Dear Anonymous Sponsor - Chapter 7
“Is Ms. Judith Wortherford here? I went to the academic building, and she wasn’t there.”
“As expected, your sponsor’s gift is going to be the last one, right?”
The item delivered to Judith was a vast bundle of tulips wrapped in high-quality satin. There were differing opinions on whether it should be called a ‘bundle.’
The closer you look at it, the more stunning it becomes. Imbedded inside the fresh blossoms were almost two hundred shining crystal beads with gold powder sprinkled on the petals, giving it a magical glow.
‘…The beads aren’t probably real gems.’
Judith opened the buds of the tulips impatiently, and she quietly closed them back when she found tiny pearls adorning the insides. Natia sighed in admiration next to her.
“I wouldn’t be even surprised if Jude was the secret daughter of the President or the First Lady.”
“Hey, don’t say that! I don’t want our Jude to be on the front page of the newspapers!”
Everyone, including Judith, knew who sent the flowers, but they didn’t know his identity. It was already common knowledge on the campus that Judith Wortherford’s anonymous sponsor for five years liked to send her unexpected gifts in addition to his generous monthly donations.
Gregory and Diane listened to them intently.
“Then he must be the best sponsor in Waltz? There are so many famous families there. Like Tollsred, a financial master, and Curtis, a wealthy influential figure in the military industry…”
“Or on the contrary, it could probably be the boss of the underworld?”
“Why are you just focusing on them? Broaden your perspectives. He could even be an influential figure from Ailance or Pertha.
A few words suddenly elevated the anonymous sponsor into an influential figure who controlled both the world’s bright and dark areas. Judith felt the need to stop their theories at that point.
“Mr. ANS is a kind gentleman.”
Of course, her patron’s name wasn’t ANS. It was a nickname that Judith gave to him a few years ago after having been fed up with the long and cumbersome title of ‘Anonymous Sponsor.’ In her heart, her sponsor’s image was that of a warm Santa Claus, but there was no way to confirm if he was indeed an older man.
‘I’ll probably never know.’
Her anonymous sponsor was usually indifferent. In the past five years, she has never received a reply from him even though she sent letters with the length of five books compiled.
The first and last letter he sent was to Director Rachel for Judith’s admittance in Wortherford Nursery five years ago.
Naturally, he had never come to see her in person. He didn’t feel the need to contact that nursery for that. Nevertheless, he was incredibly famous among the students because of the lavish gifts he sends to Judith every three to four months.
The parcels were usually in two types. They were either big or small and expensive, but either was never in the ‘simple’ category.
‘You told me to live a normal life, but you’re not giving me a chance to live one!’
Judith’s wardrobe was already luxurious, no matter how modest she was. She would never be thought of as ‘normal,’ seeing how her clothes were the country’s trendiest.
One time, she wrote about how the cake baked by Aunt Margaret, the nursery’s chef, was so delicious that it brought tears to her eyes because she thought she couldn’t get a dessert like that in the countryside.
Delivered to the nursery the following month was an enormous amount of bread and pastries, all for her liking.
“Isn’t it like when a mother leaves her child or something?”
Since then, Judith learned that she shouldn’t write anything about what she wanted to eat or if something impressed her.
However, no matter how careful she was, it didn’t do much because her anonymous sponsor had excellent reading comprehension skills. When she wanted to read a book, he created a library for her in the nursery.
Fortunately, after Judith’s constant requests over the years, the gifts her sponsor sent to her became increasingly small in terms of quantity. Perhaps he realized later that an average girl living in the countryside didn’t need dozens of clothes every season.
However, for a wealthy person, the quantity and value of the goods must be inversely proportional.
‘At least it was just a bouquet this time.’
When she wrote that she was thinking of going to college, a cheque came in, estimated to be worth four years of tuition fee. She tried returning it several times, but it always came back to her. In the end, she had to keep it under lock and key in a safe, fearing that she would lose it.
Last year on Saint’s Day, a limited edition perfume that was hard to find even among the Waltz’s upper-class arrived for her along with a thousand roses. Nineteen exquisitely cut diamonds adorned the rim of the glass bottle.
