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 Season 8

Episode 24

(How about a million times)

The peacefulness of the dawn was broken by a loud scream of a child. 

People in the household woke up and scrambled up to find out what happened.    

Never had Jacob thought that a terrible accident would happen. He just dawdled around the room while he let Emily go alone downstairs in the kitchen. The moment he heard Beryl's scream, his heartbeat thumped so wildly. He rushed to the kitchen and picked Emily up immediately.    

Anxiety attacked as he saw his wife lying on the floor. While carrying Emily, he shouted, "Someone call the doctor to accompany us to the hospital. And hurry up!"   

 He wanted the doctor to be with them on their way to the hospital for he was afraid that something worse might happen to Emily along the way. He didn't want to take any risk when it came to Emily's welfare.  

The scene was a mess. There was a puddle of blood. It was a good thing Beryl was able to shout. She was so frightened that she wasn't able to move even after her father left for the hospital.    
Then, Beryl stood still for a long while after her ordeal. As the shock subsided, she began to worry. 'What should I do? Will the baby be all right?'    

Beryl couldn't stop thinking about what happened. Her edginess showed by the way her brows frowned. In the end, she couldn't bear to stay at home any longer.   
 "Beryl, it's time for school." Because she was preoccupied with thoughts of the baby, Beryl didn't notice Ancho coming inside the kitchen until she spoke. On the other hand, Ancho purposely arrived just at the moment because she wanted everyone to notice her absence in the midst of the unfortunate incident.  

Opening her mouth and then closing it again, Beryl hesitated a little bit. Then, she shook her head and made a decision, "I'm going to the hospital to check on them."    

"Why? What help can you provide? You don't know anything about medicine, do you? That's the reason why there is no need for you to go there. You may make things worse." In a gentlest voice Ancho could muster, she persuaded Beryl not to go anymore. She also paused at the right moment to show the little girl that she was being considerate of her.    

"But I'm so worried..." Beryl pursed her lips. A second after, she decided, "No, I want to go to the hospital. I want to see and make sure that the baby will be all right!"    

Before Beryl could leave the room, Ancho pulled her back and swung her to face her. Then, she looked out the kitchen to see if there was anyone else around. 

When she saw there was no one, she whispered, "Beryl, don't go. Aren't you happy with this? If the baby is gone, you will have all your parents' attention. You will not be deprived of the love you deserve..."  

The expression in Beryl's eyes changed slowly as realization hit her. Then, she gave Ancho an incredulous look. She couldn't believe what she had just heard. 

Though it took her a long time to understand what Ancho's words meant, she heard and understood every word. 

   "Ancho, what's the matter with you? It seems that you have changed..."    

Shocked, Ancho suddenly schooled her expression to show distress. 

Apologetically, she answered, "I'm really sorry, Beryl. I was overthinking things for such an insignificant problem. I don't know what came over me to say those.

 Perhaps, I am just afraid that your parents will prefer the baby more than you. I sincerely hope that you will live a good life and achieve the best of things. I just don't want them to be taken away from you."  

Inside, Beryl seemed to agree with what Ancho said, but she kept silent. A few minutes later, Beryl said, "Then you'd better not say that again."   

 Though she was afraid that she would not be the center of attention anymore, she never wished any harm to come to the baby. She knew deep inside her that she would feel very bad if something evil would befall Emily.    

"Thank you for your forgiveness, Beryl,"  Ancho replied with a grateful smile. 

Then, she added, "How about we see Mrs. Emily together? Do you like that? I am very confident that she will be all right!"   

 "Fine." Despite Ancho's assurance, Beryl still couldn't help to feel anxious.    

In the hospital, they found out that Emily was still in the operating room. It was so quiet that they felt eerie as they walked along the corridors.    

Meanwhile, Jacob was leaning against the cold wall, smoking. Though his face was expressionless, his narrowed eyes spoke of nervousness and panic.  

Admittedly, he was horrified.    

He was so afraid that something dreadful would happen to Emily. That he would lose her again... No one wanted to lose a loved one. More so he who had lost Emily again and again before. He knew himself. He wished fervently to the Almighty to spare him the cruelest stroke of fate for he wouldn't bear to lose her one more time.    

And, if anything would happen to Emily and the baby, he didn't know what would happen to him. Madness could be considered.  

  "Daddy..." Beryl called out softly as she walked towards Jacob. When she reached him, she held his big hand and squeezed it gently. "Everything will be okay, Daddy." She hoped in her own small way that she had given her daddy the comfort he badly needed.  

