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Season 5

Episode 20

(An illusion of happiness)

That night, Emily missed the boat that would have been her escape. She tossed and turned in bed all night, unable to sleep because of the things that she could not help but think about.

She could not forget about Jacob's face that was covered with blood; he had looked like he was an ember to a flame.

Every time she closed her eyes, the violent image would replace the pitch black. At this point, it was impossible for her to calm down.

It was getting very late. The worried woman had begun to wonder if he had gone to the hospital looking like a crimson nightmare. Emily's mind did not rest; she kept wondering how seriously hurt the man was because she had done her hardest to hit him with all of her might.

It was tiring to worry and think about Jacob all night, but one of the contributing factors to the utter heaviness that Emily felt was her unrelenting heart that was still beating the same way it did when she had witnessed what had happened. She was completely out of rhythm until her body chimed in and gave into a slumber that could only be granted by a body and mind that were both equally worn out.

When she had fallen asleep, Jacob, whose forehead was covered in bandages, walked into the room quietly.

He was careful not to wake her up, almost tiptoeing around her to keep his silence. When he had reached the side of the bed, he looked at the woman whom he loved most—it was impossible to look at her any other way except lovingly, let alone to look at her for a brief moment only; he always had to linger.

However, the woman who looked like a dream was having nightmares. The past that she no longer wished to remember had come to lambast and haunt her.

Fortunately, each time she woke up she would forget about what she had dreamed of. It always seemed like the universe had to set her reality and her memories apart from each other—they're always at a safe distance where they cannot hurt her.

"Mommy," the voice of a young child quietly echoed the cold room. The child's voice was a stone that had been thrown into a serene lake, causing thousands of ripples. She was all that could be resonated in such an uncomfortable silence as the one that had covered the room.

Emily opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling that was engraved with vintage patterns, thinking that what she heard must have just been an illusion caused by her longing for her loving child, Beryl.

She missed her so much that he had auditory hallucinations about her daughter. After all, this was not the first instance; she had suffered a history of hearing things that weren't there.

"Mommy," Beryl called out again. At this point, Emily had to check if her daughter was actually there, reaching out to her.

She sat up in the bed and followed the sound with her vision. By the time that she had reached the end of the map, she also found her little girl that was standing at the door of her bedroom. She could not help but cry when she saw her daughter innocently waiting for her to find her.

"Beryl!" she exclaimed.

She came running to her child immediately, shoving the quilt aside so that she could get out of bed. She scooped her daughter into a tight embrace; there was not a single night she did not crave her child's presence, as it was the most comforting thing to Emily in the whole wide world.

Beryl's eyes watered like faucets as well; she stayed inside her mother's arms quietly and said, "Mommy, I miss you."

"I miss you, too," Emily returned her affection, "Oh, sweetie. How have you been recently?" She looked at her little girl from head to toe with loving eyes. As she was squeezing her daughter's body, she noticed that she had grown thin just like a kitten abandoned by her mother along the streets. She felt her heart ache at this thought, thinking that she had allowed this to happen to her daughter who deserved nothing more but a present mother.

However, Beryl lived a luxurious lifestyle—she could not ask for more in the treatment room. No one had dared to treat Jacob's daughter harshly. It turned out that Beryl had just grown taller, which was why her mother had thought she had gone skinny. It was a motherly instinct to assume your child was not having the sufficient amount of care.

"I'm fine," Beryl assured her mother. She spoke to her mother earnestly, but her eyes could not hide the remorse it had held onto for a long time, "But I feel sad because I always miss mommy…"

Emily hugged Beryl tighter and said, "Don't worry, baby. We won't be apart anymore…"

Jacob looked at the mother and child embracing each other as if tomorrow was not an option. He looked at them with a dark expression that could not fathom emotion.

Minutes passed when a maid came up to scrupulously deliver a message from Jacob. "Mrs. Gu, Mr. Gu requests your presence downstairs for breakfast,"

"I see," replied Emily. She wiped off her tears in sober intent to not embarrass the maid who had sighed in relief.

Emily pretended not to see through the maid's fear and took her daughter downstairs with a heavy heart.

In the moments she had Beryl to herself, the mother noticed how much her child had changed. The terrible malice and distortion that used to reside in her eyes had disappeared, but as a result, Beryl also became somewhat withdrawn.

She seemed to handle things in a grown-up manner these days.

Nevertheless, Emily's heart ached for her precocious daughter.

The child she knew who like to laugh and play tricks on her had come to disappear and was now replaced by a mature girl.

