The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 19
Even so, he didn’t hate to hear that he was someone’s luck. No. He seemed to like it too. The fact that someone needs him, and at the same time can be counted as that person’s luck.
So it might have been an excuse. Without knowing why he had to live, he was unable to die, but he continued to stay by Herietta’s side, talking about coincidences. Which of the two really needed the other? Edwin closed his eyes tightly at the sharp pain that ran through his chest.
‘I’ll just pass the time blankly again. Like a flower hanging on the wall, that’s it. Well, even though I am embarrassed to call myself a flower.’
Herietta chirped like a lark. Although she pretends to be arrogant for nothing, he noticed that she was shy inside.
‘Think about it. What kind of crazy son would want to marry me? If I look around, there are a lot of ladies who are much prettier and more elegant than me.’
‘Yes. Some crazy person in the world…’
But Edwin couldn’t hold back anymore. Herietta’s hair, which shone softly under the sunlight, came to mind.
Her slender face surrounded by lush hair. And on top of that, the dense facial features that seemed to have been drawn with sincerity came to mind. With flawless, smooth skin, she has a very fine line from her neck to her shoulders. Not only that, the overall line that made up her body was very soft and feminine.
With her pinkish cheeks and red, plump lips, Herietta was lively and far more attractive than she thought. She was barely crossing the border between a girl and a woman, and when he came to his senses, he realized that she had become a woman. Now no one would ever call her a girl anymore.
Edwin’s eyes darkened. Change might have come gradually, but the realization was always instantaneous.
* * *
A few days after telling Edwin that she was going to Lavant, Herietta visited him. Because she knows she won’t see him for a long time, she wanted to at least get some kind of memento from him. However, when she had the person in front of her, it was difficult to ask openly.
After hesitating for a while, Herietta suddenly offered Edwin a haircut. She had told him not to cut it, just leave it long. He was puzzled by the different attitude from before but did not objectio. He handed her a blunt-edged pair of scissors, and used it to cut a bit of his back hair.
‘There, all done.’
Edwin was taken aback by the sight of Herietta putting down the scissors with a satisfied smile.
‘What did you cut?’
He touched the back of his head with his hand to see if anything had changed from before, just in case. Thinking that he looked very lovable, Herietta confidently nodded.
Then she went straight back to her room and secretly placed the stolen lock of hair inside a locket necklace.
Herietta was stared intently at the hair in the necklace. His hair resembled the dazzling and beautiful light of the noon sun floating on a clear summer sky.
However, she was in a bad mood as the day was coming when she had to leave Philioche and go to Lavant. She told Edwin that she would be back in three or four months, but depending on the circumstances, she might have to stay in Lavant for longer.
She thought it would be more than half a year at the longest, but she couldn’t even guarantee that. She sighed deeply.
Herietta loved her hometown Philioche very much. So she often told the people around her that there could be no better place to live in the world than there. But she didn’t want to leave simply because she was attached to her hometown. She thought of the man who was like a treasure that she had to leave soon.
Before Edwin arrived, Herrietta had fantasized and longed for him. Like a star or an oasis in the desert that you can’t reach no matter how hard you try, in her imagination, he was more perfect than anyone else, and Herietta believed that she could never find anyone more attractive than him.
‘But I was completely wrong.’
Herietta thought as she lowered her eyes slightly.
The Edwin in real life, was very different from the one Herietta had envisioned. Obviously, he was still beautiful and charming, but he wasn’t the perfect prince on a white horse like she had imagined. He was rather blunt and indifferent to others, so he was far from the prince in fairy tales. Sometimes Herietta sees him like that, and even if the person next to him was out of breath, she wonders if he will bat an eyelid.
‘But he always cared about me.’
Herietta recalled the past year she spent with Edwin at Philioche.
Edwin secretly seeks her out whenever Herietta doesn’t show up even though he is bothered that she comes and talks with him all day long.
He would get worried that Herietta would catch a cold in the middle of winter, so he would make her lemon tea mixed with honey and would make her drink it all even though she tells him she doesn’t like sweet and sour drinks.
He might seem displeased with her whenever she gets involved in dangerous affairs, but when he sees her in danger, he is the first to help her.
Edwin calling her name was sweeter than the song of the legendary siren. Herietta closed her eyes.
