Love You Enough to Leave You Chapter 371
Meanwhile, in the apartment next door, Eleanor glared at her daughter for refusing to open the door even when Tiffany had called for them. “Amelia, why did you do that?”
Amelia stepped backward but held her ground. “She’s Daddy’s daughter, too. I think Daddy has a right to know that we have found my sister, doesn’t he?”
“Amelia, you know very well that your father does not like your sister,” cried Eleanor, vexed. “He didn’t even bother searching for her when she disappeared. Are you trying to get me into trouble by informing him about her without even warning me beforehand?”
Amelia was startled by her mother’s increasingly shrill voice. I only told Daddy in a huff because I didn’t like how Mom chose the other Amelia over me!
“Calm down, Mom. Listen, I just didn’t like how you paid attention to Amelia instead of me. I truly didn’t know that Daddy doesn’t like her. Since she is his daughter too, wouldn’t it make him happy to know that she has been found?”
Stepping forward, Amelia tried to take her mother’s hand but found hers being shoved aside roughly.
Eleanor felt the imminent arrival of another psychotic episode. “M-My medication,” she gasped.
Frightened, Amelia fetched it for her mother at once, alongside a glass of water.
“How’re you feeling, Mom?” Amelia asked worriedly.
Eleanor pushed past her daughter and collapsed onto the couch, afraid that she might injure her daughter during her episode.
Not many knew the extent of her illness, which would act up when Eleanor was deeply stressed or anxious. Whenever she had one of her episodes, she was at risk of hurting those around her. It was serious enough to warrant imprisonment in a mental asylum, but due to the prestige and influence of the Hutton family, that outcome had largely been avoided through the frequent diagnoses of the best doctors and psychologists in the city.
Kneeling in front of her mother, Amelia stared up at her. “Mom, please calm yourself. I won’t do this ever again, okay? I was just jealous that Amelia had managed to win over your affection. You loved me the most since my birth, after all. Now that I’ve found out I have a sister, I’m just worried that you might forget all about me.”
Eleanor shot her a pained look before shutting her eyes, determined not to look at her daughter. A tear rolled down the corner of her closed eyelid.
At the sight of her mother’s tears, Amelia shuffled guiltily, though she remained indignant of the negligence she had been subjected to for the past couple of days. From as early as I can remember, I have been the object of Mom’s affections. What has that turned into? I’ve not only been slapped, but I’ve also been completely ignored in favor of somebody else. How could I not be upset?
The injustice she felt so strongly had developed into a grudge against Amelia Winters. If it weren’t for her sudden appearance, we Huttons wouldn’t be in the disorder we are now in.
“Don’t be this way, Mom. I was wrong for not discussing the matter with you before involving Daddy. Please don’t be angry with me anymore.”
Letting out a sigh, Eleanor opened her scarlet-tinged eyes.
“I love you so much, Amelia. You look so much like your sister, you know. I’ve been living in guilt for the past twenty years, blaming myself for not keeping a closer eye on your sister, which resulted in her disappearance. I have dreamt that she had been taken by traffickers and had her limbs broken to be taken to the streets to beg. Even the worst possible outcome, which I still dare not say aloud, is a recurring theme of my nightmares. When I thought of relying on my family, your father prevented me from searching for your sister. Even the servants at home were banned from talking about her. Do you know how that made me feel? It felt as if I were dead. Like I am a ghost whose pleas go unheard. The only family I have had abandoned one of our own. If it were not for the fact that you look just like her, I might have taken my own life long ago.”
Like a floodgate being opened at last, Eleanor poured the weight of her two-decade-long grievance out onto her silent daughter.
Amelia listened without a word, her heart twinging with guilt at what her mother had gone through. However, as she did not have any children of her own, it was impossible for Amelia to understand the maddening grief of losing a child.
“Amelia, you’ve gotten me into a lot of trouble with your father this time. Do you want to make my life a living hell?”
“Of course not, Mom. I love you most in the world. How could I do such a thing?”
“When your father arrives, tell him you had said what you said as a joke, and that it isn’t true.”
Amelia gaped at her mother incredulously.
“Fine,” replied Eleanor wearily. “I won’t force you. You would rather see me lose my mind than allow me to reunite with my daughter, would you? If this is the case, I would rather be sent off to an asylum than to live with people who want to see me utterly destroyed.”
After a brief pause, Amelia asked, “Mom, can you at least tell me why Daddy refuses to welcome Amelia back into the family?”
This time, it was Eleanor’s turn to fumble for words.
“There must be a deeper reason for Daddy’s indifference regarding Amelia’s disappearance all those years ago, is there? How else could Daddy be so cruel as to leave his own child rotting in the streets?”
Amelia was about to probe further but was silenced by a glare from her mother. “Amelia, you’re still a child. Maybe you will understand one day when you’re older. For now, we will speak no more of this. When your father arrives, tell him you were playing a prank on him.”
Amelia stood up. “I won’t, Mom,” she said, her voice quavering with forced determination. “Daddy shouldn’t be kept in the dark. If you want Daddy to accept Amelia, why wouldn’t you tell him about her now? If he finds out on his own, the state of your marriage will only worsen.”
Amelia flung her mother’s hand aside before entering her bedroom. “Good luck, Mom,” she uttered with exasperation.
Eleanor remained on the couch as she stared vacantly ahead, a torrent of emotions surging through her heart. Though everybody in the Hutton residence respected her, none of them were on her side when it came to the matter of her long-lost daughter.
Soon after, Benjamin and Sean arrived.
Eleanor opened the door to find her husband and son standing on either side like solemn gargoyles. She was about to invite them in when the door of the adjacent apartment opened at the same time to reveal Amelia shuffling out with her arm on Tiffany’s. Benjamin glanced across casually, and upon recognizing Amelia, his face contorted with rage as he stared daggers at the woman.
After an initial stunned silence, Eleanor pulled them into her apartment with speed she did not think possible. She did not even have the time to greet Tiffany and Amelia before slamming the door shut.
On the other side, Tiffany was raising her arm in greeting, only to have it left hanging awkwardly in midair. Gazing at the closed door of the Huttons’ apartment, she looked confused and embarrassed.
As Amelia could not see, she questioned, “What is it, Tiff? I heard the sound of a door being shut.”
“Nothing,” replied Tiffany simply.
Amelia did not pursue the matter. However, Tony felt the need to chime in. “It’s Mrs. Hutton, Mommy. She pulled two men into her apartment and slammed the door shut. She didn’t even greet us when she opened the door! I think she hates us. The older man who she pulled looked so fierce as if he could just eat you up, Mommy.”
Tiffany stared at him, aghast. Tony, you’re only two! How could you be this intelligent? I think it’s only a matter of time before I am outsmarted by you.
Furrowing her brows, Amelia questioned again, “Is that so, Tiffany?”
“It is possible that Mrs. Hutton might have run into some trouble,” admitted Tiffany grudgingly after another glance at the child. “Tony’s right, though. The older man looked menacing. I’m guessing that he’s Mr. Hutton, Amelia’s father. The younger man is most likely her older brother.”
Upon hearing that, Amelia fell silent for several moments. “Let’s go home, Tiffany,” she announced. “We’ll take Tony out for a walk tonight.”
“All right.” Tiffany did not force the matter.
By the time the trio returned to their apartment, the matter of the men’s arrival across the hall was no longer spoken of.