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 Season 8

Episode 22

(I'm here with you)

Beryl looked at her curiously for an instant and said, "Ancho, I am sorry I didn't realize that you were insisting to pay for the dress out of self-respect. I shouldn't have stopped you. That was very presumptuous of me."    

Ancho was a trifle subdued, with a puzzled look in her face, "What did Mrs. Emily actually say to you?"    

"Well, she said that no one wants their dignity and personal boundaries to be abused. I should have taken your thoughts and opinions into consideration before making your decisions for you."

    Ancho clenched his fists, infuriated, one push away from a violent outburst. 

'My thoughts and opinions? What nonsense! She just wants to me make pay for that damn dress! Bravo, Emily! 

You've managed to fool a child in just a word or two!'  

Ancho condemned Emily's actions, not realizing that she often resorted to manipulating Beryl in the same way for her own benefit.   

 But now she had fallen into Emily's trap. Refusing to pay for the dress now was no longer an option as it would only imply that she had no dignity or self-respect. What would Beryl think of her then?    

Ancho contemplated her current situation for a while and then came up with a plan. Hoping to sway Beryl with suggestive maneuvers, she said, "I'm still worried that Mrs. Emily will be angry with me. Beryl, do you think it would be possible for you to pay Mrs. Emily on my behalf first? I just want to make sure that she gets the money first and then I can easily pay it back to you in monthly instalments."    

To an innocent child like Beryl, who had a heart of gold, Ancho's request sounded reasonable, as it seemed like the best way to make everyone happy. As a result, she agreed to help out Ancho without hesitation. Needless to say, money wasn't really an issue for Beryl. After all, she was the daughter of Jacob Gu. 

Coming up with the money for Beryl was just as easy as lifting a finger to help Ancho.  

Satisfied, Ancho finally breathed a sigh of relief. She figured it was better to be in debt to Beryl than to owe money to Emily, as Beryl would never pressure her to pay back the money. In fact, she might not even ask her to pay it back at all.    

"Beryl, please don't tell Mrs. Emily about this, or she will get angry at me again." 

She indirectly implied that Emily's bad temper was the reason why she needed to keep their pact a secret. "Come on, let's make a pinkie promise."    

While Beryl didn't completely agree with what Ancho had said about Emily, she wanted to help her friend the best way she could without angering Emily.    

Having settled that matter, Ancho finally brought up the problem she was more concerned about. "So did you ask Mrs. Emily about what I told you? Is she really pregnant with a baby?"  

Beryl's face lit up with a big grin as she leaned over and pulled Ancho close to whisper into her ears, "Well, she did say that she is carrying what could either be my brother or my sister."    

It was just as Ancho had expected! Emily wouldn't lie to her own daughter about such a delicate matter. So it was true. 

   Although, a part of her knew and had mentally prepared her for it, the feeling of loss felt far more real when she heard the truth come from someone else's mouth.    

Emily was going to give Jacob another child. What could Ancho do about it? 

Perhaps it was time to give up on her hopes and dreams.   

 No! She had to do something.   

 She looked straight into Beryl's eyes, as if turning something over in her mind. 'Oh you silly little girl. Don't you know what the birth of a new baby could mean for you?'  

"Beryl, how do you feel about the fact that Mrs. Emily is having a baby?" she asked.    

Beryl didn't know how to answer that question. She seemed to be trying—and failing—to find exactly the right word or expression. "I, I don't know."    

"What do you mean, you don't know?" 

Ancho looked anxious, "Beryl, do you know what it means if the baby is born?"

 She kept pausing to add suspense.    

Looking at the way that Ancho was getting all worked up made Beryl start to feel a bit worried. "What does it mean?"  

  "It means that your will no longer be the only child in your family. Once your father has another child, whatever that once belonged to you will be divided into two parts. That includes the love of your parents. Beryl, do you understand what I'm trying to say to you?"    

