Chapter 383: Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (3) (unedited)
Aunt Leticia and my brother Gladiolus were sitting in the lounge area. The maids have brought them refreshments while waiting for me. Before entering, I took a deep breath and walked inside.
"I hope I did not make you wait." I said while entering the lounge area.
"Not at all." Aunt Leticia turned around and gave me a warm smile. She looked exactly like my mother that it made me pause for a moment.
"I am happy to see you again, Aunt Leticia." I walked towards her. She gave me a big hug when I approached.
"Oh my. You have grown into a fine young woman." Aunt Leticia complimented. "I hope you are doing well."
"Yes, I am doing fine." I replied fighting the tears that were trying to come out of my eyes.
"Why are you crying my dear?" Aunt Leticia saw my mask and that had broken any defenses I made to fight the tears.
"A-Aunt…" I bawled while hugging her. "I-I just can't believe you are here right now. I-It has been so long since I have seen any of my family." I cried in her arms.
"Oh dear." Aunt Leticia patted my back to comfort me. "If I knew you were lonely, then I should have visited a long time ago. It is just that Alicia's father had been so hard to deal with sometimes. Well, you know, he wanted me for himself." She whispered.
"Hahaha…" I giggled hearing how Alicia's father had taken off with Aunt Leticia. Alicia had also mentioned in a letter to me that she was not able to see Aunt Leticia for months because her father had selfishly alienated aunt, saying that they were on a tour around the continent.
"But there are no excuses to this brother of yours." Aunt Leticia pulled away and gestured to my brother Gladiolus. "I am also here because he asked me to accompany him in meeting you. He was afraid that you had a deep grudge against him and asked me to help him patch things up between the two of you."
I looked at my brother Gladiolus with warm eyes. We have not met for a couple of years now and he his appearance had changed a lot. His long hair silver silky hair that was always tied at the back is now short. He now has a more muscular body than the last time I had seen him. He had matured finely over the years.
"S-Satiana…" Gladiolus awkwardly called out my name.
"BROTHER!!!" I quickly ran towards him with tears falling. Gladiolus was surprised with the suddenness of my action and he was ready to catch me with open arms.
Gladiolus caught me with no problems. He wrapped his arms around me, and I felt his warmth in an instant. I felt the love that I have so long for when we were apart.
"W-Why… Why did you show yourself just now?" I asked, my tears were now flooding like a river.
"I am sorry Sati." Gladiolus wiped the tears on my cheeks affectionately. "I just… I did not know how to face you after I abandoned you. I know you are mad at me, and you have a right to be." I shook my head violently, denying his assumptions.
"No… I was never mad at you to begin with brother." I replied. "I missed you… I missed you so dearly. You are my one and only brother and you had taken care of me since we were kids. I know you love me as your sister, and I will always love you as my brother."
"S-Sati…" Gladiolus was in a loss of words. I can see some tears starting to fall from his eyes. He hugged me tightly and I felt the love I missed so much.
After our tearful reunion, the three of us talked about a lot of things. I was happy to know that they will be here until my coming of age ceremony. Aunt Leticia will help me in the preparations as a stand in for my mother and my brother will be the one to escort me at the ceremony, helping me prevent rumors of future consorts.
"I am happy that I can help you with your coming of age ceremony." Aunt Leticia said with delight. "I was not able to do this with my Alicia, but at least let me fill in the role that my sister has left."
"Thank you, Aunt Leticia." I replied with a smile.
"I also want to tell you something Sati." Gladiolus said with solemn eyes. "It was one of the last words our mother had said before dying."
"M-Mother?" I asked hesitantly. "She left a message for me?" I was afraid on what the message will be.
"Do not worry Sati, if it were something offensive then I would keep it for myself and not speak of it." Gladiolus reassured me and I nodded in understanding. "It was short, but meaningful."
"G-Gladiolus…" Patricia was in her last breath.
"Mother… please…" Gladiolus held his dying mother.
"P-Please relay my message to your sister…" Patricia said. "Tell her… Tell her I am sorry. I am so sorry for not showing her the love that a mother should give to her child. My heart was tainted black because of what her father had done to me and that hatred was unfortunately extended to her as well."
"Mother…" Gladiolus replied. "Please tell her that yourself."
"Hmmm… I know I cannot." Patricia shook her head. "Tell Satiana that if ever there is a next life, I will make it up to her. In the next life I will… I will treat her well for sure."
*END OF FLASHBACK*
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The tears that have stopped a while ago started to flow once more. I had the closure I had longed for from the message that my brother had just conveyed.
"Thank you… Thank you so much." I displayed my gratitude.
"I hope that these words had helped you." Gladiolus said.
"Yes, it did." I said with a smile. "It brought me closure that I have longed for. Now I feel complete. Thank you, brother."
"I am happy then." Gladiolus replied.
This was such a good day. I am sure that I will become happy with my upcoming coming of age ceremony together with my loved ones.