Scheduled Parting (1)
He went out early in the morning, so she thought he would return early in the evening.
“The lights in the rooms are off.
Is he sleeping?”
Elusiana, trying hard to overcome her uneasiness, turned off the moderately heated pot and ran up to the second floor.
In an instant, she arrived in front of Astein’s room, catching her breath.
If he wasn’t in his room, it meant he hadn’t returned yet.
However, her hand didn’t readily reach the handle for some reason.
Elusiana hesitated involuntarily and bit her lips slightly. It was strange.
Why do I think of the lisianthuses he gave me before?
He told me it was something that caught his eye. He couldn’t have bought it if he didn’t see it.
It couldn’t have had any special meaning. What the hell am I worried about?
Elusiana took a deep breath and grabbed the door handle. There’s no way As would leave without a word. Even if he left this place, he had nowhere to go.
Where would he go? This is his home and his hometown.”
She laughed awkwardly and pulled her hand.
Soon, she heard an unpleasant screeching noise, and then died down.
It was coming from the empty room in the dark she faced.
In an instant, her fingertips were cold.
Is this why the space that would have been warm when he was there feels particularly cold? Elusiana slowly entered the room.
Her trembling hand lit the magic lamp.
The overly tidy room was so dark that it was unpleasant to her eyes.
But nothing changed.
It was always as clean as she had ever seen.
Feeling relieved inside, Elusiana left the room.
Leaning against the door, she let out a long sigh.
“…Then, where did he go?”
He didn’t seem to have gone far away, given that he took Soda too.
It was time for her to turn around, pressing one side of her anxious chest.
“Huh? Why is the door to my room open?”
Elusiana tilted her head and moved her steps close to the open door.
Through the slightly open door, she could see the simple view of the room.
It was no different from when she left in the morning.
It was then that Elusiana’s gaze turned to the table.
“What is that…?”
Frowning, Elusiana opened the door and went inside.
She walked straight to her table and then moistened her dry lips as she looked down at the glass bottle full of colorful candies.
“…It’s full… of candies?”
Her trembling hand reached out and picked up the glass bottle.
It wasn’t hard to figure out who was doing it.
Only her father and Astein were interested in this glass bottle.
Her heart, which had been soothed, began to beat rapidly again.
The ominousness nervously shook her composure.
She frowned and squeezed the glass jar full of candy.
The back of her hand was pale, holding the glass bottle that looked particularly red.
By the way— Something else foreign came into her eyes.
Elusiana bit her lip and walked over to the dressing table.
A luxurious box that was never seen in this room was placed on the dressing table.
Her heart beat louder, and her ears were deafening.
Nevertheless, Elusiana opened the lid of the box.
She felt she would soon choke on her anxiety if she didn’t check what was in it.
Confirming what was inside it, Elusiana’s pupils widened.
For a moment, she lost all strength in her hands.
“This… why in here…?”
Her lips trembled as if she had seen something she couldn’t believe as she grabbed the box again, which she almost missed.
“I gave this to As.
Why is this here?”
Elusiana looked at the white gold lisianthus petals in dismay.
Her head was spinning with wild thoughts.
But when she looked closely, it looked different from what she remembered.
The color was different.
It wasn’t a transparent and clear diamond but a dark red ruby with brilliant light.
Frowning, Elusiana couldn’t understand.
A similar product that wasn’t real.
“It’s not even my mother’s, so why did—” It was then.
She heard a rustling sound from the first floor.
Elusiana rushed downstairs with the necklace in her hand. He’s back. If she saw him, she would have to ask.
Why did he return something other than her mother’s necklace? Why did he do useless things to confuse people’s minds? She needed to hear his excuse.
With that, Elusiana didn’t notice that something had fallen from the box all over the floor.
A short note was written in neat handwriting.
[Wait for me, Lusi.]
* * *
Elusiana, who thought it was Astein, looked blankly at Simon, forgetting to welcome him.
“You must have a problem because your father is late.”
Elusiana answered with a squeeze and bit her lips.
If she didn’t do that, she felt like she would get emotional and burst into tears.
