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MYGIP Side Story Chapter 14

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I looked around. At first, I looked around Shelly’s house and gradually expanded the scope of the search. I even asked the kids in the same neighborhood about Shelly’s whereabouts and what happened the day before.

“Well, I don’t know where she went….”

“By the way, she hasn’t been feeling well since yesterday. She doesn’t even play with us, she sits far away.”

“I saw Shelly last night. It was when my dad opened the window to ventilate? Then he saw Shelly carrying on something and she was going somewhere. by the way… I don’t know exactly where she went.”

I nodded as I listened to the children’s answers. They couldn’t tell where Shelly had gone. Olivia probably got the same answer as this one.

The children asked with a dark expression.

“Did something bad happen to Shelly?”

“Yes? no. Nothing bad happens.”

“… Liar.”                   

Children are quick-witted. Lies like that don’t work. That’s why sometimes my heart sinks when I face children. I put the candy in his little hand and left.

Since then, the search for Shelly has not progressed much. The whereabouts of the child are not known at all. There was no income at all, but the sky was starting to get darker. When it was blue, it becomes red, and when it was red, it is painted black. Hours between evening and night, I arrived at the beach.

I had no idea where Shelly would be. Only, if she had stopped by before she went anywhere else. I lit the dark sandy beach with the lamp I brought from home. Seashells roll on the floor.

Then I heard a voice calling my name from afar.

“Layla!”

When I lifted my head, I saw a man with his hand raised and announcing his location.

“Isley?”

“I found Shelly. She was here.”

“Yes? really?”

He said Shelly was in a coastal cave near the beach. Together we headed to where Shelly was. The road leading to the cave was not a good place for a patient with an ankle injury to walk. Since it was a rough terrain with jagged rocks, I felt a shock to the injured part whenever I walked. I clenched my teeth and endured the pain. Then Isley reached out his hand towards me.

“Layla, will you grab me and come down?”

I thought it would be good to get help now. The moment I reached out to him, the strength in my legs loosened. My body immediately leaned forward. fall down! I struggled to grab the rocks around me. But nothing was caught and my body fell down. I unconsciously closed my eyes, imagining the pain to come.

But even after a long time, the pain was not felt. I just feel something solid is blocking my way. I opened my eyes. Isley’s face appeared in front of me. It was then that I realized that Isley was holding me as I was about to fall. I turned my head as soon as I met his eyes.

“… Well, I’ll just go down like this. Are you fine?”

“Yes. I’m okay.”

That might be better. Because if something similar happens, dangerous things may happen. I didn’t want to worry Yuria because I was hurt like last time. I can’t stand the girl’s crying face.

I went downstairs holding Isley. A loud heartbeat could be heard the whole time I was attached to him. It was so big that I thought it was noisy. We soon reached the entrance to the coastal cave. It was very dark inside the cave. I wouldn’t be able to see anything without the light I’m holding. As we went deeper into the cave, we heard a squeak. I pointed the light toward the sound. There, Shelly sat in a crouched position. At her feet were shards of broken pottery. And below it, there is a yellow cloth that is supposed to have wrapped the pieces.

Thank God. It wasn’t like she was kidnapped. Still, I couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief. Because Shelly didn’t look good.

“Shelly.”

“……!”

“What were you doing here? Do you know how worried I was that you disappeared?”

No answer came back. Shelly continued to whimper, looking down at the piece. We need to share a story. I approached the girl and sat down next to her. Isley, who followed me, took a seat on the other side.

“Shelly, why are you still here?”

Shelly shook her head.

“… Why?”

“This….”

The child’s tiny finger points to a piece of pottery.

“It’s a teacup made by my deceased grandmother.”

I looked down at the piece. Each piece was painted with something like a painting.

“Mom said it was a gift from my grandmother when my mother got married. It was a very, very precious thing to my mother. She keeps it in the cupboard and takes it out every day to clean it. It’s my mom’s birthday yesterday, so I wanted to make my mom happy by cleaning this up. And… I took it out of the cupboard and broke it.”

“… I see. You must be very surprised.”

“I was going to stick with this…. It doesn’t stick properly….”

There was grass in one of Shelly’s hands.

It was a glue that was only viscous enough to stick a small piece of paper on. It must have been insufficient to attach pottery with that.

“So you lied about going to your friend’s house and hid here?”

