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 Season 7

Episode 30


David listened to Jacob's raspy voice, and the despair of losing a loved one even affected him. He felt a sudden overpowering compulsion to shed tears for this desolate couple.   

 Jacob held the body in his arms and did not move a muscle. From a distance it seemed as if the couple had become a statue of their former selves.  

  It took a while before David finally composed himself. He went over to comfort Jacob and said, "Hey buddy. I can't imagine how you must be feeling, but Emily is gone. I'm sorry for your loss, but it will all be okay one day."    

"Stop it! Don't say that she has passed away." Jacob's voice was strained from crying.   

 "Okay. Calm down. I won't say that again. But have you thought about what will happen to Beryl if something happens to you? She is your daughter.

 And Emily's daughter too. How can you leave her alone in this world? Do you think Emily will forgive you for being so selfish?" David urged in a conciliatory tone.  

Jacob fell into silence. Despair sneaked up on him quietly and took him under its arms. The grief surged with every expelled breath, always reaching higher peaks, never sufficiently soothed by his long intakes of air. But eventually, Jacob saw a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.    

David felt that his words were working, so he continued, "You see, Beryl has already lost her mother. How do you expect her to cope up with the death of her father too..."    

"Hush." Jacob cut David short. He put his finger on his lips, gesturing David to be quiet, as if he was afraid that David's words would frighten Emily in his arms. 

"Keep quiet. Don't bother her. She's sleeping,"  he said softly.  

David was stunned for a moment. He lowered his voice and whispered, "Please, Jacob. Think of Beryl. Did you see how sad she was just now..."    

Jacob didn't responded, instead, he held Emily closer to his arms.    

After a long silence, Jacob finally moved. He carefully laid the body on the bed and asked in a low voice, "David, can you do me a favor?"   

 David would do anything for Jacob just as long as he didn't kill himself. Jacob sounded so sincere that David agreed straightaway. "Yes, sure. Just say the word and consider it done!"    

"I want to marry Emily. Please arrange a wedding ceremony for us,"  Jacob pleaded.    

"Now? And here? Are you serious?" David's jaw dropped to the floor.   

"Yes, you will be our witness." Jacob looked embarrassed with a bloody nose and a swollen face, but he didn't care about his appearance. "Emily wouldn't want too many people to attend our wedding, so only the three of us should be enough."  

David swallowed and gave his word to Jacob. "Okay, I promise I'll arrange your wedding, but you have to promise me that you will not try to kill yourself again."    

Jacob dropped his eyelids and replied, "Okay."    

David was too smart to fall for that again, so he looked at the body and said, "Swear to Emily that you will live well and be a good father to Beryl."    

Jacob turned to Emily, took her hand and brought it close to his chest, letting her feel his heartbeat.    

"Emily, I swear to you... I will live well and raise Beryl to be a wonderful person like her mother..."  

Every word he uttered out seemed to be pieces of broken glass, cutting his throat from the inside and his heart cried in pain.    

"I'm sorry. I think I'll be a little late for our reunion..." he said, under his breath.    David turned away, unable to see Jacob so sad and dispirited.    

At last, Jacob and Emily had a simple wedding in the room, and David was the witness to their matrimony.   

 Since that day, Jacob held up to his end of the bargain and cast aside all suicidal thoughts, but he became a quieter person in general. Only when facing Beryl, he would momentarily look livelier than usual.    

Jacob kept her body in a refrigerated chamber set atop a sealed casket to preserve her body in perpetuity. He would spend most of his days sitting next to the coffin and talking to the body as if it were a living person.  

The members of the Tao clan went over many times hoping to bury the corpse in the Tao family cemetery, but each time they were driven away by Jacob.    

"When Emily was alive, you did not show any concern about her. And you even allowed your vicious adopted daughter to hurt her. Now you come here to show your love and care. You're just pretending to be a good mother and good father. 

You two make me sick. You never deserved to be her parents in the first place. I am sure that Emily doesn't want to see you either!" Jacob shut them out.