"You mean.. I will have to compete with the baby for the love of my parents? And after it is born, my daddy will not love me any more?" Beryl's mouth drooped sadly, the earnest expression coming into her eyes.  

"It's hard to say." Ancho showed a worried look on her face, as if she was genuinely and sincerely concerned about Beryl.   

 Beryl pursed her lips as tears rippled in her eyes. But she soon choked them back. "My daddy wouldn't do that. He will always love me,"  she said to Ancho, as well as herself.   

 Ancho raised the corners of her lips and laughed, "Yeah... I hope Mrs. Emily will keep being good to you after she gives birth to her own child."    

Beryl, however, did not speak any more because she wasn't entirely sure whether Emily would change her attitude towards her after the birth of the baby. After all, they got off on the wrong foot when they first met.    

Nobody liked a disobedient child, right? 

   Although Beryl did not say anything else, Ancho knew that her goal was half achieved. She muttered under her breath, but loud enough for Beryl to catch her meaning, "If the Mr. Jacob and Mrs. Emily had only one child, then they would only love you. Beryl, no one wants you to have a better and happier life than I do." 

The words entered Beryl's ears and went straight for her heart. With a feeble murmur her head drooped backward from a sudden spell of dizziness.  

  By the time the photoshoot was over, it was already noon time. The brief off-and-on showers of the morning had cleared up and the south wind had swept away the low-hanging clouds.   

 Emily wanted to take Beryl out to play for a while, but when she saw that Beryl was in a bad mood, she cancelled whatever plans she had and decided to return home.   

 On the way back, Jacob gently caressed Emily's belly with a look of satisfaction as they enjoyed the slow drive back home. "Are you feeling tired?"  

"Not at all." Although, Emily did feel a bit tired, she was quite happy in her heart. "Today must have been tiring for Beryl. She is in low spirits."  

  "She has fallen asleep." Jacob threw his eyes on their daughter leaning aside and said in a low voice, "She's starting to feel a lot more comfortable around you."  

  "I know. I am so happy that she is willing to trust me and accept me." Emily remembered what had happened with Ancho today and wanted to talk about it with Jacob, but when she glanced at her sleeping daughter, she put it aside for later.   

 Jacob stroked Beryl's hair and took her into his arms with one hand, while he kept his other hand on Emily's belly. "Our baby must be as lovely and sensible as Beryl,"  he said in a spoiled tone.   

 "Yes, it will." Emily smiled, "Our Beryl is the best child in the world, and our baby must be like her. But I don't know whether Beryl likes the idea of having a sibling or not."  

"This is her own brother or sister. How could she not be happy about it? Don't worry. They will get along well. I am sure of it."    

Although, Emily was skeptical, she was unwilling to let her doubts dampen Jacob's spirits so she laughed it off.    Soon they arrived at the Tyrone Mansion.    

Jacob was about to take his daughter out of the car when he saw the little girl suddenly open her eyes and drill out of his arms like a fish.    

"This kid..."    

Jacob shook his head left to right, amused by her. "Beryl, were you just pretending to be asleep this whole time? Have you been eavesdropping on mommy and daddy?" Jacob said, as he led Emily in by the hand.    

Meanwhile, Ancho got out of the other car and hurried after them, keeping a yard behind. She could have closed the distance, but she kept her eyes on their shoulders with a sneer hanging in the corner of her lips.  

'If I cannot be Mrs. Gu, I will see to it that no one else can as well! Emily shouldn't expect to give birth to this baby safely.'  

  At the same time, Emily's eyelids began to twitch spasmodically with anxiety, for reasons she herself did not know. She stopped at her path with a vague sense of foreboding in her heart.    

Jacob stopped with her and asked with concern, "What's wrong? Is something bothering you?"   

 Emily nodded and then shook her head. "Nothing. I just feel a little uneasy all of a sudden."    

Jacob held her hands. "Don't be afraid. I am here with you,"  he said in a voice that consoled her and gave her a sense of security.  

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