Forget Vivian Chapter 7
Forget Vivian Chapter 7
Arianne brought Eve to a doctor she claimed to have met while she was travelling to the Island to oversee the completion of their building contract as well as the renovations for their restaurant business. She claims the doctor had a lot of experience with treating ailments of magicians so Eve would be in reliable hands. She also reassured her that the doctor already knew about Eve’s condition so it would be easier for her to meet with him.
When they entered the establishment, they were greeted by the sight of the room brimming with patients. It seemed that Arianne wasn’t kidding about the doctor having a solid reputation for curing diseases. As everyone turned their eyes on them, Eve couldn’t help but feel rather self-conscious, “Are you sure we can afford a doctor like him? Isn’t someone this famous, expensive?” She asked.
Arianne shrugged at her worries and told her in a calm voice, “It is okay, don’t worry. It’s not like we don’t have money.” She then proceeded to lead Eve and Estella in while the latter held on to the young girl’s hand tightly.
They managed to find vacant seats, “Sit here.” Arianne told them.
Eve nodded her head and sat Estella on her lap. When she noticed that Arianne was heading towards the receptionist, she called after her, “Arianne, I can do that, you don’t have to…”
“Stay there Eve, I have to go and talk to the doctor first.”
“But how can you do that? So many people came here to see him before us.” Eve pointed out.
Arianne stepped closer and adjusted Eve’s bonnet and smiled at her, “Don’t worry, the doctor is someone I know from way back.”
Eve’s eyes widened in surprise, “Really? I did not know that Arianne was someone so capable.”
“That’s right, I am!” The older lady responded proudly, “So please just sit quietly here. Estella, will you protect your mother?”
Estella nodded her head vigorously and her eyes glimmered with determination, “Of course, Arianne! Believe in me.” Arianne gave her a high five and then disappeared among the crowd. She then slowly made her way towards the reception desk where a nurse was stationed. She stood at a safe distance for a moment and waited for the area to clear before she approached the nurse.
Arianne had already met the nurse even before they moved to the island so they were already familiar with Each other. As soon as the latter saw her, she lowered her voice and asked, “Did you bring her?”
“I did. Can I see the doctor right now?”
“Yes, the doctor has been waiting for you for a few days now. Come in.” The nurse at the reception desk left with Arianne in tow. The latter followed her silently and went into the examination room. When they arrived, they entered an office room where a man was waiting.
The man was wearing a calm expression and a monocle. As soon as he saw her, he gave her a slight smile of greeting, “Arianne.”
“Gillian.” She greeted back, he was the doctor they came to see; Gillian Illinois.
He was the former doctor of the Imperial Family, but after the disappearance of the Crown Princess Vivian, he earned the ire of the Emperor and was expelled from service. However, despite what had happened, Gillian was still able to make a name for himself outside the Palace’s walls. He was famous for the fact that he studied medicine for a long time as well as the fact that he specialized in treating magicians for a long time.
Regardless of the negative publicity one might expect for being casted aside by the crown, people still flocked and trusted him just for the sole fact that he had once worked for the imperial family.
Arianne had recently visited Gillian and confirmed with him that he still had the medical records of Crown Princess Vivian.
He started but Arianne cut him off, “She is outside. Did you find what I was talking about then?”
“I searched all the books on the mnemonic. I also ask questions about anyone who knows even a little about memory magicians and their diseases. However, I still do not have any answers for you.”
Arianne let out a low sigh, “…Vivian is dying. You can see her life being taken away little by little and day by day.”
“I heard she had a baby. You said that she must have worsened her situation. Furthermore, she erased her memories as well.”
“Is there no way?”
“I don’t know. But, we still have to examine her? Maybe God will look after you…”
Arianne rubbed her eyes roughly at the statement she is so familiar with. Every time they visited a doctor, they would always tell her the same thing. She heaved and replied, “Regardless, of what medication she takes, it won’t go away. I guess you are right, only God can look after her.”
‘It’s a common disease for sorcerers. But until now, there is no cure yet. All we have to do is wait for a miracle to happen.’ Arianne couldn’t help but feel upset.
‘Where the hell is that damn god? If I only knew where I could go, I would want to go to him and grab him by the collar.’ She couldn’t help but think that everything was pointless.
