Refusing Your Ex-Husband's Obsession: A Guide - Chapter 3
Chapter 3 – New Name
“Irene, are you done preparing?”
From outside the door, I heard the gentle voice of a young man call out to me. Glancing at the mirror in front of me, I looked towards Mary, my maid.
“Yes, Milady, all done now.”
“Thank you, Mary.”
“You’re truly very beautiful, Milady.”
Lastly, to hide the burn scars on the back of one hand and at the side of one arm, I wore thin yet long gloves. Then, I shouted.
“Brother! You can come in now!”
It wasn’t until I gave my permission that my older brother came into the room. David smiled gently at me. It was a smile that I’ve always seen ever since I opened my eyes in this place.
Somehow, when I came here, it felt as if I had come to possess the body of another person instead of being born again after I had died.
Irene de Closch.
It was the name of the body I had come to possess. And now, it was my name.
There was once a time when Irene was all alone in an attic. She had fallen asleep there, yet unbeknownst to her, the candle illuminating the room fell to the ground. Because of the resulting fire, which had grown to the point that it reached the back of her hand and one side of her arm, where she sustained severe burns. Sadly, this was also the cause of her death.
How did I know about that? Well, when I first opened my eyes in this world, I found myself in a small wooden casket.
You’d think that people would be spooked when someone, who had already been proclaimed dead, suddenly opened her eyes. However, Irene’s family instead held me tight as they sobbed and rejoiced.
The family firmly believed that God had taken her by mistake then returned her to them.
It had been difficult to adjust at first. The family gave me such affection and attention that it felt burdensome, and I could barely pull myself out from the vestiges of my own past, which was why I struggled.
However, even when I didn’t retain any memories of them, my parents and older brother in this world took care of me so sincerely with all their hearts. It was a feeling that I was terribly unfamiliar with, so at the beginning, I stayed vigilant around them.
After all, in my previous life, I had been an orphan who was not welcomed by anyone.
Even with my husband, who became my only family, it was like that.
As I was showered with their kindness, which did not seek any rewards, I couldn’t help but slowly accept them. The love of a family, which I had never experienced before, was exceedingly addictive.
David, too, was the most ideal older brother.
Was it not God’s gift to me that I had met David and our parents, who cared for me endlessly?
After living a life where I had not been loved by anyone at all, even until the very last moment, I could only think that this was the case.
“What are you thinking so deeply about? Rin, you sometimes space out during the most random of times.”
My older brother talked to me as I was immersed in my own thoughts. I climbed the narrow carriage that was set to depart for the city.
“Brother, are you really going to buy it for me?”
I first met them ten years ago, and at first, I was gloomy and distant around them. However, ever since then, I had changed considerably. Indeed, I used to think that flowers, as a gift to express one’s affection, was the same as saying that your love would not grow and would instead wilt over time.
Hearing my question, David let out a small chuckle.
“People might think you’re asking me to buy you expensive jewelry instead, Rin.”
“Books are expensive, too. I know that Father’s going through a few troubles with his business these days.”
David couldn’t refute what I said. Because it was true.
House Closch was a noble household with a very extensive history, but we were only the lowest rank—a barony.
Our territory was not blessed with fertile land, and it was located at the very edge of the empire, that’s why we couldn’t cut back on the wages we’ve set aside for the defense of the border.
However, I recently heard that even the merchant guild of our family was having a difficult time, that’s why I couldn’t even buy a book without having to think about it carefully.
Even so, David was the kind of older brother who would always dote on his younger sister.
How did he find out about the book I wanted and had the time to save up for it?
It’s not even an educational book. It was just a romance novel.
Of course, it was a truly popular book. I found out about it through Elise, who was residing at the neighboring fief.
Elise was someone who was usually very talkative, and it was just one of the many things that she told me about. But on that day, what she said about the novel particularly stuck to my mind.
And so ever since I heard about the novel, I’ve had the strangest urge to read it. Truly, I was so curious about the story that I couldn’t endure.
After I had received so much love for ten years, perhaps I’ve become more childish. Before I realized it, my exclusive maid Mary also said that same book, and so I eventually gave in and admitted that I really wanted a copy of my own.
I didn’t intend to let him know, but my brother somehow heard about it and sent an order to the one and only bookstore in our fief.
Still, I wasn’t holding any expectations because I heard that it was so popular that it’s difficult to get even in the capital. But when I heard that the bookstore had it, the two of us, brother and sister, hurriedly prepared to head out into the city.