Marriage And Absente - Chapter 12
It didn’t seem like he was going to eat at all. Her eyelids became hot, and so she rubbed her throbbing eyes and bit her lips hard. Suddenly, the man who got up from his chair just now looked back at Swan. To hide her tear-stricken eyes, Swan turned away.
Her heart pounded as she continued to bite her lips while blinking desperately. As a habit, she was overthinking. Perhaps he would comfort her, or perhaps he would say something at least out of courtesy. Actually, she wanted this, but…
She had already expected him to thank her for the food just now, and expected to see him smile as he ate deliciously. She just wanted to hear one word of appreciation.
It’s already been over a month. It’s been a month and fifteen days since she spent her first night with him… and the last time she saw Tom was also over twelve days ago.
Over time, relationships were bound to change. Whoever it was, Swan believed that the relationship between her and the man could change. But… She didn’t know it would be like this.
Compared to when he would still show some kindness as some form of polite gesture, right now, it felt like her heart was slowly being torn to pieces. What had she done wrong for it to turn out this way?
Her eyes fluttered and hot tears moistened her eyes, but she clutched her apron and tried to keep herself from shedding those tears. The man who had turned his back on her looked back at her.
Swan met his eyes in surprise, waiting to see if he would approach her. Come here, lift her chin, wipe her cheeks.
However, the man only stared into her bloodshot eyes.
The gaze that she met was unbearably calm. He was someone who was always aloof.
Swan’s face became flushed, and the lower lip that she had been biting started to sting.
Tears pooled at her eyes even more. Her fingers couldn’t stay still as she fidgeted, and she continued to bite her lip. The man, who was staring at her without a word, silently turned away.
As he walked away from her, the tears fell.
She sobbed and wailed inside that cabin alone. She had never cried like this ever since her mother died. She wiped her eyes as she looked at the door from which the man left. Her heart, which began to pound, couldn’t calm down.
She wondered why she had burst into tears, but the only thing she could think about was the afterimage of the man’s back as he walked away. And those unfeeling blue eyes. At one point, it was those eyes that pushed her off the cliff.
Her hand was trembling slightly as she wiped her eyes, her head down. Her lips quivered. She wanted to embrace him. She wanted to have her hands over his neck as she leaned over his wide chest—for her not to be pushed away. And I turn, she wanted him to embrace her as well, to have both his arms warmly wrapped around her, too.
Didn’t they match their lips? As if they were a couple, he was so sweet… He had made Swan moan so much even as she smiled shyly, even when he had such insensitive eyes.
If he really didn’t like her, he wouldn’t have slept with her. He must have been attracted to her even a little.
But what was Swan to him? What kind of woman was she in his eyes? Did sleeping together with her bring him any comfort?
They said that kissing was only done between people who loved each other, but this made it clear. He didn’t love her.
Still, she hoped that he liked her even a little bit… Her heart ached.
She knew what the answer was. She knew, even if she didn’t ask. It felt as though her beating heart was pulled out of her chest. In the end, she wouldn’t ask because she already knew what he would say.
‘I’m scared… If he says that he really doesn’t like me at all, then…’
She dropped her hand from her eyes and breathed in deeply. Her pounding heart wouldn’t calm down.
She had asked to match lips only to reassure herself, and that when the gap between them would close, she believed that it was a sign of his affection. There was no sign of him not liking her as he kissed her sweetly and gently. In fact, he was always hard to read, but it never looked like he loathed her…
Raising her head, she clenched both of her hands into fists. She was dizzy because her heart had been beating so fast all this time, but Swan got up and walked forward slowly.
The man who had left through that door… He was called Theo, but it wasn’t his real name.
When she opened the door, she felt the night breeze blowing in from the hill. Swan stared at the vacant lot where darkness fell after the sun had set.
She couldn’t see him.
“Si-Sir Knight! Where are you?!”
She couldn’t call him Theo, so she called out like this instead. Truthfully, it was the same for her as well, that even after he asked for her name, he only ever called her Swan a few times.
Even other people would call her just ‘you’ or ‘woman’ without using her name. Neither of those were what she wanted to be called.
“W-Where are you… Hic, hiic…”
She searched everywhere and walked for as far as she could, but there was no trace of him. It would have been better if the autumn rain hadn’t been pouring nonstop. Only the scent of rainwater was left in the air.