Suddenly, she remembered one important detail that she forgot to ask, “Did you tell the Imperial Palace that she’s here?”
“I was so careful. I didn’t tell them.” Gillian reassured her.
“Given the atmosphere of the island, it seems that the search order issued for Vivian was unsuccessful.”
“Through the years the interest has waned, but the order still survives.”
Arianne let out a sigh. Gillian was telling her something that she already suspected, that Samuel was always on their backs, “Is the Empress’s seat still vacant?”
Gillian looked at Arianne with a smirk as if asking mischievously why she was suddenly interested in the Empire’s affairs.
Arianne rubbed the back of her nose dismissively. It truly did not matter whether or not the kingdom had a new empress, what mattered more was…
“For Vivian…I don’t…” She began but Gillian raised his hand and stopped her from talking.
“I am not going to tell her anything about the past.”
“Thank you.” Arianne stood up after exchanging greetings with him.
Still, if she showed Vivian to Gillian, she wonders if she’ll remember anything. After all, Gillian had been examining Vivian for a long time. But, even though the two will be reunited it seems their meeting won’t lead to a happy ending either.
Just then a knock came from the door. Arianne instinctively smiled when the door opened to reveal Eve who was accompanied by a nurse in the clinic’s office.
“There are so many people waiting outside, can I really get treatment first?” Eve shyly asked as she stared apprehensively at the nurse.
“It’s okay because you made a reservation a long time ago. Come on in, Eve. That way it will be over soon.” Gillian and Arianne could hear their voices louder as they drew closer to them. When Eve came into full view, Gillian’s expression shifted.
He was filled with shock and then he just looked dazed, for there, holding Eve’s hand was a little girl, Estella.
As he took in the full image of Vivianne he could not help but notice that she still very much looked like the Vivian he used to know. But somehow a lot of things had changed too, she appeared skinnier and less regal but somehow happier. He stood up to greet her, “Hello, I’m Doctor Gillian, I heard about your condition from Arianne.”
“Hi. I am Eve Aetherion. This child…”
Before Eve could even introduce her daughter, the latter lifted her head up proudly and she spoke in a loud and clear voice, “My name is Estella Aetherion! I am six years old!”
As soon as she said this, Arianne reached out and happily ruffled the young girl’s hair.
Gillian’s face suddenly looked pale, as if all the blood in his system was drained. His eyes landed on the child and he could hardly peel them off of her, ‘This child….’
Gillian let out a breath and turned his head to Arianne knowingly, the latter just shook her head and sighed. It was then that he realized who that child was. He also figured that she deliberately did not tell him about who Estella really was so that he would have no choice but pretend that he did not know of her existence.
He already gave her his word that he wouldn’t speak to anyone about Vivian especially to the royal family and he plans to keep that promise. He hesitantly held out his hand towards Estella and smiled awkwardly down at her, “Estella. That’s a pretty name. My name is Gillian Illinois. I run this little establishment.”
“Doctor! You are a doctor! Are you the one who will cure my mother?” Estella asked with her round, pebble-like shiny eyes.
It was the same eyes that Gillian had seen a lot in his lifetime. He nodded his head at her and felt his throat tighten and clog up, “That’s right. I’m a pretty good doctor.”
Estella smiled bashfully and pulled away from Eve’s hand. The latter watched gleefully as her daughter excitedly engaged in a light conversation with the doctor. And somehow, her child even managed to sit on the doctor’s chair.
Eve then proceeded to take off her bonnet and sat it down on the treatment table. Her cloud-like hair instantly cascaded down and her pink eyes glimmered more brightly. Without it, her beautiful face was revealed and her pink lips appeared like a pair of dainty petals. It was a familiar face that still held a lot of beauty.
Gillian couldn’t help but acknowledge her in his mind, ‘Vivian….’ He was so overwhelmed to be standing in her presence once more that he almost said her name out loud. Thankfully, Arianne had spoken up and brought him back to his senses.
“This is Gillian Illinois, Eve.” She introduced him. When he met Eve’s eyes, he saw a deep seated sense of resignation in them. Still, despite her almost hollow cheeks and dark eyes, she still smiled brightly at him. Seeing this, made his heart ache.
During her checkup Eve couldn’t help but notice how seriously the doctor looked when prescribing her medicine. There was a feeling of nervousness from him and he somehow looked distressed. Even if he does not tell her anything, she could understand why he had looked so burdened during their whole meeting.