“I’m glad to hear that.”
Simon, unaware of anything, patted Elusiana on her back.
Was his touch the trigger? Elusiana hugged Simon tightly and buried her face in his arms.
Startled by his daughter’s sudden action, Simon flinched for a moment.
He brushed Elusiana’s back with a softer touch than before.
“What happened outside?”
It’s just… I miss Father a lot today.”
But, why are you very late?”
That’s because a very welcoming guest came unexpectedly.”
Elusiana put on a puzzled expression at Simon’s voice, which seemed particularly pleasant.
“You had a welcoming guest?”
“Yes, you know that person very well.”
Elusiana tilted her head and thought, ‘No way…!’ and widened her eyes.
She didn’t call Simon a pushover for nothing.
He was the one who gave everything he had if someone needed money, even if those people were his in-laws, eight cousins, or someone who was starving in the slums.
He didn’t come looking for my help.”
Simon, who couldn’t be unaware of Elusiana’s concerns, stubbornly waved his hand.
However, with what she had seen in the past few years, Elusiana couldn’t easily accept his words. What did you get robbed of this time, Father?
Unable to deal with her stuffy heart, Elusiana swallowed her saliva as if in pain.
Simon hurriedly made an excuse that wasn’t an excuse, whether he didn’t want to hear her nagging again if he just stayed still.
“Astein came to see me.”
“Is As the guest?”
“I was a little surprised too.
Isn’t this the first time Astein came alone?”
On the other hand, Elusiana’s eyes reflexively turned to the closed door.
If Astein had visited Simon, he should have come back with him.
But why did only her father come back?
For a moment, one side of her heart became cold.
Her hand holding the lisianthus necklace was very tense.
Maybe Astein won’t come back.
He left a present behind for her without her knowing, and he went alone to visit her father, whom he had never looked for.
Elusiana, who clenched her lips, asked again as if she were urging him.
“What about As? Didn’t you come with him?”
“He said he had something to do.
That’s why we parted away at the entrance.”
“…Parted ways at the entrance?”
“Let’s sit down first, Lusi.”
Simon continued, leading Elusiana to the dining room.
“If you’re worried about him, don’t worry.
He had promised me, so he won’t be back that late.
There’s something more surprising than that.
I didn’t know that Astein could nag me so much until now.”
“Nagging? Did As nag at Father? …What did he say?”
“Ahem, he told me to tell you if I need to spend money.
He… asked me to change my habit of signing first rather than looking at it.
Elusiana’s heart sank with a thud.
He couldn’t believe a guy who doesn’t care about others suddenly visited her father, even nagging him.
Her hand, which was holding the lisianthus necklace, fell down.
“Lusi, are you sick? You don’t look well.”
Simon looked at her face in surprise when he saw Elusiana with a pale complexion.
“As expected, you must have been working too hard.
I can’t let this happen.
Sit in the chair and rest for a while, Lusi.
I will prepare dinner tonight.”
Simon, who led Elusiana to the dining room, put her in a chair and hurried into the kitchen.
But Elusiana didn’t hear anything.
What Simon said ago was endlessly hovering in her ears.
Every word he said proved everything she had tried to ignore.
…Is he leaving like this? Elusiana was choked up when she looked at the empty seat opposite her.
Every morning and dinner, they sat there, ate together, and talked.
It had been over a decade.
But without giving her time to prepare, he was going to leave on his own?
That can’t be true.
Where is he going? This is the only place he can lean on in the world!
Elusiana’s face distorted painfully as she grabbed one of her chest.
“But why… is he leaving?”
Elusiana pounded her chest and clenched her teeth.
Her stomach churned as the vague part came to reality in front of her eyes.
Her fingertips were shaking and her head was dizzy.
She didn’t know why she felt this way.
It wasn’t like they would part away forever, but why was her heart pounding and her breath choking as if they would never see each other again? It felt like everywhere was submerged and she kept sinking.
“This is wrong.”
At least this kind of one-sided parting was wrong.
“I won’t allow it, As.
I can’t let you go like this.”
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