The figure of a man with eyes like sapphire was so vivid in her mind that it seemed like he were in front of her. Just thinking about him made her breathing quicker and made her heart pound.
Herietta quietly called out Edwin’s name. She always thought that she couldn’t love Edwin more than she already has, but every day she spent with him proved her wrong.
This was what Herietta thought, but at the same time, she knew people would call her reckless. She wondered if this was how it felt like jumping off a cliff with her eyes wide open. Nobles and slaves. No matter how earnestly she wants him, is there any chance that this love will come to fruition? And even if it bears fruit, would it be a happy ending? She thought about it for quite some time, but Herietta never found an answer.
“I want you, but…”
Herietta mumbled so softly that only she could understand. Her longing, which she could not express, boiled over, and at some point burned black, leaving a mark on her heart. And one day it would burn to black without leaving a single intact corner.
‘But, I can’t stop this feeling. My heart aches as if it were broken.’
Herietta closed the lid of the locket with a bitter smile.
Having given her heart first, she had no choice but to become the underdog in this relationship. But she didn’t care because she was willing to accept that.
* * *
The day had come when she had to go to Lavant. Before her departure, final preparations and inspections were made. The Mackenzie’s preparations were not very smooth as it wasn’t common for people to live away from Philioche for long periods. However, over time, everything for the journey was slowly but surely completed.
Everyone was busy moving. To see Herietta off, who will be in Lavant for quite some time, the Mackenzies and Hugo and the employees of the mansion were all out in the front yard. Unlike the Mackenzies, who pretended that they were not sad, Hugo looked gloomy in the long absence of his older sister, which would last all throughout summer.
“Don’t forget to write a letter, sister. Tell me what kind of place is Lavant and tell me what you did there. You must tell me all the details.”
Hugo made a request. Herietta looked at him and smiled, because she had already heard the same thing from him a dozen times.
“I know. I’ll write it in such detail that you would think you were there.”
“Really, sister? I’ll hold you to that promise.”
“Yes. So, listen carefully to mother and father, and don’t cause trouble while I’m away.”
“What? As long as you are not here, there will be no problems.”
Hugo smirked and pouted. It wasn’t wrong, so Herieta laughed out loud. She pretended to be stroking his hair and messing it up.
“The carriage is ready.”
A middle-aged man with a round belly came up to Herietta and announced. He was the coachman who would take her to Lavant on this journey. Rose and Baodor, who stood a few steps away from him, also approached Herietta.
“Take care of yourself. Say hello to your aunt for us,”
Rose took Herietta’s hand and said. Herietta nodded in agreement.
“Yes, mother. Please stay in good health too.”
“My dear daughter. When did you get so big?”
Moved with her daughter’s appearance, Rose looked at Herietta and hugged her tightly. After that, Baodor also gave her a long hug. Short farewells came and went. After the farewells were over, Herietta around to get into the carriage.
As she approached the front of the carriage, she opened the carriage’s door as the coachman had been waiting for her. But she didn’t immediately climb in. As if she were waiting for something else, she hesitated and stood in front of the carriage.
She turned and looked around. Her eyes were full of desperation as she searched for him all around.
Eventually, her expression darkened and she clenched her fists as she realized that what she was looking for was not here.
“Herietta. What’s wrong? Is something bothering you?”
Rose asked, noticing that Herietta’s expression was not good. Her throat was dry as though she hadn’t had water for a long time. Why? Herietta gulped. She then shook her head, forcing the corners of her lips as it was about to go down.
“It’s nothing. I was just thinking about something else…”
Herietta, who gave a rough excuse to Rose who looked worried, moved on slowly. It felt as if a heavy piece of iron had been attached to her feet.
Is this what cattle feels like being led to the slaughterhouse? As she reluctantly climbed onto the carriage, the coachman closed the carriage’s door. The sound of the latch locking was heard along with a dull sound. At the same time, Herietta’s heart was thrown into a swamp of despair.
After a while, she felt the presence of the coachman riding on the coachman’s seat. Giddy up. The two horses that had been quietly bound by the reins began to move. The carriage rattled and moved forward. Then, the familiar houses and people quickly disappeared behind them.
Herietta captured her trembling heart. She then looked ouot the window and waved her hand until she column’t see them anymore.