Agnes calmly pulled her hand from Laura’s grasp, saying, “Ms. Laura, I won’t tell Dad, trust me.”
She always addressed Laura formally as Ms. Laura, even though Laura had been part of the family for a decade now. Laura had never been demanding, but ever since she married Agnes‘ dad, the warmth of the horhe vanished.
Just as Beatrice had put it, Agnes felt like the odd one out in this supposedly happy trio.
Laura suggested, “Your dad’s back. Let’s go eat in the dining room.”
Preston was thrilled to see Agnes. Knowing she’d be home today; he had bought her favorite durian layered cake.
But Beatrice took the chance when Agnes wasn’t looking, and tossed the cake into the garbage. When Preston discovered, she innocently said, “Dad, that thing stinks like hell. It gives me a headache. Look, neither you nor mom likes durian, and we shouldn’t have to suffer just cause Agnes likes it. I still have homework to do.”
Just as Preston was about to scold her, Laura intervened, “It’s just a cake. We can buy another one tomorrow. I made so many goodies today. It’s not worth dampening the mood over a cake. Agnes, you wouldn’t mind, right?”
Agnes responded nonchalantly, “It’s just a cake.“.
That was her survival strategy in this family. Not giving a hoot about anything.
Preston felt a pang of guilt seeing Agnes‘ indifferent demeanor. He remembered her as a lively and adorable kid, not like this. At the end of the day, he felt he had let her down.
During dinner, Beatrice deliberately stirred the pot, “Dad, you probably don’t know, Agnes and Elton broke up.”
Preston was taken aback, “Agnes, is this true?”
She should thank Beatrice for being nosy, otherwise, she wouldn’t know how to break the news..
Agnes confirmed calmly, “Yes, we broke up.”
“Why? Weren’t you guys all lovey–dovey? I was even discussing with Mr. Taylor about letting you two get married right after graduation. Was there a misunderstanding between you two?”
Agnes replied, “No Dad, there was no misunderstanding. Do you know Jenny? She’s pregnant, and Elton is the father.”
Preston seethed, “That bastard Elton, how could he do such a thing! Agnes, don’t worry. I’ll settle this with the Taylors.”
Beatrice added fuel to the fire, “Isn’t Jenny your good friend? The one from a poor family? You let her snatch Elton from you, how could you be so powerless? Elton chose a girl from a family like that over you. You really dropped the ball.
An angry Preston snapped, “Beatrice, enough.”
Defiant Beatrice retorted, “Everything I said is true. Agnes doesn’t look like a media mogul’s daughter at all. Her attire and manners are so country bumpkin–like. Elton has taste, and he was bound to lose interest.”
Just as Preston was about to blow his top, Agnes put down her fork, “I’m full. You guys carry on.”
With that, Agnes left for her room. Mentioning Elton still stung. He was her first love, a boy she had given her heart to for a decade. She could hardly believe Elton would betray her if she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes.
After a while, the door opened, and in walked Preston.
“Agnes,” Preston called out to her.