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Chapter 2 What An Eyesore

  • Ederic made his way to the first floor, where he noticed two women casting an admiring gaze at the child. Excitement surged through him as he longed to spend some time alone with Aaron. With just one look, he had already fallen for Aaron's captivating dimpled smile, though the little one remained unaware of what was about to unfold.
  • However, Ederic's infatuation with Aaron's charming smile was about to turn into a heartbreaking disappointment. Mrs. Alit and Ederic's mother exited the hall, and Mrs. Alit escorted Ederic's mother to her room. The situation felt slightly awkward, but Ederic didn't want to exacerbate it further.
  • Ederic stood outside the room for five minutes, hesitating to knock on the door. Earlier, he had overheard Aaron shouting at his father and storming off to his room in anger. The more Ederic contemplated, the more his heart fluttered.
  • "H-hyung..." he called out, but there was no response from within. Prior to arriving at this mansion-like house, Mr. Alit had already provided Ederic with some information about Aaron—a short-tempered boy with a warm heart. That was all Ederic knew about Aaron—his name, age, and personality. However, Aaron's recent behaviour was different from what Ederic had anticipated.
  • Ederic knocked on the door again, but once more, there was no reply. Slowly, he turned the doorknob and cautiously entered the room, only to find Aaron nowhere in sight.
  • Eagerly, Ederic scanned the room. It was neatly arranged, adorned with a few posters of idols hanging on the walls and a handful of paintings adorning the bedside. Everything tempted Ederic. Suddenly, his excitement was shattered by the sound of the bathroom door clicking shut.
  • "Aaron, Hyung..." Ederic's face lit up with a boxy smile. He was thrilled to see Aaron, but Aaron seemed indifferent toward Ederic. It hurt Ederic, but he managed to maintain a smile.
  • "What are you doing here? Who allowed you to come to my room?" Aaron snapped annoyedly. He paid no attention to Ederic standing before him, even though Aaron was a few centimetres shorter. Ederic looked up, feeling Aaron's presence looming dangerously close.
  • "Mom told me to play with you, hyung."
  • "Who allowed you to call her mom... she isn't your mom... You have no right to enter my room," Aaron retorted, shoving the younger boy, causing him to stumble and fall hard on the floor, his elbow bearing the brunt of the impact.
  • The fall left a reddish bruise on Ederic's elbow. A welled-up tear begged for permission to escape, but he held it back, not wanting to further upset his hyung.
  • "Get the hell out of my sight before I do something cruel to you!" Aaron shouted, causing the timid Ederic to flinch.
  • Before Aaron's anger spiralled out of control, Ederic mustered the strength to rise from the floor and fled from the room, sobbing uncontrollably. Unsure of where to go, he sought solace in the garden at the back of the mansion.
  • "What an eyesore..." Aaron seethed with anger, vexed by the presence of the mother and son duo and their incessant boxy smiles. Their happiness grated on him, especially considering how they had ruined his mother's life. The elder one simmered in anger, his face turning pale.
  • Silence enveloped the room, as both women were unsure where to begin.
  • "So... how did everything start?" Mrs. Alit gently inquired, causing Ederic's mother to flinch.
  • "Well, at that time, I was 18 and working at a hotel to make ends meet," Ederic's mother began her story.
  • She was an orphan and had taken up a job at an upscale hotel to cover her daily expenses while attending college. However, her fate took an unexpected turn one night when she encountered Mr. Alit, who was inebriated and searching for his room. He had gotten drunk due to the pressure from his business partners.
  • Ederic's mother helped him to his room, but that night's mistake changed her destiny forever. She became pregnant with Ederic and had to drop out of college to raise her son.
  • Four months ago, when Mr. Alit visited a rural village for a new project, he coincidentally crossed paths with the woman who had been with him that fateful night. However, he had no idea that he had a son with her.
  • Initially, she tried to avoid the situation and ignored Mr. Alit, but he pleaded with her to stay with them. Struggling with a heart condition, she found it increasingly difficult to raise Ederic alone. Eventually, she accepted Mr. Alit's offer and moved in with them.
  • Ederic's mother shared with Mrs. Alit the events that had unfolded over the years. Mrs. Alit was taken aback, utterly shocked.
  • "You have a heart problem... How come he never mentioned it before?" Mrs. Alit queried.
  • "It wasn't necessary, after all," Ederic's mother replied, mustering a smile despite her condition.
  • "May I know how you developed a heart condition? You're much younger than me," Mrs. Alit asked, recognizing the age difference between them. Ederic's mother was only 18 when she became pregnant, while Mr. Alit was 29 at the time. Only 14 years had passed, and yet she was now burdened with a heart problem.
  • "Well, in order to raise Ed, I worked day and night, and my medical records indicate a weak heart. Countless sleepless nights exacerbated the condition. If anything happens to me, can you take care of my Ed? He isn't accustomed to living without me," Ederic's mother weakly expressed. Mrs. Alit couldn't help but feel compassion for her.
  • Words failed to express the emotions swirling within Mrs. Alit. She was well aware of her own health condition, and she knew that her days were numbered. Before her time ran out, she wanted to secure her son's future. Sometimes, even a mother's love can be tinged with selfishness.
  • "Don't worry... You'll get better soon," Mrs. Alit consoled Ederic's mother.
  • "I understand my body's condition, sister. My days are numbered," Ederic's mother admitted, causing Mrs. Alit to flinch. An awkward silence hung in the air, as if Ederic's mother's words had cast a heavy weight upon them.
  • The younger boy wept silently, oblivious to the turmoil unfolding inside the house. Until now, he had been unaware of his mother's heart condition, as she had raised him while concealing her health struggles.
  • "Hyung... he doesn't like me," Ederic whimpered quietly, feeling as if his heart had been shattered into countless pieces. He sobbed uncontrollably.