As soon as Jacob saw Beryl, he snuffed out the cigarette he was smoking and crushed it. "Yes, she will be all right." 

Despite how he felt inside, he also wanted to be assured by the words he said. He only had to believe it..   

 "Yes, Mrs. Emily is blessed. She is full of grace." Ancho felt the need to say some good things that would alleviate the desperation everyone felt. But when her eyes met those black cold eyes, she couldn't help but feel coward. In a soft voice, she continued, "I am a Christian. I will pray for her."   

 Jacob just glanced at her for a second. Then, he ignored her as if she did not exist.    

This made Ancho feel more awkward. She had no choice but to talk to Beryl. 

"Beryl, let's pray for Mrs. Emily together."    
"Okay." Beryl decided to go with Ancho after seeing her father seemed out of himself. She, then, excused herself to her father. Beryl sat with her on the bench. 

She crossed her hands the way Ancho had taught her, then closed her eyes. She prayed ardently for the safety of her mother and the baby.  

However, it was the opposite in the case of Ancho. She wasn't praying for Emily's safety. Instead, she was cursing her.    

She cursed for Emily and the baby to die. If death would not be granted, she would settle for the abortion of the baby, and the impotence of the mother.   

 She repeated her curse for several times as if the curse would come true and happen to Emily.    

They had been waiting for quite a long time. Everyone lost track of time.   

 When the doctor came out from the operating room, everyone gathered around him. After taking the mask off, he said with a relieved smile, "The patient is out of danger, so is the baby. The surgery is successful. But you should take good care of the patient in the future. I advise a bed rest for her. She is not allowed to take a walk, especially long ones."  

As soon as the doctor said "The patient is out of danger", Jacob didn't hear the rest of what he said. Those were just the magic words he longed to hear. Everyone could see the sudden shift in him --- dark eyes turned bright, dark mood turned blissful.    

"Thank you! Thank you so much, doctor!" 

   He couldn't wait to see his beloved Emily. As soon as he finished thanking the doctor, he rushed into the operating room.    

But the doctor stopped him. He was not allowed inside. The doctor told him to wait while his assistant pushed Emily out of the operating room. Then, Jacob took over as soon as he saw Emily out of the OR and pushed her to the inpatient ward by himself.  

Due to the effects of anesthesia, Emily was still unconscious. But that did not stop Jacob. He held her hands tightly and talked to her.    

"I thank God for you are all right! Oh God, thank you so much for she is all right!"    Following them to the ward was Beryl. She also wanted to see Emily.    

She saw her still sleeping. She also noticed that her face and lips were still pale. For Beryl, she looked very weak.  

  'But the doctor said that she and the baby were out of danger... Then it means everything will be fine, won't it be?'    

Having those thoughts relieved Beryl. 

But, slowly, her feelings of worry turned to distress. She whispered a prayer in her heart, "Mom, please be better as soon as possible."    

At the same time, Ancho was looking at the three of them just by the door of the ward. She felt an outsider, a third wheel in a relationship!  

'Emily was indeed lucky! Everyone knew she has poor health. How is it possible for her to be all right after suffering from such a fall? Why is the baby so strong?!'    
While these thoughts were running in her mind, Ancho's expression turned gloomy, her hands clenched tightly. She couldn't believe how lucky Emily was every time bad things happened to her. She recovered not only once or twice, but thrice... Hmm... How about a million times?    

Ancho also couldn't believe that she failed to make the child disappear! So unbelievable! But it didn't matter, because she would definitely tried it again and again, until she finally succeeded.    

After ensuring that Emily was all right and she was just under the effects of medicine, Jacob finally decided to investigate what happened. He made a call. Not long after, the persons arrived and gathered outside the ward.  

The investigator interviewed all the people in the household. Eventually, a conclusion was made.   

 The investigator started to fill Jacob in with the results of his inquiry. "Sir, they all said that only Miss Beryl and Mrs. Emily were the only ones who had entered the kitchen."    

But before Jacob could say anything, Ancho suddenly screamed. She faced the investigator and pointed at him on his face, "What do you mean by that?! 

Are you implying that Miss Beryl did something to harm Mrs. Emily?! That is slander! What will you get in exchange of that accusation?! Who the hell ordered you to do this?!"    

The investigator was so confused! He was so stunned that he wasn't able to react right away! Even Jacob was speechless!  

Finally, the investigator recovered and said, "I haven t said anything definite yet.
Why are you so defensive?"

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