Chapter 43 - A Cricket In the Room
Dylan hurriedly reached for her, but she coldly slapped his hand away. Left behind in the chilling silence of the room, he watched the door close in front of him.
“Damn it!” he cursed, tossing his neatly folded clothes off his bed.
He felt like something was strangling his neck. The sensation wouldn’t go away. Resting his hands upon his hips, he let out a deep sigh.
Time kept passing. The atmosphere between Dylan and Anna remained cold, their relationship frozen. Circumstances didn’t do much to help Dylan’s cause; he couldn’t find a single chance to properly apologize to her. He couldn’t do anything besides allow time to pass meaninglessly by.
The more he ruminated on it, the clearer things got. He was the one at fault.
He stuck a rock named Jealousy inside a snowball and kept lobbing it at Anna while pretending to care about her. He justified his actions by claiming that his worries were completely rational. In the end, it was just another means of arrogantly maintaining his suspicion of her. She wasn’t someone who’d behave as the rumors claimed. More than anyone else, he should’ve believed in her.
Unfortunately, he didn’t.
He couldn’t even begin to come up with a means of apologizing to her. It was easy to wound her heart, but difficult to help mend it. Whenever their eyes would meet, her countenance would turn cold, and she’d pass him by without a care.
He honestly didn’t know what to say to her, but he knew he couldn’t let things remain as they were. Dylan began to fear that soon he would no longer be able to win her back.
“Anna,” he called. Hearing him, Anna halted in surprise, stopping in the middle of the hallway. Although her name was the only one to leave his lips, Cathy, another maid she was walking with, stopped as well, staring up at him.
“So, like… There’s a cricket in my room. Go in there and catch it,” he said.
Cathy’s face dissolved into an expression of utter fear at the mention of the cricket. She handed the job over to Anna. Anna looked annoyed at having to heed his command for the moment, but then she nodded her head and began the trek to his room alone.
Out of all things, why did he choose a cricket? He could’ve, at the very least, come up with a proper reason to bring her into his room. He felt like biting down on his tongue. Hard.
Cathy, having been left behind, spoke up in a friendly voice. “Is there anything you need me to do?” she asked.
Without sparing Cathy even a glance, he left to chase after Anna. Seeing him go like that, Cathy pouted, her feelings hurt.
“Is it really true that there’s a cricket in here?” Anna asked bluntly. Despite searching everywhere, she hadn’t spotted even a shadow of a cricket in his room.
Dylan, who had been chasing behind her the whole time and trying to grab a chance to talk to her, nodded vigorously in assent, feigning innocence. “I definitely saw it with my own two eyes.”
Anna looked skeptical. “Even so, as of right now, I don’t see it anywhere. If it appears again in the future, you could call someone else to take care of it.”
Cricket-less, she turned around to leave, but Dylan quickly caught her. “Y-You know how afraid I am of crickets. You must catch it now.”
“But I can’t find it.”
“Search again. It may jump out somewhere.”
Because of his stubbornness, she relented and began the search for the cricket of dubious existence once more. She really doubted it was there. Her expression didn’t look very pleasant, but Dylan figured that it looked like that at the moment solely because she was in the same room as him.
He never could’ve predicted that she had an extreme fear of crickets as well. Anna assumed he gave her this task just to trick and frighten her.
Although he should never—as in, not in a million years—talk to her, he opened his mouth to speak.
She screamed, cutting him off. She had lifted up the carpet without much thought, but at that instant, a brown cricket with long, thin legs and a pair of antennas jumped out from underneath it.
“No, wait. Why would there be…”
Falling into a paralyzed sitting position on the floor, Anna’s eyes began to well up. Dylan, meanwhile, looked distraught. He didn’t think it was possible for a cricket to actually appear.
The two panicked for different reasons. The cricket, the source of both their distress, looked satisfied with itself as if it had done its job by startling them. It jumped out the window.
Anna, legs trembling, barely managed to stand back up. “Now that the problem is solved,” she said, “I’ll be leaving now.”
She left in a cold breeze. Since she disappeared so fast, he didn’t even have the chance to stop her. Realizing that he didn’t have the right to feel sad about her, he sighed deeply, blaming himself.
“Get out,” Carol ordered. She spoke with a voice as weak as her thinning face.
However, at that moment, David interjected with an opposing command. “No,” he said. “You don’t need to leave.”
Anna stood in the middle between them, at a loss amidst their unexpected battle of pride. Husband and wife looked at each other as if they were gazing at their nemeses. Anna studied their expressions and carefully tried to raise her voice. This was not something she should be involved in
“I told you not to leave, didn’t I?”
With a firm tone of voice, David essentially rooted Anna in place. All she came here to do was bring him some freshly brewed coffee at Madam Jane’s behest, but then Carol arrived and all this began to unfold. Anna couldn’t do anything but stand there awkwardly and take in the unfamiliar atmosphere.