Kathleen sat down after giving out the presents.
Scowling, Samuel stretched out his hand toward her.
Kathleen looked at him, baffled.
Samuel furrowed his brows. “Where’s mine?”
“I forgot about yours,” Kathleen replied nonchalantly.
Samuel snorted. He was certain that Kathleen had not forgotten; she had simply not gotten him a gift.
She had bought presents for everyone in the family except him.
Diana put on her glasses. “Katie has her principles. Whoever treats her well, she will also be nice to them.”
Both Calvin and Wynnie nodded approvingly.
Samuel scoffed at their response. Don’t I treat her well too? She eats and dresses well. I’ve never mistreated her.
“Where did you get the money from?” an irate Samuel asked.
“It’s a secret for now. Don’t worry; the money’s legit.” Kathleen was unwilling to tell Samuel the truth.
Samuel gave her a sullen glare.
“Samuel, do you still not trust Katie?” Diana was clearly annoyed.
“Let him be. It’s all right if he doesn’t trust her since they’re going to get a divorce soon anyway. He can ask all he wants to now. When they become siblings, he will no longer have the right to question her.” Wynnie took the opportunity to mock her son.
“Why can’t I question her as a sibling?” Samuel felt a flicker of irritation.
“You shouldn’t overstep your boundaries. There are some things you can ask and some things you can’t as an older brother. Besides, we are your elders. We are more entitled than you to receive the presents,” Wynnie replied unemotionally.
Scoffing, Samuel retorted, “Who says we are getting a divorce?”
“You don’t want a divorce? Well, too bad. Katie wants to divorce you,” Wynnie shot back.
“You can ask her yourself whether we’re getting a divorce.” Samuel turned to look at Kathleen.
Diana’s brows drew together in a frown. “Katie, what’s going on?”
“Grandma, I’ve discussed this with Samuel. We agreed to have a cooling period for a month. If we decide that we don’t want to stay together after one month is up, we’ll get a divorce,” Kathleen explained.
“You must have been too soft-hearted and agreed to whatever he wanted, didn’t you?” Diana guessed.
Kathleen kept quiet, not knowing how to respond.
Grandma, do you have to spell it out?
Samuel did not say a word too.
Grandma, whose side are you on? Am I even your grandson?
“All right then. Let’s go and eat,” Diana said coolly.
She was clearly dissatisfied that Kathleen had forgiven Samuel so easily.
Knowing that Diana had always doted on her, Kathleen hung her head guiltily like she had committed a grave mistake.
She wondered if Diana meant that they should get a divorce immediately.
If this was truly Diana’s wish, she would not hesitate to do so right away.
Diana stood up and walked toward the dining room, supported by Calvin.
Wynnie went over to Kathleen and placed her arm over the latter’s shoulder. “Mom cares for you very much. Even though Samuel is my son, I also think that you’re letting him off too easily.”
Everyone was concerned that Samuel would continue to make things difficult for Kathleen.
Kathleen was confused.
Why do they seem so certain that we won’t get a divorce one month later?
“Mom, I’m still here,” Samuel reminded Wynnie.
Wynnie looked at him with disdain. “I’m treating you like you’re invisible. Samuel, remember that this is your only chance. You won’t get another opportunity if you miss this. If you continue to fool around and be an irresponsible man, I won’t be on your side if Katie really wants a divorce. In fact, I will pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate that Katie has finally escaped the clutches of a scumbag.”
Samuel was speechless.
“Come, let’s eat. Ignore him.” Wynnie led Kathleen to the dining room.
This left Samuel alone to frown and sulk. What’s wrong with this family?
At the dining table, Wynnie brought up the topic of Frances’ birthday dinner, which was to be held the day after.
“Mom, I’ve told the Yoeger family that the five of us will be attending the birthday dinner. I didn’t tell them Kathleen is Samuel’s wife. I said she’s your granddaughter.”
“Yes, that’s right.” Diana nodded.
“Is Kathleen coming too?” Samuel frowned.