“… Yes.”

Shelly buried her face in her lap.

“Aren’t you afraid of being here all the time?”

“… It was dark and scary.”

“Then let’s get out of here first, okay?”

“I can’t go out. I have to live here for the rest of my life. If my mom sees this, she will hate me. She’ll never tell me she loves me again. She won’t even kiss me goodnight every time I sleep!”

I wondered what to say to comfort Shelly. Then Isley said with a sigh of relief to her.

“You are really stupid.”

“What?”

Shelly raised her head and looked at Isley. There were tears in her big eyes.

“Why am I an idiot…!”

“You fool. There’s no way your mother would hate you for that.”

“Even though I broke something that my mother cherished…?”

“Yeah, even if you break something she treasures. Because she values you several times more than that. Now you are gone. Do you know how sad your mother is? Not knowing that the teacup is gone, she keeps looking for you.”

Shelly wiped her tears with both hands.

“Don’t worry too much. If you say, ‘I’m sorry I broke it’, she’ll forgive you right away.”

“… Will she really forgive me?”

“Sure. because…”

Isley stroked Shelly’s hair.

“All parents love their children more than anything else in this world.”

Hearing his words, I think that I should not have read the side story of 「The Secret of the Rose House」 again today. It makes me think about how he, who has never been loved, is comforting Shelly by saying those words. It felt like my heart was pounding. I sympathize with the man named Isley Emers, just as I did when he first came to Arya.

Even if I wasn’t there, Isley comforted Shelly well. The child, who was listening to him, jumped up from her seat holding a cloth with a piece of pottery, whether he had the courage to go outside. We took Shelly outside. Isley and I were waiting in front of the house until Shelly’s parents came. As the world fell into complete darkness, I could see Olivia and her husband tumbling home. When the two saw Shelly sitting in front of the house, their eyes widened.

“Mom… Dad…”

“Shelly!”

They hugged Shelly and wept. After thanking us for finding Shelly, she grabbed the child and started asking questions. In the meantime, where has she been, why did she lie and disappear, and how is her body? Shelly wept and answered each of their questions one by one. Olivia was angry when she heard the child’s story.

“Is it because the teacup was broken? Did you think mom would hate Shelly for something like that? no… Mommy, no matter what you do wrong, I won’t hate Shelly. Never. I could be mad for a moment about what Shelly did. But, there’s nothing that makes me hate you. Because mom loves Shelly. So please never disappear again. Understand?”

Shelly nodded, crying.

So they showed family harmony.

I glanced at Isley’s face. He was looking at them with a smile that looked somewhat sad.

What is Isley thinking right now? How does he feel watching Shelly’s family? Is he rejoicing that Shelly has been safely forgiven? Is he envious of the happiness he didn’t have? Is he jealous because  Shelly is loved by her mother? I don’t know what he’s thinking when he sees Shelly’s family now, or how he comforted Shelly by talking about a parents’ love in the cave. I can understand Isley’s feelings, but I can’t fully empathize with his feelings.

Why can’t people empathize with other people’s problems that they haven’t experienced? A person with a family cannot empathize with the pain of a person without a family. People with loving parents cannot empathize with the pain of being abused by their parents. The rich cannot empathize with the suffering of the poor. A person who never gets hungry cannot sympathize with the suffering of a hungry person. The person who beats cannot empathize with the pain of the person being beaten.

People can never sympathize with things they have never experienced before. No matter how hard they try, no matter how hard I try, I can’t figure it out. That’s the truth. It is an unchanging truth.

Why does my heart hurt so much at such a cruel reality? It was because, at this moment, I wanted to sympathize with Isley’s heart. Because I wanted to know his heart. Why did I come to think that way? Was it because he looked pitiful? Was it because his smile evoked a feeling of compassion?

Well I don’t know. I just want to hold Isley’s hand, who is smiling sadly while looking at the harmonious family now. He was right next to me. If I reached out his hand, I was in a position to reach.

Yes, I can hold that huge, rough hand if you just reach out.

So I couldn’t help but catch it.

I reached out and gently grabbed Isley’s hand. I could clearly feel the calluses on his palms. Isley’s hands were too large to fit all in my grasp.

Isley grabbed my hand and shook his body in surprise. He covered his face with his free hand. Like someone who doesn’t want to show off his blushing cheeks.

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