A crisp sound reverberated around the room. It was Lucinda's hand that had slapped Gail across the cheek whilst Debbie stood there, expressionless.
Venting her anger didn't seem to satiate Lucinda's anger. Picking up a feather duster, she swung it towards Gail.
"Augh! Mom!" As the duster hit her back, Gail screamed in agony.
How revealing it was that she had acted weak, helpless, and innocent in front of her schoolmates! Now, her true colors showed that she was mean and willful.
Watching everything happen right before him, Sebastian rubbed his temples with resignation and never interfered with his wife educating their daughter.
Looking at her aunt who had always favored her, Debbie was moved. Her heart ached when she saw Lucinda disappointed and heart-broken. 'Never mind, ' she thought. 'Gail has already been punished.' Seeing Lucinda raise the duster again, Debbie stepped in and prevented her from going further. "Aunt, you've already hit Gail. I think she knows what she did wrong now."
"Debbie, stay out of this. You've pleaded for her so many times since you were little! Look at her, she never learned!"
Being the principal of a kindergarten, Lucinda was nice and able to control her temper, although her elder daughter Gail often drove her crazy.
The younger daughter, Sasha Mu, had behaved better than Gail and even got along with Debbie.
In the Tea Room
Gail had been sent upstairs to apply some ice on her face. Sebastian went to the Tea Room, took out a tin of black tea and began to wash the tea leaves.
Sitting next to Lucinda, Debbie took out her phone and sent Carlos a message. "You let Gail off easily just this once and I'll go to New York and talk with your grandfather about our divorce."
Receiving no reply from him, she assumed that Carlos was busy.
All three chatted sparsely until Sebastian received a call and had to leave to head to his company.
After Sebastian had left, Debbie looked into the cup and recalled what Gail had said to her moments ago. "Aunt, who's my mother? Why did my father refuse to tell me anything about her even on his deathbed?" she asked lightly. When her father was knocking on heaven's door, he made sure to marry his daughter to a stranger instead of letting her search for her mother.
The expression Lucinda wore changed abruptly at the topic. She placed the teacup on the table with so much force that half of the tea spilled, soaking the tea board. "Don't ask about her. That woman is heartless. Forget about her," Lucinda answered in a gloomy tone.
It was only days after Debbie had been born that her mother had abandoned her and her father, Artie.
The dramatic reaction Lucinda had made got Debbie sewing her lips tightly.
When Debbie was about to leave, Lucinda asked her in a low voice, "Haven't you met him yet?"
Debbie knew her aunt was referring to Carlos.
The thing was, her aunt knew she had married someone. But she never knew who it was.
Unwillingly, Debbie answered in honesty, "Yes, I have. But, I want a divorce. I'm young and I don't want to be trapped in a nominal marriage."
Surprised by her response, Lucinda nodded. "Alright. It's up to you. Whatever decision you make, I'm with you."
"Thank you, Aunt."
Out of the Mu family, Debbie unexpectedly saw a kennel on the roadside, making her face darken. That kennel was the main reason she despised Gail so much.
Half a day had passed, but Carlos hadn't returned her message yet.
But later that day, she saw Gail on the campus, which meant she was back to school. It also meant it was time for Debbie to go to New York.
Due to the timely treatment, Gail's face wasn't as swollen as earlier. With the help of makeup, one could hardly tell her face went through such damage.
Eyeing Debbie gloatingly, Gail spat, "You thought being Curtis' pet could get you a free pass huh? Guess what? Curtis listens to Mr. Huo."
Earlier, when her parents were having a conversation in their house, Gail had overheard that Carlos had agreed to allow her to go back to school.
She didn't understand, though, why a person who had gotten her expelled was willing to help her back to school.
Maybe it's because…
I'm pretty and he has a crush on me? And when he knew that it was me who got expelled, he tried to make it right?'
With this in mind, Gail couldn't keep her laughter in check.
Everyone wished to have even a small connection with Carlos and whoever did was treated highly, similar to humans praising a god.
Hands buried in the pockets of her coat, Debbie cast Gail a scornful look and snarled, "Go away, you psycho!" 'Mr. Lu wasn't part of it anyway, ' she sneered internally.
"Debbie Nian, I'm telling you, it was Mr. Huo who asked the school to take me back. It was Mr. Huo, you hear me? The one who you confessed your love to and turned you down. Remember?" Gail blabbered like a twit.
'Of course I remember him cause he's my husband, you idiot!' Debbie cursed inwardly.
Gail was getting better and better at twisting the facts and making up her own stories, Debbie found. "You know better than anyone why I confessed my love to Carlos. Also, where did you get the idea that he turned me down, hmm?" she retorted.
"W-What? You mean he didn't turn you down?" Gail said, dismayed by Debbie's remarks. "Are you telling me that you slept with him?" she asked, starting to laugh again. "Well, isn't this amusing? Debbie Nian, please go look at yourself in a mirror. You'd be mistaken for a man! You expect me to believe that Mr. Huo likes you? Oh please, you might've had a better chance convincing me that pigs can fly!"
Knowing this was a waste of time, Debbie remembered that she had booked herself a flight to New York and had to make haste packing up her things back at the dorm. She also needed to go to the villa before heading for the airport. No way did she want to miss her flight.
Not satisfied with how Debbie had reacted, Gail shouted, "Artie's dead, Debbie! You lost your backing, so why the hell are you so proud, hun? Is it because of Jared and Curtis? You think they have your back now? I'm not scared. They're just two men! Just wait and see! I'll marry someone richer and more powerful than your damn husband!"
Gail mentioning her father's name made Debbie look upward and gaze at the blue sky. Taking a deep breath, she finally responded, "No need for that. You've already lost."
Indeed, that was a fact. Because in Y City, even the entire H Country, who could compare to Carlos in terms of power and wealth?
Nothing but best intentions in mind, her father had married her off to the best man, but sadly, it didn't work out between them.
"Hey, what do you mean?"
Gail rushed forward to grab Debbie. "Don't you dare go without clearing that up!"
A fist greeted her in response. "One more step and your face is mush."
knowing that Debbie possessed an extensive knowledge of martial arts, Gail steeped back to keep herself out of Debbie's reach.
"I wonder what kind of pervert would actually like you. No wonder you've been single you whole life."
You'll be an old maid forever!" She declared furiously.
"Do I really need a man to live my life?" Debbie retorted.
The moment she got on the plane, a new rumour started circulating around the campus which claimed that Debbie was a lesbian. Again, her name became the hottest word on the forum of the Economics and Management School.
In New York
Before exiting the waiting area at the airport, she called Emmett to enquire about Carlos' grandfather's address.
To her surprise, she received an address of a hospital. "Hospital? why is he in the hospital? What's wrong?" She asked in confusion.