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(Not reconciled to)

Emily paused uncomfortably before replying, "No."   

 "Is that true?" Magee's tone carried profound meaning.   

 "Anyway, it's not what you think." Clearly she didn't want to discuss it.    

But he continued, "You can't hide it from me. Obviously, something is wrong with Jacob, isn't there?"    

Hearing this, she frowned, then countered, "What do you know?"    

"If I may take a guess, I'd say that he hasn't regained his memory yet, has he?" A sudden insight flashed across his face and he looked at her deeply. Gently he probed, "Or perhaps he has. Just not the right memory..."    

She was astonished by his perception, and her eyes widened. Stunned, she almost blurted out, "How do you know?"

 Luckily, she still had sense enough not to say anything until she knew what Magee was up to.  

Regarding her in the rear-view mirror, it was as if he could read her mind. He looked at her beautiful face with his large and luminous, but sad eyes. 

Sharing in her loneliness he barked a bitter laugh, "I have my ways of knowing."   

 "Magee." She stiffened at the sound and felt uncomfortable that he had seen through her facade so clearly. "It's none of your business. I'll handle it myself."

    "That's true,"  he said simply and returned his eyes to the road. He felt somewhat hurt by her rejection, but still offered, "If you need help, you can always count on me."    

"I don't think I'll need it, but thank you." She lowered her eyes, signaling that the topic was closed to further discussion, but a bitter smile caught at the edge of her delicate lips. Ignoring him, she lapsed into silence.  

This time, no one could help her.    

She would have to help herself.  

  If unsuccessful, she would continue being damned to hell.    

For a long time there was silence in the car, and she studied her folded hands, nestled on her lap. He occasionally glanced at her in the rear-view mirror, struggling for words. Finally, he spoke hesitantly, "He doesn't treat you well. Am I right?"   

 She shook her head and denied a little too quickly, "He is good to me. Better than anyone else." Her swift denial hinted that she was trying to hide something, and that she was cheating herself.  

  "But you have grown so much thinner. Clearly, you are not happy." He could not find the words to explain how shocked he had been when he saw her today. As he hadn't seen her for a while, her weight loss struck him intensely.  

She was like a fine willow in the wind and could break at any time. Her pale skin and wan appearance made her look fragile and vulnerable.    

In his mind, she was like an unyielding little poplar, and she would break rather than bend.    

What had happened during this period of time between now and when he last saw her? How had she been made to look like this? She was still beautiful, but it was now the fragile beauty of a delicate porcelain vase that could break at any time.    

"Thank you for your concern." She subconsciously touched her hollow cheek, and managed a weak smile. "It's probably because I have had no appetite for food recently."  

  Loyal always to Jacob, she tried to defend him, and continued making excuses for him. This attitude of hers upset Magee, but he knew he had no right to be angry with her. She had made her choice, and it wasn't him.  

So he stopped talking and focused on driving.   

 Finally they reached their destination.    "Thank you." She stepped from the car and thanked him sincerely.    

"You are welcome." He also got out of the car and looked at the splendid kindergarten. Curious, he asked, "Is your daughter in this kindergarten?"   

 "Yes." As she spoke, the phone rang in her pocket. She apologized to him, then stepped aside to answer the call.    

From where he stood, he could see her expression change from serene beauty to cautious and anxious...   

 He knew then that he had hit the mark with his previous observations. The relationship between her and Jacob had changed. There must be something wrong with Jacob's memory then.  

Since Jacob now no longer treated her well, why would she still choose to stay with him? Was loyalty really that blind? Or was it because of love?    

He laughed mockingly, but deep down he was jealous. The seed had been planted a long time ago in his depths, but now it germinated rapidly and grew vines that tightened around his heart.    

He was indeed not reconciled to it. He still found it difficult to accept her being with Jacob.    

Neither he nor Jacob were good men, but why should Jacob receive such a precious gift as Emily?   

 The kindergarten which Beryl attended was for children of the city's elites and aristocrats, and luxury cars kept coming, but his Bentley still stood out.  

The teachers, thinking him a parent of one of the children, enthusiastically invited him inside. He looked at Emily, who was still talking on the phone in the parking area. Before he had time to refuse, he was dragged inside by some beautiful teachers.    

Since he was inside, his curiosity was piqued. He wasn't in a hurry to leave.    "Sir, what's your child's name?" One of the female teachers delicately asked with a smile.    

But he did not even look at her. Absently he gave Beryl's name.    

Since he was already here, he thought he might as well see how the little girl was doing lately.    

The indifference in the man made the female teacher embarrassed, but she soon recovered and offered, "I shall take you to her."    


This had been the first time for Magee to set foot inside a kindergarten since he had himself been a child. He felt a little out of place, but also enjoyed the novelty of the situation. As an upmarket facility, the children here were either from rich or noble families. On the way he met several of his business partners holding their children.    

"Mr. Lin? Are you here for the parent-child activities?" asked one of the partners. His jaw almost dropped at the sight of Magee.    

Though Magee was famous for his affairs with multiple women, they hadn't suspected that he had a child. When did he become a father? They didn't even know about it!    

"No,"  he said. He thought that he wouldn't be so brazen as to claim Beryl as his own, so he shook his head and explained, "She's a friend's child."    

"Oh... I thought so." Realizing that he had started in improper discussion, the partner suddenly shut his mouth and smiled in embarrassment. "Mr. Lin, my wife is looking for me. Please excuse me..."  

Uncaring, Magee waved him off.   

 The teacher took him to Beryl and left unwillingly.    

Beryl was playing blocks with her friends. Suddenly a friend tapped her. "Beryl, here comes your father."    

"Really?" She looked up excitedly, but the moment she saw Magee's face, her joy turned into disappointment. "... He is not my father."    

Her friend scratched his head. "He is not your father. Nor is he my father. Whose father is he then?"    

She didn't answer him and turned to Magee. In a slightly upset tone she asked, "Uncle Magee, why are you here? Is your child also studying here?"  

"I don't have a child." The more he looked at little Beryl, the more he realized that she looked just like Emily. It was like the two had been carved out of the same mold, except that there were also some traces of Jacob in Beryl.    

Undeniably, she was his daughter.   

 Her beautiful eye became puzzled and she asked, "Then why are you here?"    

"I brought your mother here,"  he answered honestly.    

"Then where is mommy?" She looked around, her eyes roving the room. "And my daddy?"  

  It was probably because of his love for Emily that Magee liked Beryl instantly.   

 He smiled mildly, in an effort to make himself seem more amiable. Casually he explained, "Your mother is answering the phone. She'll be here soon. As for your father..."  

"What about my daddy?" she asked eagerly.    

He considered for a while, and said softly, "Your father is probably not coming."   

 After all, shouldn't parents come together to take part in parent-child activities? Emily had come here alone, and he hadn't seen Jacob at all.  

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