“Don’t worry. She’s not going as your wife. Why are you so flustered? We know how to protect Katie better than you. Otherwise, everyone would have known about your marriage by now,” Wynnie replied.
Indeed, the Macari family was very good at keeping secrets.
Samuel looked coldly at Kathleen. “Are you sure you want to go?”
“Am I not allowed to go?” Kathleen felt a little hurt.
“Don’t listen to him. He doesn’t call the shots in this family.” Diana took a piece of beef and gave it to Kathleen.
Samuel’s eyes were fixed impassively on Kathleen.
Kathleen’s heart sank. “Will Nicolette be there too?”
Is that why he doesn’t want me to be present at the birthday dinner?
Samuel looked startled. How did she guess that?
Noticing his expression, Kathleen was crestfallen. She knew she had hit the nail on the head.
Diana felt a jolt of anger, and her face darkened. “Samuel, you’re too much!”
“It’s bad enough that you don’t want anyone to know about Katie’s identity because of your mistress. Now you’re refusing to let her attend the birthday dinner too? Who do you think we Macaris are? Since your grandfather’s time, the men in the Macari family have always been righteous, filial, and respectful to their spouses! They have never done anything as absurd as you are now!” Diana bellowed in rage.
Diana’s husband had always loved and spoiled her after they got married.
Her mother-in-law treated her kindly. Likewise, both she and Wynnie extended the same affection to their own daughters-in-law.
This virtue had been passed down over the generations.
A husband should be respectful toward his wife. In the same way, a wife should be understanding toward her husband.
The Macari family had always been an honorable and peaceful family.
In fact, Samuel had never even seen Calvin and Wynnie fight.
Hence, Diana felt that Samuel had gone too far this time.
“Even if you don’t allow Katie to go to the dinner, do you think Nicolette can marry into our family? Nicolette is asking you to accompany her to the birthday dinner so the Yoeger family can’t stop her from attending the event. She’s just using you. What a sly woman indeed!” Diana sneered.
The atmosphere at the dinner table became awkward and tense.
Kathleen felt increasingly nervous.
This only proves that I shouldn’t go to the dinner.
“Grandma, Nicolette just wants to visit the Yoeger residence and have a look around,” Samuel replied sullenly.
Diana looked at him with contempt. “You can believe her lies all you want. Just don’t force us to do the same.”
Feeling annoyed, Samuel stood up and gave Kathleen an icy glare. “Go if you wish. I won’t interfere.”
He then stormed out in a fit of pique.
“Samuel!” Wynnie was simmering in anger.
That’s not interfering? He’s threatening her! How did I give birth to such a son? I might have been better off giving birth to a dog!
At the very least, she could still hit the dog if it made her angry.
Dejected, Kathleen lowered her head.
Diana felt bad for her. “Don’t be upset, Katie. We’ll go to the birthday dinner together.”
Kathleen pursed her lips and kept quiet.
“Come, let’s eat.” Wynnie was equally pained to see Kathleen looking so upset.
She felt that Samuel should not be so unkind, no matter for what reason.
Katie must be devastated.
They felt angry at the injustice of the situation.
After all, Kathleen had not done anything wrong.
Why could she not attend the dinner just because Nicolette would be there?
For the next two days, Kathleen did not see Samuel.
She continued staying at the Macari residence while Samuel was in the condominium.
On the day of Frances’ birthday dinner, Kathleen fell ill.
She was truly sick and had a fever.
Wynnie went to take a look at Kathleen. Patting her head, she said, “Don’t make yourself suffer because of Samuel.”
“Mom, I’m all right. You should get going. Don’t keep Grandma and Dad waiting. Tell Grandma not to worry as I’ll get well soon. And please don’t let Grandma visit me since I don’t want her to be sick as well.” Kathleen’s face was drained of color.
“Okay.” Wynnie was worried for Kathleen but had to leave her to go for the birthday dinner.
Kathleen lay on her bed. The house was so quiet that she felt a sense of emptiness in her heart.