Chapter 30.1 — The Day the World Changed (世界が変わった日)
It was a hell-like sight that stuck in Marin’s memories and wouldn’t disappear. Marin couldn’t tell anyone, not even Violette, about that which she would still have nightmares about seven years later, which she didn’t expect at that time.
Everyone surely knew about this. They knew, yet they couldn’t do anything. If an adult servant couldn’t even do something to fix this, how could Marin, a mere child, do it?
What she could do was just increasing her time when talking with Violette a little bit more. Even that would come into nothing when Violette was called by her mother, and in the end, it didn’t have any significant effect.
Those days came to an end less than six months after Marin started working there.
Suddenly, the number of calls for Violette visibly decreased. And then Bellerose could no longer get out of her bed, let alone her room.
And finally, she couldn’t get up anymore.
Bellerose didn’t talk with anyone. She didn’t see anyone’s eyes. She just called the name of the head family, Auld, like she was talking in delirium.
“Violette-sama… Are you alright?”
“I… I’m alright.”
(T/N: Before, Violette was using ‘僕/boku’ when she was talking to Marin, but she changed it into ‘私/watashi’ here. Both means ‘I’, but the first one is used by boys, while the latter is more like a polite form which is unisex, but mostly (?) used by girls and women.)
Violette was sitting on the garden bench, her hair swaying in the wind.
She had changed visibly after she was no longer going to Bellerose’s side. Her hair grew a little, and her tone of voice and clothes gradually changed.
For the first time at that moment, Marin knew that Violette was a girl.
That was the reason why she had been feeling a sense of incongruity since a long time ago. For a boy who was ten years old, her wrists that were peeking through her sleeves, her neck that was seen through her hair gaps, and her waist that was seen through her clothes seemed unreliable and thin.
Her height was reasonable, but her build was a girl’s. Marin thought that Violette was a thin boy until a while ago, but now she could only see her as a beautiful girl no matter how she looked at it.
And of course, Bellerose wouldn’t have liked it.
The daughter Bellerose loved as Auld was becoming a woman. Unable to accept the natural phenomenon, she fled from her dream in reality to her broken pieces of hope. Perhaps Bellerose had forgotten about Violette that was forced out from her dream, not even a shadow and shape of her left.
“I’m sorry, Marin.”
“I’ve shown you a world that you don’t want to know because of my selfishness.”
If they were talking about whether Marin really didn’t want to know, Violette was right. She had resigned herself at the time she was abandoned by her parents long time ago. That’s why, she dreamed of others’ families.
A gentle mother and a strict father. But the mother was the scary one when she got angry, and the father had a sweet spot on his daughter.
Such happiness should be common in the world, and yet…
What she saw here was a father who had abandoned his family, a mother who saw her daughter as her husband, and a daughter who was left alone in a large mansion.
Marin didn’t want to know this kind of world.
“Why did you hire me?”
She was a little girl who was just a little bit older than Violette, not related to her at all. She had no family, no money, and no education. A filthy homeless child without any good points.
She wasn’t suitable to get this job that guaranteed her food, clothing, and shelter, she just barely passing the mark. There were so many reasons to chase her out right at this moment as well.
“What do you… expect from me?”
Marin had nothing, and she could do nothing. Even if Marin saw that sight in her dreams and woke up in fright because of that, she wasn’t someone who could bring Violette out of that hell.
She had a narrow heart and lacked power, to the point that she felt jealous at Violette who she should give praise as her benefactor.
Marin couldn’t understand what did Violette want from her helpless self.
“It’s because I thought those eyes were beautiful.”
Violette said so as she looked straight at Marin’s eyes.
Marin’s red eyes. They were the proof of betrayal that influenced Marin’s life.
She hated her own eyes.
Marin couldn’t ignore the fact that she had been abandoned no matter what, and if her parents came to pick her up now, it was impossible for her to say that she had any attachment to them. She would only have distrust and disgust towards them.
But sometimes, when she looked at the families that came to the church, parents and their children that passed by on the road, and houses with lit lights, she would wonder.
If these eyes were not red. If they were the unproblematic color which was the same as her father and mother’s, would her life have changed?
“I was not good with red eyes. They made me feel like my mother was watching me.”
Violette’s mother asked for love to Violette, seeing her daughter as her husband. Why did Marin think that Bellerose was even more dirty than her mother who had relationship with someone other than her husband, even though Bellerose’s love was wholehearted, not unfaithful at all?
Marin remembered the side profile of those face that had lost her sanity, and the nausea of that day came back.
“That’s why, I was surprised when I saw Marin’s eyes… I never knew that they were such a beautiful color.”
Violette got up from the bench and stood in front of Marin who was beside her. Her fingertips stretched out slowly, touching Marin’s eyes through the gap of her bangs.
A girl with the same eyes as Violette’s mother had collapsed behind Violette’s house.
What she felt at those dimly opened red light was not her usual discomfort that felt like someone was licking her neck. They were the bright red sunset, a color that started the countdown to her liberation. For Violette’s mother, it might be a parting to let go of the love of her life, but for Violette, it was the moment of hope that ended her lie.
“It’s because it’s a very bright and beautiful red. I was unconsciously captivated by them.”
Violette used to think that the color or stickiness like the heated iron was red. Her mother’s obsession and blind faith seemed like they had entangled throughout Violette’s body, accompanied by the breathlessness as if she was slowly being choked.
She wondered if one day she would also get dragged into that madness.
“That’s why, I wanted you to stay with me. Because when I looked at Marin’s eyes, I can believe that it’s not always the same.”
Not the same. What kind of thoughts did Violette have when she said that? Did she mean that even if Marin and Bellerose had the same red eyes, they were two different people?
Or did she mean that even if Bellerose was her mother, they were not the same?
“Do you think that it’s a stupid reason?
Other people would be amazed and laugh at the absurd reason of a ten years old child who hired someone because she only thought that those eyes were beautiful, wouldn’t they?
“But… For me, it’s so important that my world has changed. I can feel at ease that I won’t get caught in those red eyes when I look at Marin.”
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