12. Ambiguous and Unobtrusive
“Oh, yes, did you hear? There’ll be a school reunion next month.”
“N, no, I haven’t…”
“I’m planning to go. Why don’t you go, too, Viola?”
‘Otherwise, I wouldn’t know when I can see you again.’ Although he smiled, he seemed troubled.
That day’s evening party was already taxing enough, much less a reunion. I definitely didn’t want to go to an association filled with my alumni acquaintances. When I was wondering what to say, I heard a cute and bubbly voice saying, “Brother!”
“You suddenly start walking with tremendous speed, I lost track of you! You really made me search for you, older brother! Without you, those extras keep pestering me. I feel really annoyed—Oh, Viola! Good day!”
It was Laura, Cyril’s little sister. She smiled at me.
From the beginning, she had an angelic beauty, more so when she gave her greeting. Hence why I was quite surprised when the adorable Laura spouted rude things in an annoyed voice.
“I’m Laura, Cyril’s little sister. Earlier, I’ve heard that Viola doesn’t remember anything because of the accident. If there’s anything we can do to help, do tell.”
“Thank you for your concern.”
While being impressed by Laura’s kindness, I was still pondering about the reunion. That was when my name was called. Turning around, I saw Philip coming towards me.
When I involuntarily muttered his name, Cyril, who was before me, leaked an astonished voice.
That might had been the first time I had ever addressed Philip like that in public.
If I didn’t refer to him that way, he refused to respond. Thus, it became an embarrassing habit of mine.
“Hey, Viola—” Before Cyril could finish his sentence—
“—we’re going home.”
Interjecting Cyril’s words, Philip took my hand.
As soon as he joined us, those were the words Philip said. Could it be, there was something urgent?
“Hey, Philip, how about a greeting?”
“We just met the other day.”
“Let’s talk a little more. I want to talk to Viola, too.”
When I glanced back as my arm was pulled, Cyril showed a smile as he waved. “See you again.”
Trapped in an indescribable atmosphere, we were now sitting next to each other and were being swayed by the carriage on our way home.
My hand, which remained within his grip, felt terribly uncomfortable. Not to mention, Philip had been silent ever since.
It was when we were halfway home. Philip finally opened his mouth. I returned with, “Yes?”
“In the past, I’m positive… that you hated him.”
For the first time today, he lied.
For some reason, in a vague and unobtrusive way.
I didn’t hate Cyril.
After being confessed to, that was the first time I had ever met him in a long while. It ended up being awkward.
I didn’t know why Philip would tell such a lie.
“That’s why, the two of you shouldn’t talk too much.”
After saying such a thing, Philip kept holding my hand until we arrived at the mansion.
Once again, silence descended.
Once a year, around that time, an event called the flower festival was held in our kingdom.
The city would be with flowers, people, and stalls.
On that day, it was customary for men to give women bouquets and for women to give men handkerchiefs embroidered with flowers.
In the case of the aristocracy, even if they weren’t lovers but were instead engaged, it was normal to give each other flowers. But Philip and I had never exchanged anything.
There was no problem if someone were to give a person whom was already engaged a flower during that day. That was considered normal, especially when it was a person they were indebted to.
That was why, every year, Philip would receive countless handkerchiefs. Because refusing it was rude, the amount of handkerchiefs he had was enough to last the rest of his life.
More than that, my embroidering skill was catastrophic. At my academy, I remembered being told by the teacher, “At this rate, you’ll become an embarrassment of a bride!” I practiced quietly, but didn’t improve much.
Therefore, every year, unlike other ladies, I didn’t spend the day leading up to the flower festival being busy.
“Originally, you liked plumeria. But now that you don’t remember it, do you still like it?”
That year, he visited my house. He brought a lot of flowers. What brought that change in him?
Not to mention, I had never told him about my favorite flower—how did he know? By the way, I received said explanation regarding the flower festival from him.
“The other day, my maid committed a blunder when she was doing my laundry. All the handkerchiefs I’ve received are ruined. How unfortunate.”
“Indeed. It’d be better if the handkerchief has something sewn on it.”
He straightforwardly appealed for a handkerchief, and roundaboutly requested for it to be embroidered—which was unreasonable. Swallowing the words that, “I should just buy it.” I replied. “Alright.”
I didn’t know what caused the abrupt change with him. But now that he had gone that far, why didn’t he just clearly say he wanted a handkerchief?
In the end, the words, “Give me a handkerchief.” Never left his mouth. He just told me to make an appointment with him on the day of the flower festival and went home with heavy shoulders.
What was wrong with him?
Somehow, I felt obliged. If after receiving his bouquet, I didn’t give him a handkerchief, that’d be uncouth of me.
That night, as a result of my anxiety, I gently took out the sewing box that had been stored in the back of the shelf.
***T/N: …Phil, you see (Dhar Mann’s video style), healthy relationship isn’t build on rewriting the memories of your supposed amnesiac fiancee to your own convenient…
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