(This winter is too cold)
Bess asked, even though she found it difficult to express her feelings with words. She really did not understand why Debby would give away one of her own daughters. If Debby preferred boys to girls, why bother exchanging them as both were girls?
Perhaps if Debby exchanged the girls because she had given birth to a sick baby, then it have been reasonable, but Tina was born with good health. Why would Debby bother giving her way? It didn't make any sense!
One could say, kindness and wealth limited Bess's imagination.
"It was because... It was because my husband and mother-in-law preferred boys. After they found out that I gave birth to a baby girl, they threatened to kill the baby so that we would try again... I was desperate. I was forced to..." Debby explained.
It turned out that Debby had made a good choice. Under the Tao family's care, Tina had a good life as she was treated like a princess.
As for Emily, Debby cared for her too, albeit, out of guilt at the beginning. Although their love for Emily was questionable, Emily had a happy and healthy upbringing.
Eventually, as time went by, even the guilt had faded away.
"Your baby is innocent, while isn't mine? You knew clearly that your husband and mother-in-law preferred boys, and yet, you still decided to exchange my girl with yours..." said Bess. Her world was going to collapse upon hearing what Debby had said.
"I'm sorry... But I was never mean to Emily. I brought her up with love and provided her with a good education.
I treated her the same way you treated Tina. We made sure that all her needs were met..." Debby explained. In Debby's perspective, her mistake was not as serious as Bess had made it out to be. She was never mean to Emily. All she did was just exchange the girls.
"How could that be the same!" Bess yelled. Furious, she screamed at Debby with red-rimmed eyes, "You took away my biological daughter from me!"
"Mr. and Mrs. Tao, the result is here. Miss Bai... is your biological daughter," the doctor reported. The doctor's words were like nails piercing through Mr. and Mrs. Tao's hearts.
Sure enough, eventually! Bess took the report from the doctor, seething in anger. If it were not for Tina's accident, she might have never known the truth! The girl who just transfused blood to Tina was actually their biological daughter!
Abbott looked over the two reports thoroughly and carefully. One was the result of Tina and Debby's DNA paternity test, and the other was Emily and theirs. Finally, the truth came out and everything was out in the open.
Emily was their daughter and Tina was Debby's daughter!
"Darling, what should we do?" asked Bess. Under the circumstance, Bess really did not know how to face with Emily. Even though they had blood connection, they were strangers to each other.
Abbott kept a straight face. He said in a low voice, "Of course, we will come to acknowledge Emily as our daughter!"
Immediately, Debby's facial expression became tense. "No Mr. Tao, I have raised Emily for so many years as my own daughter. If you take her away from me, how will I live without her!" said Debby, boldly.
Abbott, however, was in no mood to entertain her wishes. "You took her as your own daughter? Why can't I see your love for her then?" he asked.
Abbott did not forget how apathetically Debby asked Emily to give her blood to save Tina's life.
"If you really wish to take Emily back, then, then, what about Tina?" asked Debby. In truth, Tina was Debby's key concern. If Emily were to go to the Tao family, how would they deal with Tina.
"Rest assured. Both of them are the daughters of the Tao Family! As for you... You do not deserve to be their mother!" Abbott asserted.
"What are you doing?" asked Emily.
When Emily came out of the transfusion room, she saw Debby kneeling on the ground, surrounded by the members of the Tao family. She gasped in horror at the sight of them.
Emily rushed to pick Debby up and asked, "Mom, what's the matter with you? What happened? What did they do to you?"
Debby lowered her head in tears, and did not utter a word.
Emily was almost certain that the Tao family must have subjugated her!
Nevertheless, Debby had raised Emily. How could Emily tolerate to see her like that? She cried out, "You and your entire family are heartless and wretched people. One worse than the other! When it comes to strong-arming people - one is better than the other! You've got my blood. Now, will you please let us get on with our lives?"
"It's not like that. You've misunderstood us..." Bess was anxious to explain. She finally saw what a bitch Debby was. Bess continued explaining, "We did not bully her. Do you know that you are actually..."
Having lost the patience to deal with the Taos, Emily interrupted Bess, without letting her finish.
"Sorry, Mrs. Tao, I don't have the time or interest to listen to your nonsense. All I ask in return of saving your daughter is that you leave us alone," said Emily.
The words, "Mrs. Tao" was excruciatingly painful for her to hear coming from Emily's mouth. Bess answered, "Emily, I..."
"Darling, there's no need to rush," said Abbott. He held her hand and indicated her to take it easy, then he turned around to Emily, and said gently, "Of course, Miss Bai. Thank you for saving Tina's life. We would like to visit your home later to show our gratitude."
"There's no need for that. I helped her only because of my mother," said Emily.
If not for Debby, Emily would have never helped Tina after all the misery she had put Emily through. After all, Emily was not as benevolent as God.
Bess could not help feeling upset seeing the resentment and disgust Emily had for the Tao family in her eyes. Emily's eyes were quite evident of how much she had hated them.
However, regardless of how Debby treated her, Emily treated Debby very well.
"Emily, oh, sorry, Miss Bai," said Bess. The pale complexion on Emily's face disheartened Bess. Perhaps it was because of the blood transfusion. "You just gave a lot of blood, so your body must be feeling weak. Why don't you get some rest in the hospital for a little while longer? You can go back home when you feel better," Bess suggested.
"No, thanks," refused Emily.
Emily just wanted to leave the hospital as soon as possible. Out of sight, out of mind. She definitely wanted the Tao family out of her mind.
Emily knew that she was venting her anger on Bess and her behavior was inexcusable, but for some reason she did not want to stop herself.
Bess still did not give up. She insisted, "Then I'll ask the driver to drive you home, okay?"
"No need," answered Emily. Emily even did not reply with "thanks" this time. She could not help being impatient as the stress from everything around her was starting to get to her head. She had no energy to deal with Bess.
As soon as the Taos left, Emily walked out of the hospital with Debby soon after. When she got out, she started to stagger. "Mom, can you please hold me..." she said.
Debby, however, seemed to be preoccupied with her own concerns. She kept looking back at the hospital. "Emily, please take a taxi home. I'll give you all the answers later, but Tina is still in the hospital, and I'm really worried about her..." Debby insisted.
Frustrated, Emily's expression turned sour. As if someone had poured cold water over her. "Do you think the members of the Tao family will let you stay there?" she asked.
"... I'll hide myself quietly and go back as soon as she is awake, okay?" Debby said eagerly. She was afraid that Emily wouldn't agree so she urged her, "You can understand me, right?"
Emily's eyes lowered to the ground. Her long eyelashes covered her emotions. She said, "... Yeah, go ahead and remember to be careful..."
Before Emily even finished her words, Debby had already turned around and started walking back towards the hospital.
"You really cared about her so much..." Emily ridiculed herself, as she fell to the ground on her knees. She buried her face in her hands. Tears dripped through her fingers down to the ground and froze into ice.
'This winter... Is so cold.'
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