(Stop running away from me )
"Strawberry candy is your favorite, isn't it? I brought you a lot," Emily said. She opened one and put it in her mouth. The candy tasted sweet, but she could not help but feel bitter.
For a maiden to die at such a young age is like a flower that wilts before it blooms. Life was so unfair.
Victor took the bag of candy and opened each one. He stuffed all of the candies into his mouth. His handsome face formed bulges because of the candies stuffed in his mouth. He looked strange and funny at the same time.
Emily was taken by surprise. If she didn't know any better, she would think that he was like a masochist. "Victor, what are you doing? You could choke," Emily said worriedly.
Victor managed to mumble "I'm okay," despite his stuffed mouth. Emily continued to look at him curiously as he continued, "This is her favorite. I will eat it for her."
In his mind, doing this was like being with her and seeing her. He would do what the things she used to do until they become his ingrained habits.
She's gone but he isn't, and he has to live day by day. All he could do was to try to live her life for her.
He looked up, barely able to speak, as he tried to eat the candy. "Anne, did you lie to me?" he called out. "You told me to have candy whenever I feel bitter. You told me that candy can cure all the bitterness in one's heart. If that's true, then why do I still feel bitter? Why do I still hurt?"
Days without her were so bitter. Even the candies he was eating tasted like bitter herb.
Emily couldn't help but pity him and cry for him. This wasn't Victor the man anymore; he was Victor the corpse. He was a dead and hollow soul trapped in a gorgeous man's body.
Anne's death made him this way.
"What if I was dead, just like Anne? What will happen to Jacob?" Emily thought.
For the first time, she truly understood how Jacob felt. She finally understood Jacob's concern that she might died giving birth to this baby.
If she did die, would he be as heartbroken as Victor?
Emily didn't even want to think about it. After staying at the cemetery for a while, they left in silence. They went home, both lost in their own thoughts.
When they arrived, Sean walked over to her hurriedly as soon as she stepped out of the car.
"Where have you been?" he asked Emily anxiously. "Why didn't you answer my call?"
Emily looked at him curiously and took out her phone. She let out a soft gasp seeing so many missed calls from Sean.
"I'm so sorry. I must not have noticed it. Victor and I just went out."
Sean vaguely glanced at Victor, who just got out of the car, but dropped the topic.
"Since you're back, let us get you checked."
Sean's voice was filled with concern, and it stroke Victor as uncanny. But looking at Sean's stoic face, it gave nothing away. "I won't drop by again," Victor said.
"If you need me, just give my assistant a call."
He was afraid to lose control and put Emily in harm's way again. He had already lost Anne. It would devastate him to lose Emily, too. So he had to make a decision to leave.
He needed to.
With everything that happened during the day, the emotional turmoil and everything else, that night, Emily dreamed of Jacob.
She heard his voice first. "Emily, please don't leave me," he begged. In her dream, his eyes were all bloodied. His voice was hoarse from screaming and begging. "If you die, everyone will die with you, even me."
"No!" The screams woke her up. Cold sweat ran down her temples and her heart pounded so loudly, it might as well jump out of her chest.
She remembered Jacob in her dream vividly, and her chest pounded in pain. She missed him terribly, and much more now because of the dream.
"Jacob," she called out.
"I miss you so much. I'm so sorry." In the silence, Emily continued to weep. Unable to go back to sleep, she looked for her phone in the dark.
She wanted to hear Jacob's voice so much, and she wanted to know how he has been. But for now, she'd settle even with just hearing his voice.
She hesitated, knowing that he was wise enough to guess that it would be her on the other end of the line even when she said nothing.
"Make up your mind, Emily," she told herself. "If you do this, there would be no turning back."
She was startled to hear a faint ringing coming from her phone. She had dialled Jacob's number! Cursing her reflexes for doing what was only in her head, her face suddenly turned pale.
Why did she ever memorize his number?
Just as she was about to end the call, it was picked up from the other end.
"Hello? Who is this?" Jacob asked. His voice was hoarse in exhaustion. Gone was his charming and deep voice. Instead, he sounded tired and uninspired.
Upon hearing his voice, her tears started to fall. She knew that she should hang up but she couldn't do it. She stayed on the line, wanting to hear his voice even more.
"Who is this?" Jacob repeated. "If this is some kind of joke, I'm hanging up."
"..." All that came out of Emily's mouth was a soft whimper. Instinctively, she covered her mouth with her hands, not wanting to make any sound.
While she wanted to hang up, she didn't want him to do the same.
After a few seconds of silence, Jacob spoke again. "Emily?"
Emily's heart pounded in her ears. Her hand grasped the phone tightly, with an immense urge to hang up the phone.
Despite her continued silence, Jacob seemed convinced. "Emily!" he called out. "Emily, answer me, please. I know it's you. Don't hang up. Please, just listen to me," he begged.
Emily bit her lips, trying to stop the words from coming out.
The silence was enough for Jacob to know that she's listening.
"Emily, I will stop forcing you to give up the child. Please, just don't leave me. No matter what happens, we can deal with it together. Stop running away from me," he continued.
His voice was filled with sadness and desperation, just like in Emily's dream.
Each of his words struck a chord in her heart that she couldn't tell whether their conversation now is a dream or reality.
In despair, Emily hung up the phone.
She was afraid that she would lose control of her emotions if she continued to listen to him. The walls of strength that she worked so hard for to build up as well would come crashing down.
"You can't go on like this," Emily told herself.
Meanwhile, Jacob still held on to his phone. He was exhausted, but that phone call from minutes ago set fire to his veins.
For days, he found no trace of Emily, even if he knew that they were still in the same country. But in this place, Victor held all the power.
Because of the bad blood between the two of them, he could not demand resources to find Emily nor was he able to prove that Emily has spent time with Victor. It made him anxious but he couldn't do anything.
This call was his only breakthrough in a long time.
Jacob couldn't put it off any longer. He dialled Sam's number, unbothered by the time he was calling. "I need you to track a number for me. It's Emily."
Sam, who answered his phone in a daze, was jolted awake upon hearing Emily's name. "I'm on it," he clipped, immediately hanging up the phone to get to work.
Sam knew how much Emily meant to Jacob, and how desperate he was to find her. As soon as the server gave him the results he needed, he texted the information to Jacob.
Jacob stared at the address on his phone, and his heart pounded in fiery passion.