My Mute Bride - Season 1 Episode 50
“I remember that they were here.” The voice behind her was clear and powerful. “Am I correct, Rachel?”
As she slowly returned to her senses, Rachel spun around to look at Hans.
“Long time no see.” The man before her was a head taller than her. In the eight years that passed since she last saw him, his bright and handsome visage was more mature than in her memory, but his smile was as still as brilliant as ever.
In astonishment, she gaped and signed. How… Why are you here?
As his entire family emigrated eight years ago, she thought she would never see him again.
In her twenty-nine years of living, he was one of those rare folks who brought warmth to her life. Like a sun, he had brightened her entire youth. When she was lonely and helpless, he stood firm and unmoving by her side.
Now that they were in the cafe next to the library, where the rich smell of coffee wafted, Rachel studied the man in front of her for a long time, feeling like she was in a dream.
“I know I’m handsome, Rachel, but I’m going to blush if you keep looking at me like that,” Hans teased by batting his eyelids at her.
She couldn’t resist rolling her eyes at him. I see that your narcissism has never gone away, she retorted.
“Well, I’ll treat that as a compliment,” he chuckled before he looked out the window. “Things have changed a lot here, but you work in a good environment and it puts me at ease.”
When did you return? she asked.
“A while ago, but I was busy with the procedures surrounding my work transfer. If I knew your grandmother was in the hospital, I would have looked for you sooner to help you out.”
A dumbfounded Rachel stared at Hans. You’re coming back for work?
“Of course. Did you think I was back on vacation?”
How about your parents… Midway through her signing, Rachel stopped as she suddenly realized that something was amiss.
Hans, who was seated opposite her, forced a smile before he admitted with a pained expression, “My mom… passed away two years ago.”
Her expression froze. I’m sorry.
The primary reason why he had suddenly emigrated all those years ago was because of his ailing mother and she needed year-long treatment abroad. For the ease of receiving treatment, his father chose to sell their company and move the entire family along.
“It’s okay.” Hans purposefully gave a breezy smile. “Two years have passed since then. My mother has suffered a lot in life and maybe death was a relief to her.”
All of a sudden, Rachel felt saddened.
His mother, whom she had met before, had been an extraordinarily gentle mom and that was how she raised a son with such a bright and warm personality.
Hans suddenly reached out and snapped his fingers in front of Rachel’s face, which startled her.
What are you doing? she asked.
“Don’t look so sad, okay? Whenever you do that, I’ll have to comfort you instead. I remembered that when we were in high school and I broke my leg, you cried so hard that someone not in the know thought I hurt you…”
“Alright, forget about me. How are you doing?”
Before she could finish signing, her cell phone rang, which interrupted her.
When she looked down at it, she realized that it was a call from Frankie. All of a sudden, her heart thumped with a bad sense of foreboding.
“Are you at the library right now, Mrs. Burton?” Frankie asked when she answered the call.
Rachel tapped once on the back of her phone in reply.
“Oh, that’s good. President Burton has arranged for me to send some candy to your office as wedding favors for your coworkers. The candy is on its way here and I’ll have someone drop it off for you once it arrives.”
Wedding favors? she thought in astonishment. Had she heard wrongly? Was Justin actually arranging for her coworkers to receive wedding favors?
“What’s wrong?” Hans piped up opposite her.
As she looked into his bright eyes, she felt inexplicably bitter. Nonetheless, she simply tapped on her phone once more and hung up after a moment.
“What’s wrong?” he repeated. “Why do you look so upset?”
While forcing herself to be calm, Rachel shook her head. Nothing, she signed. It’s just that I’m needed back at the office and can’t accompany you anymore.
“Oh! That’s okay; go back to work then. I don’t need you to keep me company.” With a sigh of relief, Hans slouched in his chair with a smile. “I’ll just sit here for a bit before heading home. I’ll look for you on another day.”
Okay. After she nodded, she stood up only for him to stop her.
“Haven’t you forgotten something?”
Rachel paused and looked at Hans uncomprehendingly. What? she asked.
He waved his cell phone at her. “Aren’t you going to leave me with a way to contact you?”
For some reason, or maybe due to the glaring afternoon sun, his smile was so brilliant that it felt like he was pulling her from the brink of hell back into the world.
A few minutes later, still seated next to the window, Hans relaxed when he saw that the WhatsApp number she gave him was valid. Then, he put his phone down in relief. He couldn’t help smiling as he picked up his coffee cup and looked out of the window to see her returning to the library.
Rachel was still awkward and silly in a cute way just like all those years ago.
Meanwhile, she was surrounded by her coworkers once she returned to the office.
“I can’t believe you didn’t say a word, Rachel!”
“I know! So secretive.”
“It must be because your husband is rich and handsome, isn’t it?”
“Don’t hide him! Bring him here for us to look at him sometime.”
As she was bombarded by questions of all sorts, Rachel stared at her coworkers in befuddlement.
Since she couldn’t speak, she rarely interacted with them. While they weren’t hard to get along with, she wasn’t exactly close to them either and it was truly her first time being swarmed like that by them.
“Rachel must have married well. Look at how her husband had someone send us wedding favors. How sweet!”
Immediately after her colleague had said those words, Rachel spotted favor boxes on the nearby desks. Those red and intricately carved wooden boxes were elegant and classy.
She immediately understood what was going on in an instant.
The person in charge of distributing the favors was a man in a suit. He had a straight posture and wore the look of an assistant, but it was Rachel’s first time seeing him.
After he finished distributing the boxes, he asked in an extremely deferential manner, “Where do I leave the leftovers, Mrs. Burton? Assistant Beckham had me bring some extra over just in case.”
All at once, her coworkers’ voices lowered as they stared at her in envy.
Their eyes on her made her feel uneasy, but she forced herself to be calm and pointed to her own workstation. Just leave it there.
The man who had brought the wedding favors immediately nodded and he dropped the remaining boxes on her desk before saying, “If there’s nothing else you need, Mrs. Burton, I’ll take my leave now.”
Rachel quickly thanked him, hoping he would leave sooner.
The moment he left, the atmosphere in the office minutely changed. As they stood around the office, her coworkers exchanged glances with all sorts of expressions.
From a corner, someone piped up, “Let’s wish Rachel a happy marriage!”
Once the dam was broken, wishes of ‘Happy marriage!’ was thrown at Rachel from all four corners of the floor.
Even though she forced herself to smile in gratitude, a sense of uneasiness was brewing in her heart as she thought, What on earth is Justin up to?