“What should I… What should I do…”
Swan’s slender body was soaked in the drizzling rain. She had searched far and wide, but the autumn drizzle, as it brought the cool breeze of the season’s evening, was colder than snow.
Suddenly, she felt nauseous. Even after walking all this way, Swan was only barefoot. As she stopped in her tracks, her stomach turned upside down because she hadn’t eaten anything. The rain mercilessly beat down on Swan’s back as she hunched over.
What did she do wrong? Was there a reason why he was so cold today?
Swan blinked, her eyes stinging from the thick rainwater. She clutched her stomach while sobbing.
What if she had been abandoned? What if she became alone again… If that person had already left her, then…
Time passed and the moon rose higher over her head. She couldn’t think straight. She could feel a fever taking over her. Her pounding heart along with her aching stomach seemed to wrack her entire body.
As she opened her eyes slowly, she saw a pair of feet in front of her, as though they were never affected by the soil and rainwater. She raised her head.
The man had the atmosphere of sharpened iron just as usual even under the rain. He was a man who seemed to be capable of tearing flesh, as though he was a sharp chisel himself. Swan looked up at him with a ragged breath. The outline of the man who leaned down was dim.
She could see his blue lips clearly as the rain poured over her face. Swan hurriedly wiped her eyes with the back of ear hand.
People said that one of the reasons why men would get tired of women was because of tears. Maybe that’s why he was sick of her. Swan wasn’t the kind of woman that a man would want. Even if his memory wouldn’t return, he had no reason to stay with her.
But she still hoped that he would stay. It was frightening to be alone again.
She had endured loneliness before because it previously wasn’t something that she knew.
Even if she was alone, the day would pass by quickly as long as she did her chores. Even if it was a hard day of work, she didn’t think that it would be bad to spend the rest of her life like that.
She thought that even if she would get a chance to have a husband and have children that would look like him, she would already be incredibly fortunate. But if such luck wouldn’t come to her, then it was fine.
The dream of having a family was kept hidden away in her heart ever since her mother passed away.
That’s why if the man hadn’t appeared in her life, she wouldn’t have dreamed about it again. She wouldn’t have had such a useless hope again.
“W-Where did you..”
Her entire body was chilled by the rain. The air that dug into her skin was as cold as ice.
The man answered Swan’s question plainly.
“I tried to go down to the village, but it suddenly rained, so I turned back.”
“Ah, I-I see.”
After she nodded, she tried to stand up despite her shaking knees. However, her ankle gave up under her weight, making her stumble.
The man reached out and steadied Swan without any difficulty, holding her hand. Her lips, which had been tightly shut, trembled. She felt that she might cry out loud at any moment, but because she couldn’t retract her hand from his grip, she only looked at his collarbone.
It was the collarbone that Swan’s teeth had bitten down on that night. She tried repeatedly to pull away from him, but his hand suddenly moved to her waist.
Was love overwhelming, was he just too much…? She didn’t know. This was the first time Swan felt anything of the sort, so she had nothing to compare this experience to.
Even if she felt scared to lose him, she only felt an emptiness that she couldn’t fill… She would rather be cold all the time rather than misunderstand and hope. She wouldn’t have to see his actions and think that it was love. She wouldn’t have to lean into him.
“It’s, it’s nothing…”
“Let’s go back.”
“I-I didn’t see you earlier, so…”
“I t-thought you l-left…”
She thought that she had been thrown away, that she would be alone again… Swan tried to even out her ragged breathing, but her sorrow had already burst out.
The way he was looking at her now was still so cold.
“Let’s return. The rain is freezing.”
After a long time, this was the only thing he said. A large hand grabbed Swan’s wrist, and she shook her head, not wanting to be dragged away.
Reluctant to raise her eyes, she cried with her head down as she looked at the ground.
Loving him was her misfortune. Perhaps it was the biggest misfortune of her entire life, perhaps more than her mother’s death.
At least after her mother had passed away, she didn’t feel as though she was abandoned. But with him…
She raised her head. Had her mother been abandoned when she was pregnant with Swan? How did her mother love such a man who created Swan with her?
Not everyone in the village liked Swan and her mother. They didn’t even consider letting them build a hut on the outskirts of the village, so they were forced to live in the valley. They didn’t live this way because they wanted to.
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