Of course, she was grateful even if she couldn’t pay him back until she dies! Everything was too much. Her sponsor was a wealthy man who casually sends her expensive gifts like it was nothing. She couldn’t understand a rich person’s way of thinking.
But even so, will there be another chance in her life where she could enjoy such luxury?
Judith breathed in the fragrant scent of the flowers. A few minutes ago, when she saw the massive bouquet, she already knew it was for her. Tulips were her birth roses, after all.
She went up to the dormitory with her friends’ birthday gifts and the large bouquet she got from her sponsor, then she carefully dismantled it and placed it in a glass bottle. The tulip buds opened as they soaked up the water revealing the sparkling milky white pearls nestled in the middle of the petals.
Her sponsor seemed indifferent, but in fact, he was more attentive and affectionate than anyone else. She touched the petals with deep sorrow.
“…It was such a long and beautiful dream.”
Does he know that a girl who doesn’t even know his name, face, age, or anything about him has lived her life every day thinking about the letter that she first wrote to him five years ago?
Judith spread out blank stationery on the desk, sat in a comfortable position, and smeared ink on the nib.
Dear Mr. ANS, who is always thoughtful and loving, and the one who sent me the beautiful tulips that I’ll cherish forever,
In the past months, Judith had been thinking about this carefully. After dealing with her conflicting feelings and reason, she finally reached a conclusion which she wrote on the paper.
…this letter is probably the last one I’ll ever write to you.
Most people who knew Judith envied her. She was calm, beautiful, a senior in college, and always surrounded by her Wortherford siblings, known for their good looks.
Initially, they were all known for being strong and independent, but the Wortherfords pampered Judith, who was the only one weak among them. People even tease her as the princess of Wortherford.
She even receives a significant amount of donations from her wealthy sponsor in Waltz. It was hard for her peers not to admire her.
However, it wasn’t just admiration alone because if you live your life yearning for the things that other people have, sometimes that feeling could turn into envy or jealousy.
“Is it just purely sponsorship?”
When the lecture was over, she came down to the cafeteria to eat with her Wortherford siblings. They all attend the same university. Judith heard someone whisper in a low voice.
“I wonder why they’re giving free sponsorship to that Kinsley orphan who doesn’t even do much. She’s probably wise, but there are so many geniuses in Waltz and Whitsfield. There must be more to that sponsorship.”
Millian, who was walking ahead of Judith, stopped in his tracks. He had been guessing what today’s menu would be with excitement until a little while ago. Natia’s smile also fell, followed by Gregory and Ralph.
“She’s young and pretty. She doesn’t have a bad figure either. I’m sure there are more stunning girls in Waltz, but it’s probably more fun to play with an orphan from the countryside.”
The male student talking in a cheeky tone, turned to his side to see people glaring at him. Millian, Natia, Diane, Ralph, and Gregory all stared daggers at him.
Except for Judith’s petite build, the Wortherford children were all tall with fierce eyes. Rumour has it that they all carry a pistol with them.
Natia smiled gently and covered Judith’s ears with her hands.
“Don’t listen to them, Judith or your ears will rot.”
“My ears are fine, Natia.”
“We’ll take care of everything. Gregory?”
Gregory, who was as big as a football player, took a step forward and stunned the boy in silence for a moment. He cracked his knuckles and clenched his teeth tightly.
“Let’s keep talking.”
“Well, you’re right about that. No one in our school has the same sponsorship as Judith Wortherford.”
The boy’s voice fell into a whisper.
“Be careful of what you say because they might hear you. The kids in the nursery aren’t even siblings, but they’re all very protective of each other!”
“I’ve had enough of this, Jude.”
Millian stood up and tapped Judith on the shoulder. She was smiling playfully, but her eyes looked dark. Through past experiences, Judith knew of a much more effective hand than her brothers dealing with this situation.
“Gregory and Millie, please calm down.”
“But he insulted you, Judith.”
“I know. I heard everything too.”
She pulled Millian’s arm down and got up instead. Before she knew it, all eyes in the cafeteria were on her.