She felt the threat of a furious scream tickle the back of her throat. And it was all because of them; the passers-by who sneered at her, Finnick and Racher who yelled at her… Each scene pounded in Vivian’s mind. Her breath snagged and it sent gooseflesh down her back.
Vivian felt like no one in the world believed her, not a soul. She was standing all alone.
As Evelyn’s flawless face flashed in her mind, Vivian no longer saw it as beautiful. Now, all Vivian wanted to do was to rip off Evelyn’s disguise and expose her rotten soul. Vivian wanted the world to know Evelyn’s true face. If only they knew how good an actress Evelyn was.
But how could she do that?
Drowned deep in her thoughts, Vivian hadn’t noticed that someone had squatted down before her. Vivian raised her head, trailing from the person’s feet up towards the face—It is Benedict!
Seeing Vivian’s heavily swollen eyes and the snot that slid down her nostrils, Benedict felt bad. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and passed it to Vivian.
Her jaw tightened. She glared at him but did nothing—she didn’t take his handkerchief or say a word. Benedict sighed, extending his arm to wipe the tears and snot off Vivian’s face.
“Go away,” Vivian roared. She smacked his hand away, saying, “I don’t need your pity.”
Picking up the handkerchief that had been flung aside, Benedict approached Vivian again and placed it in her hand. “At least wipe your face.”
“Why do you care!” The thought of Benedict being Evelyn’s older brother made Vivian angrier. “Your sister got what she wanted, now mom and Finnick won’t believe a word I say. So don’t pretend like you have a heart.”
“I believe you,” Benedict said softly, unbothered by her yells.
Vivian stilled. “You do?”
“Yes,” Benedict answered. His calm eyes met her gaze without hesitation. “I believe you,” he repeated.
“Why?” Vivian felt puzzled. Finally, someone believed her. But it wasn’t someone she expected. “You have doubt on your sister’s words, but you trust mine?”
For a brief second, Vivian saw his face turn pink from embarrassment. That makes sense. Not many people in this world would choose to trust outsiders over their own blood and kin.
With fingers clenched in hesitation, Benedict spoke bitterly. “I’ve watched her grow up my whole life. I know her like the back of my hands. And if there’s something she likes, she will stop at nothing to get it.”
He noticed that Vivian still looked confused, so he sat beside her and continued, “When Evelyn was in kindergarten, her classmate brought a pretty doll to class. Evelyn loved it so much that she asked if the girl could gift the doll to her. But the girl said no.
“Afterward, during playtime with the girl, Evelyn came crying to her teacher. There were bloodstains and scratch marks on her arm. And Evelyn blamed the girl for it.
“The teachers called the girl’s parents and me. When we got there, Evelyn ran into my arms and cried saying that she only wanted to hug the doll because she loved it a lot. But she never expected the girl to hit her for wanting to do that.
“I remember how the girl softly denied hitting Evelyn. I assumed she was just frightened by the blood on Evelyn’s arm. Since the girl didn’t even try to defend herself, her parents really believed that their daughter injured Evelyn on purpose. They gifted the doll to Evelyn and that stopped her cries.
“We didn’t think anything of it. But the teacher suspected something was off because the girl was a gentle soul. When they checked the surveillance recordings, they found that Evelyn had scratched into herself when they were playing. Once it was bloodied, she ran towards the teacher, crying.”