Artemis just smiled as her hand searched for the sensing stick that was leaning on the garden chair beside her.
“Why didn’t you tell me… you lost your sight because of the accident?” Rhia burst into tears as Jaejoong’s words a while ago echoed in her head.
Artemis lost her eye sight because of the accident.
She asked me for help, she said she wanted to be the one who would pay for her own operation.
She wanted to bring back her love and respect for herself so that she could give all her love to you.
She doesn’t want to be a burden, or a leech feeding off your money.
She wanted to provide for her family.
She wanted to be worthy of your love.
Now she has a stable means of income, she has paid me full for the money I lent her and she would have her operation soon…
She has her self-respect back…
But she doesn’t know… if you still want her back.
Artemis held the sensing stick as she slowly took a seat on the garden chair.
“So that rascal told you.” Artemis let out a small laugh. “I told him, not until after my operation.” She shook her head, a sad smile still on her lips.
“Why?” Rhia took fast steps towards Artemis and slowly cupped the latter’s face with her right hand.
“I don’t want you to pity me. I don’t want to fully lose my self-respect because of you tending on me, day and night. I don’t want to be the one pulling you down. I don’t want you to feed my family and provide all their needs because I could no longer do that. I want to be the one to pay for my operation.” Artemis looked down as tears slowly slid down her cheeks. “I know it may sound selfish… but I can’t give you what I don’t have Rhia. I can’t love you when I hate myself…”
Artemis bit her lower lip.
“Now I can tell your father and the whole world that I am worthy of your love…”
Mr. Lee and Mr. Kwon entered the room only to find a hysterical Artemis.
“Someone please open the lights!”
Mr. Kwon and Mr. Lee exchanged glances upon hearing what Artemis said.
“But Miss. Jung, the lights are on.”
“No! Open the lights! I can’t see anything! Please open the lights!” Artemis shouted as tears continually stream down her cheeks.
Artemis was now calmly sitting on her bed as Mr. Kwon stood leaning on the wall, staring at her. Artemis’s face was expressionless.
“Mr. Kwon, can I ask you a favor?”
“What is it Artemis?” Mr. Kwon straightened up upon hearing Artemis suddenly speak.
“Can you arrange for this not to be known by anybody connected to Rhia?” Artemis’s voice was hard and filled with anger.
Mr. Kwon furrowed his brows, surprised at Artemis’s request.
“Yes I can. But what for?”
Artemis gnashed her teeth, suppressing the anger boiling inside her.
“I don’t want Rhia to know about my condition.”
Mr. Kwon stared at Artemis because of what he heard.
Artemis’s face suddenly looked really sad and exhausted.
“Please Mr. Kwon. I don’t want Rhia to feel pity for me. I was not worthy of her love before, what more of my state now?”
“But my daughter…” Mr. Kwon said but was abruptly cut off by Artemis.
“This is my decision Mr. Kwon. Please. I want to be able to love your daughter back.”
*End of flashback*
“But now... I don’t know if you still want me back…”
Rhia then slowly touched Artemis’ chin and lifted it so that the latter is now facing her.
“You will always be the only I’ll ever love… come what may… my angel.”
Rhia leaned down and captured Artemis’s lips with her own, conveying her answer to Artemis’s question with the long awaited kiss.