After dealing with the paperwork, Vivian returned to the ward. She was silent for the entire time while she carried the suitcase up the car and sent Rachel and Evelyn home.
Evidently, Rachel sensed her anger. After her own fury dissipated, she realized she had gone overboard earlier. Vivian would naturally feel upset for her to be so protective of Evelyn.
“Vivian,” Rachel muttered as she held Vivian’s hand with a smile. “I was a little too anxious when I saw Evelyn cry earlier, so I’ve said harsh words to you. Don’t take it to heart.”
“It’s fine,” was Vivian’s only possible reply to how Rachel was putting her pride aside.
Patting Vivian’s hand, Rachel chuckled, “Vivian, I know you’re a child with a big and soft heart. You must be tired after these few days. I’ll cook and make your favorite braised pork, okay?”
It had been a long time since she heard Rachel talk to her in such a gentle way, and Vivian could not get used to it; it felt odd to her. After a moment of hesitating, she nodded. “Okay.”
“I’ll make it right away.” With a smile, Rachel entered the kitchen.
After her mother entered the kitchen, Evelyn blinked before touching the packet in her pocket. No one in the house noticed her sly grin.
“Ms. Rachel, let me help you. You’ve just been discharged from the hospital, so you shouldn’t tire yourself out.” With that, Evelyn wheeled herself into the kitchen.
“Okay, then Mom will…” Rachel abruptly stopped as she nervously looked at Evelyn. She knew Evelyn did not like her to call herself that way.
However, it seemed like there were no changes in Evelyn’s expression, so she sighed in relief. Then, with a bright smile, she announced, “Let me teach you the best way to make braised pork today.”
“That’s great! Thank you, Ms. Rachel.”
Hearing the merry voices from the kitchen, Vivian, who was on the living room’s couch, felt her chest tighten. I’m the outsider now, aren’t I?
While Rachel was not paying attention in the kitchen, Evelyn had lifted the lid of the pot and poured in the powder from the packet in her pocket.
Staring at the powder that quickly dissolved into the soup, a malicious grin grew on Evelyn’s lips. Ha. Vivian, you’re doomed this time.
“Vivian, wash your hands and get ready for your meal. Have a test and tell me whether my cooking has gotten better or not.” It seemed like her time with Evelyn had been a joyous one, as she was in high spirits.
Walking over to look at the table full of dishes, Vivian’s heart skipped a beat. Ever since she returned from overseas, this was the first time she had eaten Rachel’s cooking.
“All right,” came her reply before she sat down at the table.
“Evelyn, hurry up and come over for your food.” After putting the plates on the table, Rachel returned to the kitchen to push Evelyn out.
“Ms. Rachel, your cooking is still as good as ever. The food smells great,” Evelyn commented.
“Is that so?” Rachel beamed. “I remember you used to love my food. Eat more today, then.”
“Okay.” Evelyn nodded fervently with a glowing smile.
At the sight of the happy mother and daughter, Vivian’s heart sank. I’m the extra here. I should’ve left earlier.
Vivian hung her head and quietly stirred her food. She was trying hard not to let her tears fall, but Rachel’s focus was not on her at all, so she never realized something was amiss with Vivian.
“Evelyn, try these fried mushrooms and these beans. I remember you love these best.” Rachel kept putting more and more of the side dishes into Evelyn’s plate. Soon, what was on Evelyn’s plate was a mountain.
“Thank you, Ms. Rachel,” was what Evelyn said. However, she was growling at her in her mind. With the kind of relationship Evelyn had with Vivian, it would be suspicious if she were to take the side dishes for Vivian. Therefore, the best candidate to do so was Rachel.