135 Punishment for being safe
"Love, your mom wants to talk with you," Jeremy spoke gently, knocking on the door.
No answer from inside the room.
"Catherine, love, your mother is waiting to talk with you," he called again.
They waited nervously. Would Ryn open the door? She would not ignore her own mother, would she?
It felt like hours before finally the door moved. Unconsciously, everyone, even the butler and the maids, were holding their breath as they watched without blink at the sight of the door slowly opening. They watched as Ryn, with her face wet with tears and her eyes reddened and swollen from hours of crying, revealed herself.
"Mom?" her hoarse voice crooked. She cried so much she almost lose her voice. Her eyes searched for the face of the long straight-haired elderly woman wearing hippy clothes.
But there was no sign of her mother.
Did Jeremy lie to her? Her heart hurt so much for the betrayal.
"She's on the phone," Jeremy held out the phone to her. He even had the call on speaker. "Aunty?"
"Catherine, are you there?"
"Mom?" Ryn choked out. She took the phone from him and entered back the room.
Before anyone could join her, she locked the door again.
Ignoring the cries, Ryn walked to the bed with the phone clasped to her ear. She sat on it, backing the door.
"Sweetheart, how are you?"
"Mom~" her mother's voice brought another wave of cry. She closed her eyes and cried even more.
Her mother just listened as Ryn sobbed her heart out. It was deja vu, the same feeling and condition when her daughter broke up with Jeremy two years ago.
But this time she determined not to let her daughter succumb to her sadness until she forgot everything else. She would do anything to bring Ryn back to her normal self.
It took Ryn almost 40 minutes before she was able to speak again. The tears slowly stopped.
"Do you feel better, now?" her mother asked once she was sure her daughter was getting better.
"Are you ready to tell me what's wrong?" she asked her daughter gently.
Ryn looked toward the door, where the others were calling her name, begging her to open the door. She chewed her lower lip.
"Why does it feel like I am being punished for being safe?" she choked out slowly.
Her mother was taken back when she heard it. That was what made her daughter sad? She felt it was her fault, and felt like everyone blaming her?
How could she, as her mother, make her feel better when she could not understand why Ryn felt that way?
"Why... why do you think that way?" her mother asked carefully.
Ryn stood up and moved away from the bed. This time she went to the corner of the room, just near the door to the balcony outside. She stopped and leaned herself against the wall. Her knees were pulled against her chest as she closed her eyes. The phone was still firmly at her ear as she listened to her mother.
"What happened yesterday was part of my fault. If I checked his car plate, I will notice he is not the Grab I called... or if I... if I..." There were so many things Ryn could do to avoid it from happening. It was all because she was being neglected of her surrounding. She took everything for granted.
"Child, stop blaming yourself. It is not your fault."
"What happened, happened. If you keep blaming yourself, does it mean you don't want to move forward in your life? Are you going to keep thinking about the past and how you should be acting to avoid all the bad things from happening?"
Ryn sank her teeth into her bottom lip sadly.
"And I know that is not only what is in your mind. Something is bothering you, isn't it?"
"I feel so useless..."
Her mother sighed heavily. She could guess somehow her daughter would feel this way when Jeremy, without ashamed, admitted what he did in order to protect Ryn. This young man was so.... overbearing. She wondered how her absent-minded daughter could fall in love with him when they were young?
"Have you talked to him, and tell him what you feel?" her mother asked quietly.
"You need to. If you don't want him to treat you like this, you have to tell him. You have to explain that you are able to face all the critiques and challenges."
"Do you think he will listen?" Ryn asked back. She wanted to talk to Jeremy about his overbearing attitude but her mouth seemed to be locked. It was as if her body automatically followed whatever he told her to.
"Try. If you don't try, you won't know."
"What do you think they're talking about?" Mika asked Jeremy worriedly.
It had been almost an hour but Ryn hadn't gotten out of the room. What was going on inside?
"Old Tao, bring my sister and Miss Mei Li to eat. They haven't eaten since this morning," Jeremy suddenly spoke.
Both women looked at him with worried and hurt eyes. Was he trying to send them away?
"You haven't had your lunch, right? It's already late. Go have your meal," Jeremy signalled the butler to obey his order.
"But... but I want to stay here and wait for Ryn. You can't send me away," Mika cried.
Mei Li nodded, standing firmly next to Mika. She did not want to move from here. She wanted to wait until Ryn open the door. She wanted to make sure that Ryn was okay. She could not stop her pounding heart from worrying over Ryn.
"Mika, silly little Mika, you haven't had your lunch yet, have you? I don't want you to get sick just because you stubbornly refuse to eat," he coaxed Mika gently. "You need to eat your pill too, right?"
Mika chewed her lower lip sadly. Her eyes were wet in tears. She tried to refuse but he widened his eyes warningly. She lowered her head sadly. She did need to eat her medicine on time.
Slowly she followed the butler but kept glancing at Ryn's door. She was hoping Ryn would open the door quickly. She could not wait anymore. This frustration and worry made her feel sick in her stomach.
Even until she walked down the stairs, there was no sign of the door being opened. She would know because the maids or Jeremy would cry loudly.
Her shoulders dropped sadly.
Was Ryn no longer love her? Ryn now hated her so much until she would not want to see her anymore?
The maid who brought the food did not say a word when she entered the dining room. She placed the plain porridge in front of Mika and excused herself. Another maid brought in the condiments and arranged them neatly on the table. Then, she too excused herself, leaving Mika alone.
"Don't be sad, Miss Long. Mister Long is right. We need to eat," Mei Li said when she finally entered the dining room. She was actually being pulled by a maid, under Jeremy's order. Of course, she did not want to but the maid was so strong, it felt like her arm would dislocate if she still refused to move. Now, she was trying to coax herself, telling herself it was okay to leave Ryn for a little while. They needed to eat to get the energy for persuading Ryn out of the room. She especially needed the food after what happened (vomiting session in the office and once they arrived here).
Mika did not reply. She focussed on finishing her meal. Well, more like forcing herself to eat. She had lost her appetite and even the sight of her favourite fruit could not cheer her up.
A maid quickly came with a small dish containing her medicine. Mika quickly gulped everything down with the help of a glass of water.
"Are you done? Wait for me," Mei Li quickly gulped the water and rushed behind Mika.
She too wanted to go back to see Ryn. Had Ryn finally came out from the room? Or was she still angry at them?
When they got back to Ryn's room, they found the others were still standing in front of a closed door. Mika's face fell.
"She's still refusing to open the door?" Mei Li asked, finally was able to control her emotion.
"Is she still angry at me?" Mika's voice quivered in sadness.
"Have you two eaten? Mika, have you eaten your pills?" Jeremy asked, now looking exhausted.
He was actually fighting with his dizziness. Everything was getting blurry in front of his eyes but he determined not to let it stop him from coaxing Ryn out. He was worried more about Ryn than his own health.
"I have eaten my medicine. What about Ryn? How is she?" Mika asked hurriedly. Then her eyes widened. "Big brother, are you alright?"
"I am alright. It's okay," Jeremy staggered before everything turned black.