Marceline was always known for her kindness and a touch of naivety during her early years in primary school. However, her life took a drastic turn when she started experiencing fainting spells. After thorough examination, doctors discovered a serious heart defect. They conveyed a grim prognosis to Marceline and her parents, warning that she might not live to adulthood. Despite this ominous verdict, Marceline remained resolute, determined not to leave this world prematurely.
At the age of 17, Marceline fell in love with Paul, and they married when she was 19. At 20, she discovered she was pregnant. Doctors categorically forbade her from giving birth, citing immense risks to both her and the child. The obstetrician-gynecologist frowned, emphasizing the life-threatening nature of the situation, “Do you understand the risks involved? Both you and the child could lose your lives.”
However, Marceline couldn’t fathom parting with her beloved child, even though her husband discouraged her from proceeding. He was deeply concerned for his wife, but Marceline’s determination was unyielding.
As predicted, Marceline’s pregnancy proved arduous, resulting in a premature birth. Doctors had to fight to save her life, but her son arrived healthy. Marceline recovered, and their small family found happiness in each other’s company.
Their joy was abruptly interrupted one fateful evening. Marceline anxiously awaited her husband and son’s return. Paul was supposed to pick up their child from his after-school football session. It was their Friday tradition to have a family dinner followed by board games. Marceline couldn’t help but glance at the clock repeatedly, growing increasingly concerned as her husband and son were delayed.
Then, her phone rang, and a smile graced her face as she saw her son’s name on the screen. “Hello, Edward, where are you? Why are you late?” she asked. However, her son’s voice carried a note of terror as he responded, “Mom…”
Marceline’s smile vanished, and she sat down, feeling her strength wane instantly. “What happened?” she whispered, her face turning pale.
“Mom, Dad doesn’t move,” the child said, his words piercing her heart. Her lips quivered as she asked, “Edward, where are you? Are you okay? Explain what happened.”
Then, Marceline heard the most devastating sound any mother could endure: her child’s inconsolable crying. It wasn’t the usual cry over a scraped knee or a missed toy. Edward was crying as if his world had shattered. “We…we crashed,” the child muttered.
Marceline jumped up, rushing around the kitchen like a caged tiger. She held the phone so tightly that it threatened to crack. “Edward, tell me where you are. I’m coming,” she said, realizing she had to hang up and call the police. However, she couldn’t bring herself to end her son’s call.
With a heavy heart and trembling hands, Marceline reassured her child that everything would be okay and then called the police. They informed her they had already responded to the scene, and Marceline rushed there.
Upon arrival, she saw her son in the ambulance, and a wave of relief washed over her. But this relief was short-lived as she asked, “Where’s my husband? What happened?”
The officer explained that a truck had cut off their car, and her husband had driven straight into it at high speed. He had died on the spot. Marceline felt her heart shatter into a million pieces. Still, she knew she had to be strong for her son. She had risked her life to give birth to him, and now she would do everything to ensure his happiness.
So, Marceline began living for Edward, filling the void left by her husband. She worked hard, attended her son’s football matches, and worked on her computer at night. Marceline was an advertising designer and had completed courses during her maternity leave. Her talent quickly earned her a good reputation among clients.
Living without her beloved was challenging. Marceline felt that a part of her heart had been ripped out and buried in the ground when Paul died. However, time passed, and even the deepest wounds can heal.
When Edward turned 13, Marceline met Ron. Ron was a handsome man, especially in his military uniform. Having come from a village and enrolled in a military school, Ron was assigned to the town where Marceline and Edward lived. Their introduction came through mutual friends, and Ron immediately fell in love with the modest and sweet Marceline.
At first, Marceline gently rejected his advances, but her friends encouraged her to consider Ron, emphasizing that he was a suitable match. Marceline, however, was hesitant. She explained, “I’m not saying Ron is bad, it’s just that he doesn’t interest me in that way.” Her friends pressed her, highlighting that Edward needed a male authority figure. They knew he was considering military school, and Ron seemed like a suitable stepfather.
Marceline eventually agreed to go on a date with Ron. What tipped the scales of doubt remains unclear—whether it was her friends’ words or Ron’s persistence. Soon, she found herself agreeing to a second date, and then a third. Ron proved to be kind and sincere, and his open soul won Marceline over.
Years passed, and Ron found himself transferred to a new duty station. Without hesitation, he got down on one knee and proposed to Marceline, expressing his desire to take her and Edward with him. Marceline consulted her son, and Edward, showing maturity beyond his years, hugged his mother and congratulated her, saying, “Of course, Mom, say yes. Ron cherishes you, and I want you to be happy.”
Before saying yes, Marceline sat down with Ron for a serious conversation. She admitted, “I won’t be able to give you a child. Firstly, I’m no longer young, and secondly, I was forbidden to give birth even to my first one.” She expressed her concerns about the health risks associated with her heart condition.
Ron kissed her hands and reassured her, “We have Edward, so I will have an heir after all. Trust me, everything will be fine.” His words melted Marceline’s heart. She was tired of being alone, carrying everything on her shoulders.
Marceline agreed to the proposal, and initially, everything went well. However, Ron began drinking more frequently at his new duty station, often with his military colleagues. He’d return home swaying, bringing flowers to appease his wife. Marceline understood that Ron’s service was stressful, and he never displayed anger or drunkenness at home, so she chose not to worry too much.
Family issues began to surface later. When Edward turned 15, he bore an uncanny resemblance to his father. During an anniversary party for a colleague, a guest made an inappropriate remark, unknowingly triggering a significant shift in Ron’s demeanor. Although he joked about it at the time, he grew increasingly brooding and contemplative after the incident.
Ron began to argue frequently with his wife, blaming her for not wanting to have a child with him. He questioned her love for him and accused her of valuing her late husband more. Marceline, in an attempt to salvage their relationship, finally agreed to have a child with Ron.
Surprisingly, Marceline’s pregnancy progressed smoothly, without the expected discomforts. She had reached the ninth month without any significant issues. However, complications arose during childbirth, and Marceline did not survive. Tragically, she left behind a newborn daughter, Lucy.
Lucy lost not only her mother but also her father on the day of her birth. Ron, burdened by grief and guilt, distanced himself from his newborn daughter, leaving Edward to care for her. Edward had completed his first year at military school and returned home for his mother’s funeral. He found himself thrust into the role of Lucy’s guardian.
Ron never showed interest in his daughter, focusing on his own grief. Edward, a loving and responsible brother, took on the responsibility of raising Lucy as his own. He dropped out of military school to care for his younger sister, hoping that time would heal Ron’s wounds and that he would come to his senses.
Edward’s sacrifice was immense, but he found solace in making Lucy smile. He worked diligently to provide for both of them, taking on design projects in his spare time. Gradually, he transitioned from being an advertising designer to a children’s book author, inspired by the tales he told his beloved sister.
As Edward’s popularity grew, he caught the attention of a young woman named Maggie, who became his wife. Their love story blossomed from her admiration of his books. Edward’s life was a testament to the enduring power of love and sacrifice, and he found happiness in his role as a brother and guardian to Lucy.
In the end, Edward’s journey from a kind-hearted brother to a successful children’s book author demonstrated that love, determination, and sacrifice can create a world filled with happiness and hope.
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