56 A Great Mistake Made in a Moment of Weakness
shao jiaying forced a miserable wry smile and sighed, "maybe this is all destiny! in order to get her revenge and chop off my hand, li dan dug up my father’s grave! maybe this was heaven’s will!"
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"oh…" hearing this, zhao yu suddenly understood. the person who had planted the blade for li dan was not shao jiaying, but shao jiaying’s father!!
"eighteen years ago before the finals, we were rehearsing in second middle school’s music hall according to the rules." shao jiaying recalled, "my practice slot had been arranged for three o’clock in the afternoon, and i had already finished practicing; however, that night, my father suddenly said that he had left something in the hall and told me to stay in the hotel by myself while he went back to the music hall! i saw my father looking flustered and i thought that he must have had lost something important. i also felt worried and wanted to go with him, but he strongly refused! my father had seldom spoke to me using a strong tone, so i knew not to follow him. i could only wait in the hotel since he had not allowed me to go with him.
"he was only going to retrieve an item, but it was after eleven at night when my father finally returned to the hotel. his face was extremely pale and he looked distraught. i asked him many questions, like what had he lost? had he found it? why had he came back so late? but he did not answer any of my questions. he only told me again and again that i must do well in the competition.
"i was slow-witted then. although i knew that something was not right with my father, i did not think about it too much, and focused on performing. i was only thinking about piano during the finals. i performed above my usual standard and achieved third place! it was only when the results had been posted that i discovered that li dan’s name was not on the list! li dan had had a great reputation even before the competition, and she was everybody’s favorite going into the competition! she had gotten into the finals, but i wondered why her name wasn’t on the list.
"i started to inquire, and i remember very clearly that luo meina’s mother told me that something had happened to li dan the night before the final competition, and that she had been hospitalized! but she didn’t know what had really happened.
"until then, i still hadn’t realized that there was anything wrong, and i even felt lucky that li dan had withdrawn from the competition! if she hadn’t, i wouldn’t have gotten into the top three. however...something coincidental happened! if i had not felt nervous and gone to the washroom during the awards ceremony, i might been able to live with peace of mind my entire life!
"when i came out from the washroom, i saw li dan’s mother arguing with someone from the organizing committee. her hair was a mess, and she was wearing torn and dirty clothes. she seemed to have aged a lot since the last time i had seen her, and had tears in her eyes. she kept bowing to the person and seemed to be begging him for something.
"being curious, i stood behind them and listened. i overheard that li dan had withdrawn from the competition because someone had planted a blade in the piano, and li dan had cut her finger! hearing that, i suddenly thought of my father. the night he had been acting strangely, and had said he needed to go back to second middle school to retrieve something was exactly around the time when li dan’s finger had been cut. i was confident that my father was the culprit!
"i don’t even know how i accepted the award on that day. i felt that everything in front of me was an illusion! my father kept asking me to smile, but...how could i smile?" shao jiaying took a deep sigh, "if things had stopped there, perhaps i could have convinced myself that my father had nothing to do with li dan’s injury, and that everything was just a coincidence, but reality is cruel. when we were packing our luggage in the hotel before returning home, a box fell out of my father’s backpack. it was an entire box of art blades!!"
by that point, shao jiaying had already broken down in tears. "it was a professional type of art blade, strong and sharp. if placed within the keyboard, not only would it not be discovered, but it would cause serious injuries!" after a long pause, shao jiaying continued, "no one in our family practiced art, and that type of art blade was very expensive, so it was impossible that it had come from my house! so...i had a big fight with my father in the hotel that night. after i asked him over and over again, my father finally admitted...admitted what he had done to li dan!
"i remember that i almost went crazy! really crazy! the pain and pressure that i had suffered might not have been any less than li dan’s! i felt that i was so ridiculous, so absurd, to have gotten third place through such an immoral method. what kind of self-respect could i have after that?
"my father was also terrified. he even got down on his knees and begged me not to tell anyone!" shao jiaying sobbed, "my parents were divorced, and my father had been the one taking care of me. he did not find another partner because of me. he did all he could to let me learn piano, and sometimes had to work three jobs, unable to rest at night. but such a loving father actually committed such an unforgivable crime! i was almost torn apart, torn by the weight of the decision i had to make. i didn’t know what to do about li dan, but i didn’t want my father to go to jail! finally i entered university with tremendous pain, then went abroad after that. after that competition, i never touched a piano again!" shao jiaying grieved, "whenever i saw a piano, i would think of li dan! her finger, and the bloodstains on the piano!"
zhao yu listened attentively, surprised by the twists and turns of shao jiaying’s story. li dan’s and shao jiaying’s father were so alike! both of them had done everything they could for their beloved daughters; however, shao jiaying’s father had chosen a foolish and extreme method, causing this series of unfortunate events to occur.
"heaven has eyes!" shao jiaying said as she wiped her tears with her handkerchief, "maybe karma really does exist! eight years ago, my father became paralysed after he fell down the stairs at home and injured his lower back! within the next two years, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away shortly after that! on his deathbed, he could not even speak, but i knew that my father had not gotten what he had done to li dan! he had been filled with remorse and guilt, unable to forgive himself!"
a great mistake had been made in a moment of weakness!
faced with the truth, zhao yu could not help but sigh. maybe if zhao yu had been more cautious in his old life, he would not have been framed and died so tragically.
"officer zhao!" shao jiaying stopped sobbing and said, "i feel much better now that i’ve told the truth! i think my father had wanted to do the same thing but lacked the courage." she continued, "how about this, i’ll hire the best lawyers to defend li dan and fight for a better ending! as for li dan’s mother, you can put your mind at ease. i’ll arrange for the best people to take care of her! i know that money is not the issue between li dan and i, and i don’t expect her to forgive us. i only hope that this incident will not cause any more harm!"
hearing this, zhao yu slumped back into the chair, feeling both relieved and weary. although the lost hand case had finally come to an end, it would forever be impossible to access who was right and who was wrong.