was just a bother for Marin.
If Maryjun wished for something, that foolish father would sacrifice Violette to grant it for her. Violette had no choice but to accept it, and Maryjun wouldn’t even think that her own remarks had cornered her older sister.
She was an innocent princess who was protected carefully. She surely looked pure and beautiful, but for Marin, she was no more than the main cause of pain inflicted onto Violette who was important to Marin.
Maryjun definitely believed in the happy family get-together. And just by looking at Maryjun, her parents also thought that this was the right thing to do.
This Vahan family had discovered the ideal family that was drawn in picture books.
(They are really… an upsetting bunch.)
The sound of herself grinding her own teeth echoed in her brain, and the lips that she was biting were painful.
If she assessed the feelings that were rampaging inside her chest, she was likely to hurt herself just like this, but what was more important was how she would worry Violette when she met that gentle girl in the morning.
Marin relaxed her whole body and took a deep breath. When she exhaled and lowered her shoulders, she was also aware how her tension came loose. She organized her mixed emotions into small groups inside her brain that she felt like she could feel in clarity.
Respect, trust, loyalty. Anger, disgust, contempt.
Marin had tremendous affection for Violette and bottomless discomfort for the Vahan family.
She hated the Vahan family very much.
In the past, when Marin was more straightforward than the current her, she even thought that it would be better if this family disappeared right away. If they suffered a disaster, maybe they would reflect on their actions against Violette… but that was just a naive delusion she used to have. She didn’t expect anything from this family… from the Vahan family anymore, to the point that she even felt that it was stupid to spit curses at them now.
For the time being, Marin’s employer was the head of the family, Auld, and she also received her salary from him, but for her, her one and only owner was Violette. She could endure any humiliation for her, but if she had to respect anyone other than Violette as her master, she’d rather bite her tongue on the spot and die.
Because, she had already decided to dedicate this heart only to Violette since seven years ago.
× × × ×
Marin became an orphan on her fourth birthday. Her parents left her to the church, as if it was something that had been a matter of course.
She continued to wait for her parents from when the sun rose until the sun set, and when she realized that no one would come to pick her up anymore, she didn’t get surprised and just understood that. Marin wondered why she understood at that time.
About how her parents didn’t love her.
The reason was in Marin’s eyes. Her bright red eyes that resembled fresh blood wasn’t especially rare and it was a common hue with the heredity, and you could find many people have it if you searched in the town.
The problem was that both of her parents didn’t have red eyes.
Her father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, or even just one relative, none had that eye color. Her father’s green lineage and her mother’s blue lineage wouldn’t turn red when mixed.
What did that mean? The confession her mother gave to her father who was looking for the reason was so simple.
“This child is not your child.”
Marin was her mother’s child, but not her father’s child. She didn’t even need to say the meaning of those words.
Her mother was having an affair, and as a result, she was blessed with Marin… no, she unwillingly became pregnant.
Marin still didn’t know who her mother’s partner was, and who her blood-related father was. She also didn’t want to know after such a long time had passed, but that person shouldn’t be a decent human since he made a move on a married person and had her conceive his child.
The man who knew the truth about his wife and daughter, finally made a decision after being troubled.
“Your child is my child.”
He thought that if it was a child who was born from his beloved wife, then it was the same as his child. He really loved her wife deeply and deeply, so separation was way harder than betrayal.
Marin’s father forgave her mother. Because he loved her more than anyone else, he accepted everything and decided to live together.
He was a gentle husband. His figure that cared for his wife with great love was certainly ideal.
But, he wasn’t prepared at all as a father.
It was not that easy to raise a stranger’s daughter just by relying on his love for his wife. If he didn’t love his daughter, it was only natural that his emotions would give way. Forgiving someone through love was more difficult than what her father had initially thought.
In the end, there was the evidence of the betrayal living in front of them, and that fact made her father… and even her mother reached the limit after four years.
The sisters accepted Marin, thinking that she was pitiful, but it wasn’t a big impact for her.
This was a compilation of the four years she had spent with her parents. Her parents despised their child, but because she was a child, because she was a little child who was the most sensitive to her parents’ love, she easily realized that she wasn’t loved.
The sisters comforted her, saying “I’m sure that they’ll come and pick you up soon.” because of how it was so clear that they weren’t throwing her way, but just leaving her in the lurch, but those words didn’t resonate in her heart. After all, she herself knew the most that those words wouldn’t come true.
Sometimes, there were people who would say, “There must be a reason,” but they didn’t think that the reason was because they didn’t love her. They thought that her parents loved her, but there was another reason, so they left her.
Those who believed in God but didn’t doubt love were tender and warm, but precisely because of that, they laughed with cruelty. They inspired the hope of being loved.
Marin felt choked in that environment, and when she left the church, she was twelve years old.
She was grateful to them for raising her, and there might have been an attachment as well, but that place was not her home. It would be better if she stayed away from there a little bit and showed her face only sometimes.
However, there was no way an orphan who didn’t receive proper education could live well. She slept outdoors every day, was hungry, dressed in clothes that were much more dirty than when she was abandoned, and the jobs that she sometimes came by were heavy labour which took advantage of her background and payed her the bottom price.
The gentleness of the church, and the suffocating life of homelessness. She would spend her days weighing those two options and choose sleeping outdoors at the last moment.
Her turning point came on that ordinary day. It wasn’t her birthday or a holy night, just a day that everyone would forget. And yet…
Seven days ago at that day, Marin’s life completely changed.
T/N: Happy Holidays!
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