Marvin had a gloomy expression and was still somewhat angry because the scandal Involving his eldest daughter Sherlyn had become a trending topic.
Corinne walked over slowly and persuaded him softly, “Dad, your health will be affected if you get. angry. Don’t worry so much about that whole incident with Sherlyn. I’m sure a lot of people will forget about it once all the fanfare dies down.”
“You’re right.” At the end of the day, Corinne was the more honest and sensible daughter, which saved Marvin from worrying too much about her.
Many things had not gone smoothly for Marvin in recent days, and he frowned before asking, “Is there something you want to talk to me about?”
Corinne nodded and put the painting she was holding on the table. “Take a look at this painting, Dad…” she said while gently tearing off the kraft paper covering the painting. The piece’s magnificent, artistic beauty soon came into view.
She had brought with her ‘Geese in Late Autumn-one of her mother’s posthumously published works-which Jeremy had given her some time ago. As soon as Marvin laid eyes on the painting, he was taken aback for a moment and asked excitedly, “Corinne! This painting is Nellie Nymphaea’s posthumous work ‘Geese in Late Autumn’! Rumor has it that it was recently sold to a mysterious buyer at a super high price of seven and a half million! Where did you get it? Is it genuine?”
“It is,” Corinne answered. “The person who bought this painting was my current employer at the house where I’m working as a maid. I happened to save his grandmother’s life that day, so he gave me this painting as a token of his gratitude.”
Marvin had an incredulous expression on his face! “Your employer bought that painting for such a high price and decided to just give it to you for free?”
Corinne nodded. “Yes. He’s very rich, and he loves his grandmother dearly too. Seven and a half million is nothing to him.”
“I would’ve never dreamed that something like that would happen!” exclaimed Marvin, and he then stretched out his hand to gently caress the painting. There was a sense of yearning and despair as if he had recalled something from the past.
Corinne observed the changes in her father’s expression and asked, “Dad… Nellie Nymphaea is my mother’s pen name, am I right?”
Marvin stiffened. He raised his head suddenly, then turned to Corinne and looked at her in shock.” You… How did you know?”
Corinne answered calmly, “I can vaguely recall certain memories from when I was still a child, and the name Nellie Nymphaea somehow rang a bell to me. I later found a photo of my mother at home, and I saw the name Nellie Nymphaea at the back of the photo. I noticed that my mother’s handwriting is the same as Nellie Nymphaea’s signature.”
‘So that’s how she found out…’ Since there was no point in hiding It, Marvin sighed and admitted, ”
You’re correct. Nellie Nymphaea is your mother.”
Corinne knew she was right a long time ago and tentatively said, “Dad, I realize that some of her so -called posthumous works look more like new paintings, instead of old works that were published posthumously. Do you think perhaps Mom is still alive?”
“Nonsense!” That remark seemed to have incited something in Marvin, and he interrupted her sternly, “Your mother passed away when you were very young! The works you mentioned that look. like new paintings were probably someone else trying to imitate her style and pass their work off as hers. And another thing: you’re not allowed to tell anyone else that your mother is Nellie Nymphaea! Do you understand?”.
Corinne frowned in confusion. “Why? Why can’t I mention anything about Mom?”
Marvin remained speechless for some time. He looked at Corinne with a complicated look in his eyes and kept quiet for a bit longer before saying angrily, “Your mother wasn’t my wife, so it won’t do you any good to tell people that she’s your mother. You wouldn’t want them going around telling the whole world you’re my illegitimate daughter!”
Marvin would sidestep her question and change the subject whenever Corinne asked him about her mother, which led her to believe that there had to be some sort of dark secret.
Although Corinne’s memory of her mother was vague, she could roughly remember that her mother was a cold and proud woman, and by that logic, it was impossible that she would stoop so low as to become someone else’s mistress. Corinne never believed in that ‘mistress’ designation given to her mother by her relatives. If indeed her mother had passed away, she was no less determined on finding out the truth and clearing her mother’s name.
After leaving the painting to Marvin for safekeeping, Corinne said goodbye and left. She could tell that Marvin still thought fondly of her mother, and she was certain that Marvin would take good care of her mother’s posthumous piece.