She was lost in her various fancies and conjectures when she heard the sound of a car pulling over outside. She sprung from the sofa and excitedly walked to the front door to greet her husband. The moment he walked in, she smiled and told him, "I'm pregnant, Ezra."
As soon as she finished her words, he narrowed his eyes at her and slowly approached her.
'What is he doing?' she thought.
Before she could think of an answer, Ezra's hand was already clamped over her neck. He shoved her against the wall and stared at her with enraged eyes.
She trembled as she struggled to loosen his grip on her throat. "Ezra..." she gasped. "I'm pregnant with your child."
He had not touched her in three years except for that night a few weeks ago when he was drunk. She knew that he did not love her, but she still dutifully guarded the castle of their marriage, believing that one day, he would warm up to her.
When she found out that she was pregnant, she was ecstatic because she thought that this child just might be the answer to her prayers. This baby just might help make their relationship better.
But seeing the fury in Ezra's face right now broke her heart. She could not help wondering if she had fought for a cause that was already doomed from the very beginning.
She stared at her husband helplessly. Why was he hurting her? Was he not happy to hear that she was carrying their child?
Ezra gnashed his teeth together as he looked into his wife's confused and terrified eyes. It infuriated him so much that she did not understand why he had just reacted the way he did. "Is this why you did everything to force our marriage, Selina? Because you want to cuckold me and make me look like a damn fool? Whose bastard are you carrying? Tell me!" He finally let go of her and watched her fall to her knees on the ground. He looked down at her as she coughed and gasped desperately for air.
Selina filled her lungs with as much air as they could take. On her knees and with tears in her eyes, she looked up at her husband and said, "That night, I... We didn't come home. You were drunk, and I went to pick you up. We rented a room, and we slept together. Don't you remember?"
Why was he accusing her of cheating on him? All these years, she had done nothing but love him so much that it hurt. She loved him even if she knew that he did not love her.
Her mind swam with a million emotions that she could no longer tell apart. She was starting to feel a little lightheaded from it.
Then, Ezra tossed a photo in her direction and said, "Look at it carefully."
She picked up the photo and checked it out. It was a little blurry and grainy and, from the angle, looked like it was taken by a surveillance camera.
She was the naked woman in the photo, and she was straddling and hugging a naked man who definitely was not Ezra. Although a third of the man's face could be seen, it did not ring any bells for her. He was a stranger.
She dropped the photo like a hot potato and climbed to her feet. With tears already streaming down her face, she told her husband, "No! This can't be real! I... I was with you when this was taken!"
She rushed toward Ezra, grabbed his shirt, and murmured, "It was you that night, wasn't it? I couldn't have... I don't even know the man in the photo. Please tell me this isn't real, Ezra. Please."
He stared into her eyes and knitted his brows. He closed his eyes and wrenched her hands from his shirt. "I want a divorce, Selina," he muttered.
Then, he turned around and fished a bunch of documents out of his briefcase. It looked like he had had the agreement drawn up the moment he saw the photo. He handed them over to her and said, "Just sign them. I want this to be over with," he said flatly.
She took the papers from her husband's hand. As an explanation for Ezra's decision occurred to her, a bitter smile tugged on the corner of her lips. He handed her a pen, and she looked up at him.
"You still can't forget Viola, can you? Even after everything I've done to show you that you mean the world to me, she's still the one."
Ezra narrowed his eyes at his wife. "Don't you drag Viola into this, Selina. You wrecked this marriage with your infidelity. I didn't." When Selina mentioned Viola Bai, Ezra used up all of his physical strength to keep himself from strangling her again. He pressed through clenched teeth, "You tried to kill her three years ago. You don't get to mention her name to make me feel guilty over something that you did."
"What?" his wife breathed, flashing him a confused look that only enraged him even more.
She shook her head as a new stream of tears rolled down her cheeks. "No, I didn't. I had no hand in what happened to her. In fact, she begged me to marry you for her. I... That's one of the reasons I married you, Ezra. Viola asked me to take care of you."
She had told him that countless times.
But he never believed it.
With all the information he had just gotten, he had enough to prove that she was guilty. No amount of lying, begging, or crying could save her now.
As she went on to defend herself again and again, he clenched his fists and bellowed.
"For heaven's sake, Selina, just give it a rest! You're still pretending! Just stop! We don't have to drag this out. It'll just end badly for you."
He pushed her away when she started grabbing onto him and pleading incessantly.
As Selina staggered back when Ezra pushed her away, a woman walked through the door. It took her a heartbeat to recognize her.
"Viola?" she said with wide eyes. Viola... Is that you?"
It seemed to be her.
However, somehow, it did not seem to be her. Her face was strange and familiar all at once. Selina was sure that something changed in Viola, but she could not put her finger on it.
The woman walked slowly to Selina, took her hand in hers, and said, "Hey, Selina. Long time no see."
Selina stared at her for a minute and then turned to Ezra. Then, she whipped her head back to her and begged, "Viola, tell Ezra that I didn't hurt you. Tell him the truth. Tell him that I didn't steal him from you and that you actually entrusted him to me..."
'You asked me to take care of him for you, and I said yes because I do like him.' Selina didn't utter this.
Before she could speak again, Ezra was already grabbing Viola and making her stand behind him. "Such a vicious woman doesn't deserve your sympathy, Viola. Get away from her."
Viola replied in a menacingly calm voice, "Selina just likes you too much, Ezra. She was so desperate to marry you that she set me up and lied to you. But that's all in the past now. I'm fine and now standing here with you. It doesn't matter anymore if she betrayed both of us without batting an eye."
Selina stooped dead. She felt like somebody just grabbed her by the collar and tossed her into a frozen cell in the deepest, darkest pits of hell.
Why would Viola say that?
Why would she lie?
Stunned, she stared at the woman that her husband was now protecting. "Why, Viola?" she whispered.
They had been good friends for years. Their bond was like that of siblings. But at this moment, she just went ahead and threw her under the bus.
Viola took a few steps toward her and smiled that unsettling smile once again. She said, "I need you to let me go, Selina. Don't worry. I'm not angry with you. I promise you that all is forgiven. Ever since we were kids, I've given you everything you wanted. I've never fought you for anything. Now you even try to take Ezra away from me. Well, I don't want to put up with it anymore. I'm taking a stand. I'm taking back what rightfully belongs to me."
A bitter smile spread across Selina's face as another tear rolled down her cheek. "I took Ezra away from you? You've given me everything I wanted?" Then, she started laughing mirthlessly. "I see... I see..." she blurted out in between humorless cackles.
Sure. Selina An, the daughter of the An family, was nothing but a vicious snake that everyone hated.
Yes, she was! She was so vicious and manipulative that when Viola got bullied when they were younger, she swooped right in and taught her bullies a lesson.
She was so despicable that she took the blame for everything that her best friend Viola did wrong.
Just because she was the one who was born into a rich family, everybody automatically assumed that she was the scheming one. They took one look at poor Viola and instantly decided that she did not have a wicked bone in her body.
They all saw her as a kind, gentle girl who would not hurt a fly while they looked at her best friend Selina like she was going to end up in prison one day.
The bitch had years and years of practice to pull this off, and Ezra believed her without a second thought.
As her tears stopped flowing, Selina fixed her eyes on her husband who did not even flinch. "You will regret this one day, Ezra. That I can promise you."
A muscle flickered in his jaw, but his eyes remained emotionless. He answered, "I need you and your bastard child out of my house. Now."