Peach of June - Chapter 6
“Antoine, I went to see lavender today.”
Antoine was lying against the wall, not looking at me or answering me.
“It was great to see. There were only a few, so I couldn’t pick them. But it’s too far to go to see it every day. Can you bring some seeds to the garden in front of the house if you have time?”
I added ‘If you have time’. But is there a time when Antoine, who plays and eats at home, doesn’t have time?
Even when I begged like this, Antoine easily said ‘No’ to me. Nevertheless, I didn’t get tired and spoke with Antoine again.
“Antoine, can you give me a hug?”
It is Antoine who hurt me, but he is the only place I can be comforted. If he hugs me as tenderly as he used to, isn’t there still hope between us?
There is no hope. The only word that came out of his mouth was ‘No.’
“Just give me a hug. I want someone to hug me tight today. That’s all.”
“Oh, why? It’s annoying.”
Antoine turned around and replied.
He didn’t answer.
“Do you know that today is my birthday?”
“Turn off the lights and go out.”
I stared at his back for a while then turned off the light and left the room. I went back to my room and had a sleepless night alone.
Why is my life like this? Why did I have to live such a lonely and miserable life without warm arms to hold me? Why did I marry that scoundrel?
I don’t even shed a tear anymore.
‘If I could go back, I would never have chosen this kind of marriage.’
I headed back to the forest to see lavender. I can’t sleep anyway. Lavender was waiting for me as beautiful as daytime in the light green forest where I walked while enjoying the morning dew.
“I want to go back.”
I muttered without realizing it. The lavender was silent. Flowers can’t talk. Besides, the flower language of lavender is ‘silence’.
As soon as I thought about it, I laughed. Only in front of lavender, the flower that has no mouth, the most silent flower of all, can I pour out my heart.
As I knelt down in the dewy grass, my white linen dress was dyed green. The hazy dawn moon, which has not yet disappeared, illuminated the lavender. Tears flowed nonstop. I looked at the lavender and said aloud again. It was more like a plea.
“It was really hard. I worked really hard. I tried, but it didn’t work. Please, please let it all go away.”
It was then. The dazzlingly strong scent of lavender pierced the tip of my nose. There is no way that there is such a strong scent because only a few flowers bloom.
When I wiped away my tears and opened my eyes again, something really strange happened.
In front of me was an endless lavender field that I had only seen on Riverrun Island.
“Leah, you’ll only ruin your dress if you sit there.”
It was Isabella’s voice.
I jumped up and staggered.
“Oh, I told you not to get up like that.”
“Why, Leah? What were you thinking? You’ve been dazed for a while.”
“Is this really you, sister?”
“Sister, uh, why, I, here is—”
“Yes? What? Leah, say one thing at a time.”
My sister laughed softly. But her smiling face looked just as young as when she was twenty. No, she doesn’t look young, she is young. Although I have a pretty older sister, she is now in her fifties. She has a face without a single wrinkle, this is nonsense. Bella’s face now looks just like when she was twenty.
“Yes? What’s the matter?”
“How old are you now?”
“Did you forget your sister’s age too? We’re three years apart.”
“So how old are you?”
“I am twenty, Leah. Since you are seventeen, add three to it. You hate math, but have you even forgotten basic arithmetic?”
Leaving my sister, I ran to my room in the east tower. Running couldn’t be this light. My body is not like mine.
As soon as I opened the door, I stood in front of the mirror I saw. I no longer see the difficulties of life or the troubles of my heart on my face. Pearly skin, red lips, and smooth, white skin without a single wrinkle. My gray eyes are shining in the sunlight like lavender outside the window.
With every deep breath, my white chest goes up and down beneath my dress. My shoulders are straight, and my palms have no calluses. My body also feels light.
“Sister, am I seventeen?”
“Huh? You will be seventeen soon.”
“Sister, I am seventeen years old!”
“Leah, are you that happy? Listen, twice in a woman’s life, there are times when many men……”
Did Lavender really grant my wish? Or was it all just a dream of a brief nap in the lavender forest?
I returned for the first time. From the birthday of forty to the summer of seventeen. Once again, the summer of seventeen has begun. It was a magical season.