Chapter 19 – No Matter What It Takes (3)
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“The suspect of the murder of Vice Chairman Seo Minhyeok was caught on tape riding a motorcycle to the scene.”
Minho’s expression twisted. It was the first time he looked like that. He breathed out a stream of smoke as if to hide his face.
Jiyeon followed up with her question.
“Where were you two nights ago?”
“Wait a minute. You asked one question, so it’s my turn.”
Hmmm…yes, she did promise him.
“Back then…why did you ask me if I believed in love?”
“I don’t even remember meeting you, you know that?”
“That summer nine years ago. Something serious must have been weighing on you and so you asked me that question. What happened?”
“I won’t answer personal questions. As for questions related to this case–”
“So we’re done with this interview?”
Minho raised an eyebrow and smirked seductively.
Jiyeon was caught in a bind. She had to get information from Minho and right now, when his guard was down, was her best shot. She had agreed to ask and answer questions alternately. Fine, she’ll answer.
“It was nine years ago in the spring. As soon as I entered college my mother made a shocking announcement. She gathered the family then said this to my father.”
I never loved you.
Her mother and father were unhappy with their marriage.
She suspected as much.
After her father’s business failed he never seemed to recover, and he was without a job, was drunk all the time, and whenever he opened his mouth he always complained. Her mother ended up being responsible for the family’s livelihood. It was also up to her to take care of the children. Even when her father had an accident, it was her mother that looked after him.
Her mother finally dropped the bombshell after all the children had grown up.
And so her mother left her father. Without looking back.
Even though Jiyeon was understanding when her mother found another man, her heart had become cold.
The unreliability of love. The cruelty of the world. The fear of money… For a twenty-year-old girl it was a harsh reality to accept.
Eventually, her father went missing and her older brother went to prison before the army. The trip to Busan with Ju-eun in the summer was a kind of escape. It was a small pocket of air she gave to herself to keep herself from dying out of frustration.
“If I asked you if you believed in love, it probably was because of that.”
It had been almost a decade, but when she thought of her missing father tears pricked at the corner of here eyes. But she could not cry here.
A Republic of Korea prosecutor cannot cry in front of this Eunseong son, a potential suspect in a murder case!
Minho was watching her, and she held her jaw tightly to control her emotions.
Jiyeon avoided his eyes.
They were so penetrating she thought she would cry looking into them.
“If I had known, I would have acted as a good friend.”
It was Minho who once again said strange things.
She tried to keep her mind composed, but her heart was feeling different.
Minho exhaled slowly and leaned over to her.
He took Jiyeon’s hand.
Slowly. Slow enough that Jiyeon could refuse and pull away from him. But Jiyeon didn’t.
Minho had a pianist’s hands.
Amazingly long, pale fingers engulfed hers.
“Please let go of all those painful memories.”
Those were words that forcibly entered a gap in her mind, but she quickly closed it off.
She didn’t come here to make friends. She came here to investigate. She tapped on his hand and he pulled away.
“Don’t talk freely about things you don’t know about.”
“No, I don’t know. I understand that. But we have the same pain, and we can become friends.”
Jiyeon recalled that Minho lost his mother when he was four years old. Thirty years ago Seo Geon-u’s first wife, who gave birth to Minhyeok and Minho, divorced and left the family. Maybe it was true that she was cast out by Seo Geon-u, who already had another woman who was with child.
As soon as Minho’s mother and father were divorced the other woman moved in. She could guess the confusion and pain that young Minho had suffered. A wave of sadness overwhelmed Jiyeon, who had always felt compassion for others since her childhood.
This poor soul…
She remembered something said by a senior prosecutor who had been involved in many cases regarding the conglomerate businesses.
“It’s not easy to become a good person when you were born as the second child of a conglomerate family. It’s even more difficult to be happy as the second son of a conglomerate family.”
She didn’t know what he meant at that time, but now that she knew about Minho’s childhood… Even if he had every material desire, his childhood was far from happy. That poor child grew up to be this man now.
However, Minho’s behavior towards Jiyeon now felt warm.
She never thought he could be like this. He then said something unbelievable.
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