Leslie looked at the reflection on the glass window at the busy and delicate figure before him and then at the shrimp in his hand. There was a strange feeling swirling in his chest.
His parents‘ divorce had been an ugly affair. He was still young at the time and couldn’t do anything but stare in disbelief as his usually stern father hurled the most vicious words at his mother. At that time, he had never believed that man was his own father.
When he saw his father leave, he followed him outside, only to find a beautiful woman sitting in the car, holding a boy of roughly his own age in her arms. His father smiled as he picked up the boy and kissed the woman on the forehead.
He realized that even his father, who rarely showed emotion, could smile. At that moment, he felt nauseous.
Everything that happened afterward shattered his understanding of humanity. Since then, marriage was never a part of his plan.
But he hadn’t expected to get married eventually, and the feeling of being married was different from what he had imagined.
As for what was different, he couldn’t quite put it into words. It was as if nothing had changed, yet everything had changed.
“Mr. Synder, do you like spicy food? I don’t eat spicy, so if you want, I can make it separately,” Aurelia’s question interrupted Leslie’s thoughts, and he turned to look at her.
She wiped her sweat while stir–frying the vegetables in the pan. Everything she did seemed ordinary, but he inexplicably felt that the entire house had come alive.
“I don’t eat spicy food,” Leslie replied in a deep voice.
Aurelia nodded and wiped her sweat again.
Despite the open window, she hadn’t expected the kitchen to be so hot. It was strange for a high–end house; the kitchen window was so small. Did people living in high–end houses not cook? Her old house had bigger windows.
Just as she was about to overheat, a cool breeze blew toward her. She immediately turned around and saw Leslie bending down to adjust the angle of the electric fan.
feel the wind?”
“I do, thank you.”
She would have forgotten about the fan if he hadn’t turned it on.
Leslie nodded and continued washing the vegetables.
Aurelia watched the clam chowder in the pot bubbling away and decided to add salt to season it. Her hand touched something else as she reached out to grab the salt shaker. She turned her head to look and was stunned for a short while.
She had accidentally touched Leslie’s hand.
“I was looking for the salt shaker,” she explained.
“It’s right there,” Leslie pointed.
“Okay, okay,” Aurelia quickly pulled her hand back, but her body felt even hotter.
“I’m done washing. Is there anything else?”
“No, no, it’s too crowded in here. You should go out first.”
Aurelia hurriedly escorted Leslie out. She was afraid she might get into more awkward situations if he stayed longer.
As Leslie left the kitchen, the coolness of the living room washed over him, relaxing his entire body. In contrast, even with an electric fan, the kitchen felt like a sauna.
He watched the figure busy in the kitchen and became increasingly unable to understand Aurelia’s thoughts. She was accused of being materialistic, but aside from accepting money from his mother, she hadn’t asked him for money again. They even split their living expenses evenly.
While lost in thought, the phone in his pocket vibrated. He glanced at the number, avoiding Aurelia, and went to the balcony to answer it.
At that moment, he saw a family of three dining in the building across from him. Since as far back as he could remember, he had never seen a family sit together for a meal.
As he watched the heartwarming scene, an image of Aurelia unexpectedly flashed through his mind. After hesitating for a few seconds, he lit a cigarette and answered the phone.
“Synder Corporation called to request a meeting with the company’s owner.”
“They can’t wait any longer?” Leslie’s face turned cold, and his breath formed a dangerous mist.
“Mr. Synder, do you want to meet them?” Daniel asked.