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 Season 8

Episode 6

(She is not my mother)

Emily and Jacob finally returned to Z Country.    

The moment Emily set foot on her homeland once again, a feeling of jamais vu crept into her heart, as though she was experiencing something she was already familiar with, but in that moment, it felt completely new to her—like it was her first time being there.    

Jacob put his arms around her as if she would disappear again if he let her out of his sight. He sat her next to him inside the car and drove back to their home.   

 "Honey, we are finally back home." Jacob had been dying to say those words to her.   

 Emily, nestled safely in the crook on his arms, raised her head and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She had difficulty controlling her body from trembling with excitement. "I can't believe we are actually back..."  

She had spent so long away from home, imprisoned by Sean, that she couldn't believe that she had really left that life behind in D Country...    

Somewhere inside of her was a hidden feeling of skepticism that this was all just a dream.    

"Is this real? Jacob, is all this real? Are you real too?" She whispered, desperate for it to be true.    

"It's real. This is as real as it will ever be. I am here with you now. Nothing will ever keep us apart, my love." Jacob's voice soothed her and breathed hope into her soul.   

 Emily closed her eyes to bid farewell to the soul crushing life they had experienced just before they came back home. Two drops of tears escaped from the corners of each eye and slide down her cheeks all the way to her chin.    

The feeling of happiness had finally started to sink in.  

This time, she was going to hold onto everything with all her might.   

 Before long, the car stopped at the gates of the Gu family villa. The honeyed stone of the villa was smooth and warm to the touch in the first heat of summer. 

The straight walls were interrupted at the corners by pronounced circular portions and the grey roof was a series of slopes and cones. It seemed larger since the last time she had seen this place. This place was their sweet home.  

  Jacob helped Emily out and walked in together. The neatly dressed servants bowed their heads and paid their respects.    

"Welcome back, my lady,"     said Jacob, taking Emily's hand to his side.    

Every small detail, from the plants in the verandah that reached up past the cedar railings and branched out gleefully into the sun, to the cutleries on the table, everything was kept exactly the same way she had left it, as if time had stopped in that villa since she was gone.  

While Emily was silently having a nostalgic moment to herself, Jacob asked for the doctor to come and give her a comprehensive physical examination.    

After a few hours, once all the tests were done, the doctor reported, "I am glad to tell you that there is nothing to worry about. The fetus is doing well, all things considered. Her body is very fragile but it's nothing that can't be fixed with proper rest and nurturing. Besides, it is important that she isn't subjected to anything that could give her stress. Rest is the best medicine for her right now."  

  Jacob breathed a sigh of relief and asked the doctor to stand by at home at any time in order to avoid any unexpected situations.    

After all was said and done, Emily finally asked for her daughter, who she missed terribly. "Jacob, where is Beryl? I've missed her very much. I must see her right now..."  

"Do not worry." Jacob also missed his daughter very much, "Beryl will be in school right now. I left her in the safe care of the Xu family before I left for D Country. I'll send someone to pick her up later."    

Emily shook her head and said, "You'd better go to pick her up in person."   

 Although Beryl was also very important, Jacob at this time was not willing to leave Emily's side. "I don't think I will be able to stop worrying about you if I leave you."    

By now, Emily was no longer feeling insecure. "It's all right with me. Go and bring our daughter back. I can't stop thinking about her."   

 But no matter what she said, Jacob insisted on staying at her side and refused to move an inch. Having realized that there was nothing she could do to make this man go, she decided to give up trying.    

"Are you hungry? What do you feel like having today? I'll cook anything you want." Jacob spoke in a voice full of love and affection.  

Emily reached her hand to stroke his gentle face and said, "I'll eat anything you cook for me."    

Jacob tilted his head upwards and kissed her forehead. "Okay, just wait for a while."    

Jacob left the room to go to the kitchen, before he asked Emily to get some rest. However, Emily did not want to be left alone so she followed him downstairs to the kitchen where she watched the man cook.    

