3. Time to Break the Engagement
Almost at the same time as me, my parents entered the drawing room. My mother sat next to my father, and naturally, I sat beside Philip.
After sitting next to him and taking a small, deep, breath, I tapped his shoulder with my index finger. Immediately, his pair of dazzling golden eyes beheld me.
“Umm, thank you for the wonderful flowers… I never expect for Lord Philip to be such an amazing person, uh, how to say this… I’m kind of thrilled…”
Smiling as I said so, the only response I received was him averting his gaze. Seeing that reaction of his only reaffirmed my belief—he disliked being complimented by women.
To be honest, it was embarrassing to say such and act like that, but I supported my spirit at the last minute—it’s to emphasize that I’m a different person! That I have amnesia!
While pretending to be a buffoon, I shall ruin his impression of me. Surely, he’d abandon his engagement with me afterwards—it was a perfect strategy!
Thinking that he needed another push, I gently placed my hand on his wide hand, which was on his lap. He’d probably find it distasteful—after all, I had only meet him for the ‘first time’, and I was already behaving touchy-feely. This, arguably, was his most detestable type of woman. By the way, because his hand was under the table, my parents couldn’t see what I was doing.
More than anything, Philip hated being touched by women. Even if it were only a slight touch, he’d get angry. It didn’t matter how beautiful the lady was. The only moment he’d touch me was when he was escorting me.
Hence why, I fully expected for him to withdraw his hand from my grasp. Yes, that was exactly what I was aiming for—
For some reason, he held my hand.
I couldn’t comprehend the reason. While I stared up at Philip, his gaze remained straight and his expression composed.
I truly didn’t understand…
What was he trying to do? No matter how much I thought about it, I couldn’t come to an answer. With my hand wrapped in his warm, slightly coarse, palm, I felt my heartbeat accelerate.
I was upset, but I had to go ahead with the lie and look towards my father who sat across of me.
Apparently, my intent was transmitted clearly to him. After lightly clearing his throat, my father turned serious.
“Lord Philip, this daughter of mine has neither recollection nor understanding in regards to anything. The doctor told me that her memories might not return for the rest of her life. At this rate, it’d prove difficult for her to attend any kind of social event. I haven’t spoken to the duke himself, but don’t you think it’s necessary to reconsider your marriage?”
Suffice to say, my father was already dancing on the palm of my hand.
“I’m afraid to go out because I don’t know anything. What if it’s difficult? I want to stay with father forever…”—that got him to suggest the annulment to my engagement.
However, as a result, it became even more difficult for me to reveal that my amnesia was merely a lie. I would have no choice but to act as if I was slowly regaining my memories later—
—I learned the hard way that lying would beget more lies.
I swore that I would never tell such a lie again. In my heart, I had begged my parents for forgiveness again and again. I was sorry for being such a terrible daughter. At the same time, I had even more of a reason for my operation to not fail.
All that remained was for Philip to agree to dissolve the engagement—however,
“May I talk to Viola, alone?”
Suddenly, he made such a proposal. I could feel cold sweat flowing on my back. Why didn’t you immediately accept!?
In the end, I couldn’t refuse and ended up moving to my room.
When I stood up, I tried to pull my hand free from his palm. Despite so, there was no sign of him releasing me. Philip also stood up, and pulled me by my hand—why is he…?
I had no idea that my parents and maids were watching us, who left the room while holding hands, with warm gazes.
With my hand still within his grasp, Philip treaded in silence.
Eventually, as we entered my room, he firmly sat on the two-seat sofa instead of by the table were we would have been able to sit face to face. As I sat beside him, he kept staring intently at me—I didn’t understand him at all.
For the time being, I sat next to him in silence, still holding his hand. Since there was almost no gap between us, our shoulders naturally touched each other.
…Here comes the signature silence.
The silence continued for about 20 minutes.
He seemed to have something to talk about, but in the end, it was the same as usual.
It was when I felt my facial expression had become paralyzed with a smile—
“—Do you truly not remember me?”
He asked me, as if trying to confirm.
“Yes, I can’t remember anything. I’m sorry…”
I felt his grip on my hand strengthening a little. Philip stared straight at me. His face was so close, the tips of our noses might touch.
I saw my stupid expression being reflected in his clear eyes. His beauty was so overwhelming, I couldn’t even muster a complain about our distance—it made me want to cry for some reason.
“I will not break our engagement.”
The words he suddenly delivered shocked me—it was as if I had been hit in the head.
Why on earth…?
…In the past, didn’t Philip say he hated me?
“…Why, is that?”
I asked, my voice slightly trembling.
Then, he said with a smile so beautiful, it made me breathless—
“—because we loved each other.”
Was what he said.
Then, a few seconds later, after receiving his words, which were beyond my scope of understanding, the word, “What?” spilled from my lips—
—I had even pretended to be amnesiac…!
***T/N: Viola, Philip may actually be the one who suffered amnesia…
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