    Mrs. Tao couldn't swallow Jacob's words and fainted on the spot. When her family took her back home, she fell ill with grievance and heartbreak.    

Jacob didn't treat her as Emily's biological mother and didn't showed any mercy to her at all. He cared for no one else except Emily and Beryl.  

  Beryl, who once was a lively girl, was now becoming more and more depressed with each passing day. She no longer wore a smile on her face with the same confidence she once had. She even stopped going to school. Instead, she spent her days sitting outside the ice room.  

'Dad said that I will be able to see mommy when I grow up.    

Mommy is sick and she is just sleeping right now. She will wake up one day.' Beryl firmly believed so.   

 On some days, she would quietly look through the cracks of the door and watch her father talking to the person inside the ice coffin. "This is the only way you can stay with us forever. The three of us will never be separated again..."   

 One day when she moved closer and tried to get a better view, Jacob caught her and took her outside immediately.   

 Beryl made a fuss for a while and demanded to see Emily, but that did not work. Instead, she got scolded by her father. Jacob told her not to disturb her mother's sleep. Eventually, Beryl decided to give up as it wasn't worth fighting with her dad over.  

Later, as she shovelled sand for fun in the garden, she overheard the maids talking about her parents.   

 "Jesus! Mr. Jacob has turned into a madman. He stays with a corpse all day and does nothing else..."   

 "Mrs. Emily is dead, but he loves her so much that he can't accept her death. This may be the reason why he has become abnormal."    

"Well, whatever it is, Mr. Jacob's infectious condition is starting to rub off on Beryl. If it carries on like this, everything will start to fall apart."   

 Beryl listened to them quietly and her eyes gradually opened wide. Suddenly, she ran out and hit the maid. "You're talking nonsense! My mother is not dead! She is still alive! Don't talk nonsense!" Beryl was so loud that she could be heard from the next building.  

The maids, however, weren't expecting to be heard by Beryl. So they started panicking. One of them picked her up and explained, "Miss Beryl, you must have misunderstood our words... We weren't talking about Mrs. Emily."   

 Beryl bit the maid, who was holding her, and got away from her grip. Then she quickly ran upstairs while shouting, "Dad! Dad! They're saying that Mommy is dead!"    

Jacob's facial expression changed when he heard that. "Who said so?" he asked in a cold tone.  

  Beryl didn't answer his question, instead, she looked at him with reddened eyes and asked, "Dad, is that true? You need to tell me. Have you been lying to me this whole time?"    

Seeing the sad expression on his daughter's face, Jacob couldn't find it in him to keep lying to her anymore.  

But at the same time, a sharp pain shot up to this chest.    

The mere thought of Emily's death brought him a violent streak of pain, which ripped through his heart and weighed down on him like a boulder. He fell to the ground, gasping for air, like a drowning man.    

Panic-stricken, Beryl rushed over to her father and held him in her little arms. She reached out her soft little hands to rub his chest. "Dad, are you okay? I promise I won't talk nonsense any more. Please, don't scare me like that."    

Jacob held Beryl in his arms, looked down at her face and caught his breath. Beryl was starting to look a lot like her mother. "I'm okay. I promised your mother that I would take care of you until you grow up into a beautiful young lady. 

So, don't be afraid. I am not going anywhere."  

"Dad, is Mommy really dead?" Grief surged through her body like poison, demanding a release in any form. As a result, Beryl couldn't hold back her tears anymore.    

Jacob picked her up and went into the room. He walked to ice coffin with Beryl in his arms. It was the first time Beryl had seen her mother after a long time. 

   The body had been restored, and now it didn't look as frightening as it once did. She looked pale and serene, like Snow White resting in her bed, waiting for her prince to wake her up.    

"Mom..." Beryl reached out and tried to touch her, but the ice coffin was so cold that she subconsciously pulled her hand back.    

Jacob looked at the woman lying in the ice coffin with a soft expression on his face and whispered, "Beryl, don't be afraid. It's okay. We can stay with your mother forever. She will never leave us. 

She is only asleep for the time being."  

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