Chapter 45 - Everything Was a Mess
“Don’t even try to give me excuses.” She bit her lip, desperately holding back tears. “Three years ago, you lent me your hand and helped me through sorrow. As of today, however… You’ve pushed me into the deepest bowels of Hell.”
Dylan couldn’t respond. She continued, walking past him.
“Actually, it might’ve been better if I had never met you. The past few years where you’ve only appeared in my mind was much happier for me in comparison to your return back home.”
He looked stunned, helplessly unable to take his eyes off her as she walked away from him. He wanted to catch her. He wanted to run before her and beg for her forgiveness, whining and crying, knelt upon the floor just to keep her with him. But, he couldn’t. Dylan had to watch her walk away from him, too pitiful to reach out to her as she wobbled side-to-side. All the pain and despair she felt had been cursed upon her by his own influence.
Powerless, he couldn’t do anything. At that moment, he was the most foolish man in the world.
Everything was a mess. When did it all go wrong? Did it start when he began to misunderstand the relationship between Anna and his older brother, or did it began when he genuinely started to fall in love with her?
No. In truth, it might have started when he came back home, just like she said. Tangled-up threads were of no significance once thrown away, so Dylan tried to act placidly by insisting to himself that it would all be okay if he just forgot her, but his efforts were futile.
He wanted to see her. The memories he made with her were precious and dear to him even if they were akin to a tangled mess of threads. He simply couldn’t let them go.
Anna wasn’t willing to work amongst the Kilner household anymore. Although she didn’t say she was quitting, when she walked away from him, hatred in her eyes, Dylan knew it was all over.
Nevertheless, he refused to give up on her because he couldn’t bring himself to lose her. The more he admitted to himself that it was all his fault, the more certain he became that things couldn’t end like this.
Late at night, Dylan brought a bottle of liquor to David’s study. “It’s me, Brother. It’s Dylan,” he called.
“Come in,” David answered. He took his rimless glasses off and stood up from his chair.
He didn’t ask what Dylan had come for. Instead, he wordlessly took the empty glass Dylan offered him and filled it with a drink. Then, they sat beside each other on a sofa atop the carpet.
“It seems like this is the first time I’m drinking alone with you,” David mumbled, reminiscing with a distant tone of voice.
Dylan took a sip of his drink. The bitter taste burnt down his throat. “I left the house immediately after becoming an adult, that’s why.”
David shook his glass, looking to his companion as he drank. Dylan seemed like he had something to say, but David didn’t hurry him, waiting quietly for him to open his mouth unprompted.
Instead of lighting a candle, the two brothers sat quietly, enjoying their drinks beneath the moonlight. Clack. Eventually, Dylan lowered his empty glass onto the table, making sure that it made a distinctive sound. After the long silence between them, the sound signaled that he was ready to converse.
“I have something I need to tell you, Brother.”
David put his glass down as well, lifting his head. His eyes were firm, determination shining clear within their depths. He had prepared himself to hear these words a long time ago.
“It’s about why I left home so suddenly three years ago,” Dylan continued. David remained silent. “I dared to have feelings for your wife, Carol.”
David didn’t look astonished by the revelation in the slightest. Dylan heaved a long, empty sigh. “Though, it looks like the both of you knew that already.”
“Since we had a large age difference between us, you were a very unique brother to me,” David began. “Our father spent most of his time working. I craved his love, and because of that, I wished that you, at least, would not live your life craving his love as I did.
“This is why I know how you feel. I had practically raised you since childhood, after all. I took care of you with my own two hands. The moment I brought Carol home to introduce her to everyone, your eyes kept gravitating toward her.”
“That’s right,” Dylan said. “It was like that from the start. That’s why I used going on a trip as an excuse to run away. When I returned three years later, however, I felt the firm resolve I had since developed fading from me completely. It turned out that I still had feelings for her, but…”
Dylan trailed off. David kept quiet, letting him continue.
“But now, after thinking about it, I realize that my feelings toward her were not of love, but of sympathy instead. I had endured for three years believing that if she, my sister-in-law, was happy with my brother, then that’d be fine. However, when I returned, I observed that she wasn’t happy after all. Not even a little bit. I know I might be going out of line by saying this, but I resented you both.”
“In the past, I, too, used to think that I could make her happy even without love in my heart,” David said. Then, he emptied the rest of the liquor left in his glass into his mouth. “However, Carol had a long-time lover. Someone other than me.”