Jacob unfastened the first two buttons of his shirt revealing the strong collar bone under his chiselled chin. He unfastened his cuff to roll up his sleeves exposing his strong but scarred arm.  

  The scars on his arms reminded Emily of all the hardships they had been through together. The memories of a distant land and a different time, that somehow brought her sorrow as she helped the man put on a snow-white apron.  

Jacob noticed the slight hint of sadness that flashed through her eyes and he pulled her into arms, gently poking her on the nose with his finger. "It's all right. We are safe now. This is our home."    "Yes, I know." Emily sniffed, "I'm just a little sad and overwhelmed by all this."  

  "Sad for what?"    

"For you."    

"Oh, you mean these." Jacob pointed to his arms and continued, "This is nothing. It's normal for a man to get hurt sometimes." Jacob leaned in, resting his forehead to hers and whispered, "I did it for the love of my life. If I had to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat."    

Emily sniffled and wiped her tears away with the back of her hand. She didn't want to make Jacob worry about her so she said, "Anyway, you must keep yourself out of harm's way in the future. Try not to get hurt so much."  

"Well, I'm all yours now. I promise I'll listen to you."  

  "I'm serious."    

"Me too." Jacob broke apart and guided her to the chair, "Sit down and watch what I am cooking for you, okay?"    

"Okay." Emily sat down, watching Jacob with a smile on her face as he moved around the kitchen in a confident flow. "I remember your cooking used to be very good."    

"I haven't cooked in a long time and my skills may be a little rusty." Jacob wore a modest look on his face, maintaining the smile that comforted Emily's worries.    

Once again the atmosphere in this kitchen was full of warm and love.    

Beryl had just arrived from school in time when the food was ready to be served.    "Dad! You're back!" Beryl sprang to her father's arms, wrapping her hands around his shoulders to give him a tight hug. The daughter's longing for a father's touch had never been so apparent. 

However, when she saw Emily, her eyes widened a moment, a flare of sudden overwhelming emotion to which he could only stutter.  

"Mom? Mom...... No, you're not my mother!"   

 Emily's heart was bursting with excitement the moment she heard Beryl's voice. Her smile grew of its own accord, deliriously happy, giddy even. But when Beryl looked at her like she was talking to a stranger, Emily's face fell to the floor, her eyes reflecting her disappointment.  


Emily looked helplessly at Jacob, who frowned at her, not knowing what to say.

 They had been ignoring the problem all a long and now it had come back to bite them.    

Emily looked nothing like she used to from when Beryl last saw her. The effects of Sean's medicine had turned her into someone who looked much younger than the real Emily. Although, she had stopped taking the drugs, the effects from the initial dosage that already done long lasting damage.  

She looked no older than someone who was in their late teens.    

No wonder Beryl couldn't recognize her own mother.    

"Beryl, this is your mommy." Jacob broke the awkward silence and walked towards Beryl. "Can't you recognize her?"   

 Beryl plunged into Jacob's arms and hugged him tightly. "Dad, I've missed you so much! Where on earth have you been? What took you so long to come back home?"   

 Jacob brushed her hair with his fingers and kissed her little head. "I had to go to another country to bring back your mother. Aren't you happy, my little angel?"    

"You liar! This isn't mommy. Why does she look so much younger?" Beryl pouted her lips, mumbling incoherently, evidently disappointment at her father. 

"She looks old enough to be my sister! Dad, you are so bad. I can't believe you could do this to mommy. How could you bring another woman into our home? Don't you love my mother any more?"  

Her incessant questioning felt like a barrage bullets, causing Jacob's head to reel back. He composed himself and patiently continued, "This is your mother. She looks young because she is sick..."  

  "You can't even lie properly! How can someone look young after falling ill? Dad, I don't like it when you lie to me!"    

"Beryl, listen to me..."    

Before Jacob could say anything, Beryl broke free from his arms and ran away like a little kitten, groaning in anger as she scampered past Emily.  

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