Chapter 8.2

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Never in Steffanie’s mind did she thought that she’ll ever return in the main house of her father in Sutherland. But here she was, dressed in black, joining the people as they lament the loss of their Duchess.

Duchess Camilia Marie Sutherland finally rested-in-peace after suffering from cancer.

Today was the last day of the wake. Kung hindi lamang sa pakiusap ng kanyang kapatid ay hindi siya magpapakita sa libing ng asawa ng ama.

Marami pa ring hatid na hindi kanais-nais na alaala ang bahay na iyon.

She was imprisoned here for days. And it was all because of that woman who rested inside one of the most expensive coffins she had ever seen.

This woman had never been good to her. She hated her very existence. For her, she was nothing but a nuisance in their lives. But despite all of that, all of those things she did, she finally forgave her. It was not easy but she completely let go of everything.

She walked with poise and grace as she traced the steps towards the tabernacle. She could see a lot of people intimidated by her mere presence. She could also hear a lot of whispers.

Agad siyang sinalubong ni Kylie na noo’y nakakalong sa ama.

“Mommy!” she said gleefully.

Nagsilingunan ang mga tao sa kanila. She knew that they were now the subject of their small talks. She was very well aware of the rumour going on in Sutherland for years. Dahil sa pagpabalik-balik ni Kylie sa main house, people thought that her kid was an illegitimate daughter of Michael Angelo. Isa rin ito sa dahilan kung bakit ni isang beses ay hindi na siya bumalik sa tahanan na ito. She didn’t want to put more fuel in the fire.

Agad na sinalubong niya ng yakap ang anak. Nauna ito sa kanya ng ilang araw. She first settled everything for her travel in Asphodel before going to Sutherland.

“How are you, Kylie?” she said.

“I’m great mommy. Uncle daddy gave me this dress.” Umikot-ikot pa ito to showcase the dress to her.

“You look lovely.”

Ngumiti ito nang ubod ng tamis sa kanya.

Maya-maya pa’y sumungaw na ito sa direksyon ng pintuan.

“Tristan!” she shouted.

Agad naman nitong tinakbo si Tristan upang salubungin. Kinarga naman ito ng binata.

Tuwang-tuwa na naman ang kanyang anak na makita ito.

Tristan drove her there. Nagprisinta ito nang sabihin niyang papunta siya sa Sutherland. He wore an aviator sunglasses and a three-piece suit. He still believed that the sunglasses could actually disguise his true identity.  

Dumiretso na siya sa labi ng Duchess. She uttered a simple prayer of forgiveness.

She then, went to her father.

“I came to pay respect, Your Grace,” she said to his father.

Her father nodded in acknowledgement. Tumayo ang kanyang kuya para bigyan siya ng upuan. Mataktika naman itong lumayo para makapag-usap sila nang masinsinan ng ama.

“I am sorry that I can only come today. My busy sched is preventing me—“

“Shh… Steff. You don’t have to explain. Alam kong mahirap para sa iyo na pumunta dito. Alam ko ang mga kasalanang ginawa sa iyo ng asawa ko. Nagbulagbulagan lang ako sa loob ng maraming taon.”

Her father held both of her hand.

“Can you forgive her? Can you forgive your worthless of a father?” namasa na ang mga mata nito.

This was the first time that he saw his father like this, so emotional, so vulnerable. Naantig ang kanyang damdamin sa anyo nito.

“That’s okay, Your Grace. Matagal ko na pong nagawa iyon, at wala po akong karapatang magreklamo. You provided for my every needs. That for me is enough.”

May tumulong isang luha mula sa kanyang mga mata. It’s time to also let go this aspect of her life. Simula nang ipinanganak siya, naging batik sa kanyang buhay ang lihim ng kanyang pagkatao. It’s definitely the time to fully forget everything in the past.

“Thank you, Steff. Thank you,” ang mga mata naman nito ang nagsimulang mamasa.

Their conversation was suddenly put to a stop when she heard the voice of Kylie on her back.

“Super grand daddy! I want you to meet my friend, Tristan.” Kaladkad-kaladkad nito ang binata.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, friend of Kylie,” magiliw na bati ng ama.

“The pleasure is all mine, Your Grace.” He said as he gave a simple but respectful bow.

Muli na namang napatingin sa kawalan ang ama. Marahil ay masakit pa ring dala ang pagkamatay ng asawa. He suddenly stood up.

“Where are you going, Your Grace?” tanong niya.

“I am going to set things right.”

“What do you mean?”

Hinawakan nito ang kanyang kamay.

“I should have done this long time ago.”

“Anong gagawin niyo?” kinakabahan siya sa ikinikilos ng ama.

 “You are my daughter Steffanie, my own flesh and blood,” he said loudly. Lahat ng tao sa silid ay nakatingin na sa duke.

“I will now give you your birthright. You are no commoner, Steffanie. You are my daughter, you deserve to be the Duchess of Sutherland.” Ito na lamang ang sinabi nito bago tuluyang lumabas ng silid.

She saw the people whispering at each other. Tiningnan niya ang kanyang Kuya. He was there, genuinely smiling at her.

She then looked at Tristan. Gaya niya ay nababahid din ng gulat ang mukha nito.

He immediately went beside her.

“The duke is your father?” he said in amazement.

She nodded in confirmation. Hindi pa rin rumirehistro sa kanya ang mga nagaganap. Nakatulala lamang siya.

Hindi pa rin siya makapaniwala, after twenty eight years, her father finally acknowledged her. Hindi na niya alam ang mararamdaman pa. She as happy, shocked, amazed. She was just completely speechless.

Tinuro nito si Michael Angelo, “and that man is your brother?”

Her silence meant yes.

Umiling-iling ito, “Let me just say this to you again…

“Holy fucking shit!” bulong nito. But apparently, iba ang definition nito ng bulong. His cussed were heard all over the room that people started to stare at him.

He raised his hand, “Sorry, people.” But he didn’t sound sorry at all.

Natawa na lang siya sa binata. Tristan was really a jester.

Falling for the Blue Eyed Cinderella (Gareth Pendragon Book 2)Basahin ang storyang ito ng LIBRE!