When they arrived at the dining room, Jacob served the last dish as Emily examined him. He had a thick gauze wrapped around his head with some blood still seeping through the white bandages.

"Emily, take Beryl to wash her hands so we can have breakfast together." Jacob said softly, sounding like he was requesting and not commanding.

Jacob reassured the woman with a warm smile that was painted onto his pale yet handsome face. His eyes were tender as if nothing had happened last night.

The woman who worried all night seems to have lost her resentment as she had been comforted by the man who was before her.

He looked like a gentleman which was quite different from what he had been yesterday. He threw his dominating and bigoted face aside and became a new man, just as Beryl had grown up. Emily was rather confused about whom this man really was and couldn't figure out why he had changed so much.

She wondered if it was because her daughter was present to witness everything.

She did her best to ignore everything that had taken place and did as he requested. She took the little girl to wash her hands before joining Jacob in the dining room.

The dishes on the table were all cooked by none other than Jacob. They were all cooked to their fullest potential.

Beryl looked away from the dishes no matter how attractive they were because she would much rather examine Jacob's head. She asked, "Dad, are you hurt?"

Emily felt guilt crawl up her throat as she recalled what she had done to Jacob, but soon she was able to breathe when she was able to hear Jacob's voice saying, "I'm alright. It's just a minor injury."

"Oh," Beryl replied, "Okay." She asked no more and took a spoon from the table to eat the porridge in her small bowl.

Obviously, the child was no longer as hyper and as lively as she was before. She was now wearing an expressionless demeanor so that no once could see through her. Emily did not know whether it was a good thing or a bad thing.

However, it did not matter—her love for her child would never change.

"Beryl, eat some shrimp." Jacob put a shrimp in Beryl's bowl with a gentle expression. He looked like a loving father.

Beryl nodded obediently and thanked her father.

A strange feeling came rushing into Emily when she saw that her family was getting on so well together. However, the father and daughter did not realize what was going on with her. Jacob gave her a stripped shrimp and brought her back to reality.

She raised her head and stiffly said, "Thank you."

Jacob laughed for some reason she did not know of and curled his lips into a pleasant smile. His eyes were shining as if the two circles inside his eyes were first dipped into sunshine before looking at her. "You're always welcome, Mrs. Gu," he replied.

Emily stared at him, dazed. She had not seen the man laugh like that for what seemed like centuries. His smile was charming and could dispel all of her anxieties in a blink of an eye. It was all too good to be true, but she knew she was not just imagining things.

Emily had suddenly come to an understanding of what Jacob's problem was.

After lunch, Jacob did not head for the company. He stayed home with the two girls and picked out a movie to watch with them in the theater room.

No matter how cold Emily's face was, Jacob turned a blind eye at what she was so obviously on about and treated her gently.

He did this because it was the only way he could maintain the illusion that they were still a happy family of three. He trapped himself in this made-up life and was ready to fool himself if it meant Emily would not leave him.

Beryl stayed at the Tyrone Mansion for two days. On the third day, Professor Horry, who was the assigned pediatric psychologist for Beryl, went to their house and tried to take her away.

Emily held Beryl in her arms with a frosty expression. "I'm not letting her go anymore," she refused firmly, "Please, don't take her away anymore."

Horry gave her a look of pity and embarrassment and advised, "We have achieved outstanding results in Beryl's treatment. Mrs. Gu, I know how you feel as a mother, but it's not sensible to interrupt the course we had taken for your daughter's treatment."

"Why do you all want to separate me from my child so much? I can't accept such a merciless treatment!" Emily exclaimed. She was enraged as she remembered all the lonely days she spent without her child. She pulled her girl close and kept a sharp expression without looking at Horry like a female cat protecting her kitten.

The psychologist turned to Jacob for help, but felt helpless when he saw him no more than indifferent. He obviously had no intention of helping him to get out with Beryl. Horry had to do it himself and took the blame for his boss—Jacob.

"Mrs. Gu, before I came here, I found out something about you. I know your child is very important to you; even more important than your life. But you keep her in your sight just because you want to take control over her life. Your love for her is so heavy, it could crush her.

Frankly, I think you have morbid mental issues. I advise that you seek a professional's help as well and take on a treatment…"

Emily's eyes widened in surprise. Although she did not want to listen to the psychologist, his voice kept ringing in her ears and gravitated her down to confusion.

She wondered about it herself now. 'Do I have mental issues?' she thought to herself.

'Isn't it Jacob who has psychological problems?'

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