Reading Books on PopNovel APP

Loving You Is Hard

Loving You Is Hard

Author:Chloe Lair


Stephen Chen, a wealthy man, binds James & Hannah, a poor rural girl, through marriage to fulfill an old promise between him and Hannah's father. After years of marital neglect, could James & Hannah set aside their differences and find love when James finally returns home while Hannah was forced to be a house maid all those years?
Show All▼

  “Pfft!” A nobly dressed, aged woman sitting amongst other upstanding women exclaimed. “That raggedy girl is not worthy to be my daughter-in-law,” Martha blurted arrogantly to her noble friends sitting around the round tea table. They listened some aghast and some smirking as if satisfied to hear more gossip.

  “Why do you say that, Madam Chen?” questioned a lady beside her.

  Martha frowned disgustingly holding her chin high and mighty, “How else? A poor orphaned girl from the country…What benefits and luck does she add on to my poor James? He’s worked so hard these past six years to succeed his father’s legacy soon. Who does she think she is to just come and reap what she didn’t work for? I don’t blame him at all for running away after signing the marriage certificate.”

  Behind them in the long extravagant hallway, another well aged nobly dressed woman quietly walked in with her shoulders tall and confident. “Ah, sister-in-law Martha, I’d suggest you to speak more considerably next time. Amongst you are younger housewives who look up to us older sisters for positive guidance.” She gently handed her jacket to the housemaid by the entrance to the sun room.

  Ashamedly, Martha lowered her head to greet her elder sister-in-law, “Sister-in-law Esther, I didn’t see you come in.” She turned slightly away to hide her blushed face from embarrassment.

  Madam Esther continued, “And as for your poor daughter-in-law, Hannah, she seems to be a decent, smart, and morally upright girl. If only my poor Phillip could’ve gotten his life straightened out earlier, I think any ethical girl like Hannah would only positively add on to any man’s life. If not by money then at least by courage and conduct.” She lifted her eyebrow to suggest.

  “Erm,” Madam Martha gently shook her handkerchief and forced a slight smile. “Sister Esther, have a seat. Let’s not talk about these trivial matters anymore. Maids, please pour a cup of tea for Sister Esther.” Trying to lighten the mood, she inquired, “Tell me, Sister, when did you get to town? Did Elder brother-in-law Henry and Phillip come with you as well?”

  Gently setting her napkin on her lap, the delicately aged Esther replied, “It’s not your fault for not knowing. Besides, our family is so horribly bad at communication. But, we arrived late last night. Henry and my son, Phillip should be at the Chen company to discuss “nontrivial” matters.” She emphasized “nontrivial” to Madam Martha as to scold her about her ignoble attitude just before.

  Madam Martha and Madam Esther were married to brothers: Stephen and Henry Chen. Henry was the elder brother of the two. Henry’s immediate had moved away to maintain their family’s largest foreign company in France a few years ago leaving the company in Beijing to Stephen, the younger brother. Unfortunately, Stephen had passed away pancreatic cancer a few years prior. Henry and his family finally returned to prepare Phillip and James, Henry’s nephew, and to install one of them as the new president of the Beijing company.

  Madam Martha and Madam Esther were both petite women in their late fifties. Where as Madam Martha was snarky, impatient, and rough, Madam Esther was kind, patient, and welcoming. Although she did not speak much, Esther only spoke with wisdom and carefulness when the opportunity presented itself and that was enough to control the chaotic atmosphere for the other ladies.

  After the tea party, Martha invited Henry and Esther over to their Mediterranean inspired mansion in the suburbs. Henry was a tall and stocky man who looked very healthy and strong for his age. He was still dressed in his black suit since just coming out of a day long meeting at the Chen company. His face naturally wore a frown, but Henry was always known to be reasonable. When his younger brother Stephen was alive, Stephen had a friendly face and was known as the soft-hearted brother of the two. However, he had abilities to keep up with Henry as well when it came to managing business.

  When walking midway of the entrance hallway of the mansion and noticing how quiet the home was, Henry inquired, “Is no one home? It is awfully quiet. Where’s James and Hannah?” Henry and Esther turned their shoulders gently to face Martha who was treading slowly behind. Martha, who lowered her head and shoulders cowered at the voice of Henry and replied, “Elder brother, James is not home.”

  “Not home?” Henry asked again astonished.

  “Yes, brother,” she answered, not lifting her head.

  “Where did he go and when will he be back? We have important matters to discuss at the company,” his unpleasant face responded.

  “Erm…Um.. indefinitely,” Martha began to uncomfortably look at the ground before her without a sufficient answer.

  Tired of chasing answers, Henry raised his voice from agitation and exhaustion, “Sister-in-law, say it at once. What’s going on? This is not about childish matters.”

  In the ginormous and expensively decorated family room, Martha sat opposite of Henry and Esther, and began to explain herself rubbing her knees afraid of being scolded.

  “Elder Brother, James never returned since running abroad after disagreeing to marry that poor girl, Hannah. In the past six years that we’ve kept in touch, he kept himself busy with higher education. I think you’ll be rather proud of him!” Martha arrogantly defended her son.

  “Hmph! And his WIFE? Did he return to retrieve her then?” Henry interrogated with a smirk.

  Martha lowered her head again and did not answer to prevent them from prying further. Esther was taken aback when she realized what was happening. “Sister Martha, where’s the girl? What did you do with her?” She scooted to the front of her seat and set her hand on the coffee table in between them concerned.

  Henry shouted, “SAY IT!”

  “She,…she’s in the maid’s quarter,” Martha cowered, held her fists tight, and shut her eyes tight from fear.

  “Sister! You dare make your daughter-in-law become a maid within your own home?!” yelped Esther. She scoffed towards Henry in disgust and astonishment.

  Henry slammed his palm on the table and asked, “How long has this been? Despicable! How long?!”

  “Ever since James left. Six years ago. He never came back once. But, Elder brother, please believe me that she’s had a decent living with me here,” Martha shakingly tried to reason.

  “Living in the maid’s quarter is decent to you?” Henry sneered with furrowed brows.

  “Please, I allowed and provided her with a decent higher education too.”

  “Younger sister, I thought I’ve seen your true colors before back when we were all still poor in Cuandixia. I can’t believe you are able to go beyond that.”

  “Brother, please don’t be angry anymore. I’ll go fetch the girl.”

  Martha abruptly left and did not know that Esther and Henry had already followed her to see the situation for themselves.

  Through the dining room and through the back-swivel door, they came upon a young, petite, fair skin, very beautiful girl who was earnestly working in the hot, messy kitchen alone. Her apron was extremely dirty with food residue and long black, straight hair halfway put up. Martha had quickly grabbed her upper arm and mouthed for her to cooperate. Shockingly, Hannah set down the big pot of water she was carrying when she noticed the other two presence in the room. Shyly but quickly, Hannah bowed to acknowledge Henry and Esther.

  Esther gasped clenching her chest in disbelief.