“I just need some medicine doctor, then I’ll be off.” She told him.
‘So…don’t try too hard to heal me.’ She thought to herself as he watched him silently continue on with his work. Somehow, even without going into detail, he knew a lot about her sickness. It almost felt like he knew her back story. Perhaps, he even knew that she was inevitably dying.
Eve had already accepted her own death.
It was only for Estella and Arianne’s sake that she continued to take her medication to prolong her life, even for a day or so.
Her attitude seemed to have made Arianne slightly annoyed though, “Why do you seem so impatient to leave? Let’s go and see if Estella is ill while we’re here.” Arianne told her bluntly.
“Estella? Estella is strong.”
Estella, who oozed with confidence only seconds ago, suddenly shrank behind Eve, “Estella? But…Estella is strong.” The young girl had reasoned out.
Gillian, who had remained silent for a long time, finally cleared his throat and spoke out, “First one first served, that’s my policy.”
Eve nodded her head at his statement and for a brief moment it seemed that Gillian had succeeded in suppressing his true feelings.
“I’ve heard a little bit about it, but I still need to know the exact symptoms. That way, I can administer the right medicine for you.”
Eve glanced at Arianne and Estella then and Gillian too gave the pair a meaningful look. He seemed to be telling them to leave him and the patient alone so they could discuss her condition more comprehensively and freely without their presence.
For a moment, it seemed that Arianne wouldn’t budge from her place, until she reluctantly said, “Alright…we’ll be out. Get a proper examination and then we can go home.”
“I’ll count the time! Just come out in 10 minutes.”
“I promise!” As Eve raised her palm and pretended to swear, Arianne rolled her eyes in distrust, but then she grabbed Estella by the hand and silently went outside.
Eve carefully checked that the door was closed, before turning to face Gillian head on. The shift in her expression, made his heart pound louder.
Unlike before, she now wore an expression drenched in pain. Even her lips that once carried a smile were now trembling before him. She then proceeded to slowly open her lips and said in a resolute voice, “I know I have little time left.”
Her voice was small, like a whisper when she continued, “They said, at best, I had two years left. But Arianne is not giving up. I also need a bit more time to prepare for my death, Mr. Gillian. Time for Arianne to accept my passing and for Estella to adjust to her new home and life without me. That’s all I need, I don’t need to be cured. Just a bit of time is enough.” Eve spoke bluntly and stretched out her skinny arms before him as she spoke.
“… Obviously I will help.” He answered.
Even with Gillian’s words, Eve’s resigned face did not change.
“Give me the strongest pain reliever, Mr. Gillian.” She told him.
Gillian collapsed and placed his finger on Eve’s wrist. As soon as his fingertips touch her icy, exposed skin he could feel his chest sinking some more into the ground. She was so cold.
As Eve said, death was already knocking at her door.
As soon as Eve stepped out of the doctor’s office, Estella came rushing towards her, “Mom!”
At once, Arianne and Estella were fussing on Eve, putting her bonnet on her and pulling her away from the treatment room. Eve wrapped her arms around Estella and hugged her daughter with a cheerful expression.
Arianne and Estella clung to Eve’s side, putting her bonnet on right away and coming out of the treatment room.
Eve wrapped her arms around Estella with her usual cheerful expression.
“What did he say?” She asked her.
“It’s always the same. If I take medicine, I’ll be fine. Are we going to the grocery store now? I want to go to the market.”
Eve then pulled Arianne’s attention away from the office, as if she was running away from the regrets she left behind those closed doors. Instead she focused on her cute child who was still clasping her arms, “Estella, are you hungry?”
“Look. Let’s go buy some medicine now so we can eat.” But as soon as she said this, Arianne stopped walking and thought grimly, ‘I have to see Gillian without Eve and Estella.’ She then reluctantly turned her back from the pair and began walking back.
“Mom, are you sick?”
“Of course not! Shall I show you how strong your mother is? She might even pick Estella up.”
When Arianne came back with Eve’s medicine, she found the mother and child laughing together with Eve swinging Estella lightly against the wind.
“Be careful! And what if you get hurt?” She reminded them but the pair just burst into laughter at the same time.
It was a good day, and Eve secretly wished it would never end.