Chapter 43: Memorial
"Zhixin." When Huo Mian picked up the phone, her voice took on a doting tone.
"Sis, are you off work today?"
"Then let's go sweep Dad's grave together at noon."
"Okay." Huo Mian was planning to go even if Zhixin hadn't called.
It had been exactly seven years since Uncle Jing passed away. It was on this day, seven years ago, that Uncle Jing died from that fatal car crash.
"I already went with Mom this morning and her mood wasn't great. I'll go with you again at noon."
"Don't you have classes today?"
"Nope. I'm going to the library to study in the afternoon."
"Alright, wait for me. We'll meet at the gates of the public cemetery."
Hanging up, Huo Mian's mood instantly grew heavy.
She still remembered that night seven years ago. She was on her way home from her evening classes when a black Buick commercial van came charging at her, too quick for her to dodge.
It was then that Uncle Jing, who was there to pick her up from school, suddenly charged over and pushed her aside.
In the end, she could only watch as Uncle Jing died under the wheels of that car. His blood formed a stream on the pavement.
She only sustained minor injuries and a few scrapes, but the accident cost Uncle Jing his life.
If it were not for her, Uncle Jing wouldn't have died.
Originally, she had thought that it was just an accident. However, she was left dumbstruck when she later learned that the driver responsible for the crash was the Qin Family's chauffeur.
How audacious was the Qin Family that they couldn't even be bothered to cover up the fact that they paid for someone to be killed? Did they really need to send their own chauffeur to do their dirty work?
These rich people really didn't give a damn about ordinary citizens. Her mother and younger brother were both heartbroken.
Time and time again, she had gone to court, suing the offending driver. By then, the Qin Family had already sent Qin Chu out of the country.
She, on the other hand, had been left to carry an unbearable burden all by herself. In the end, Huo Mian and her family insisted on rejecting the compensation.
The offending driver had had no choice but to take the charges and go to prison. However, he was only charged with drunk driving and was given a measly sentence of five years.
It was that moment when she profoundly felt the unfairness of it all and the difference between those with money and those without.
Furthermore, she understood that, with a background like hers, she would never be able to mingle with a wealthy family with connections like the Qins.
It was also then that she completely abandoned all thoughts of being with Qin Chu.
Collecting those heavy memories, Huo Mian splashed some water on her face. Changing into a pair of black pants, a black t-shirt, and a pair of black sunglasses, she walked out the door. As she passed the flower shop along the way, she stopped to purchase a bouquet of white chrysanthemums.
The public cemetery was located in the city outskirts, and it took three bus transfers just to get there. It was already close to noon when she arrived at the gates.
"Sis." Jing Zhixin waved at Huo Mian from a ways off.
"You've been waiting for a while, haven't you?" Huo Mian patted his head affectionately.
"Not long, just fifteen minutes or so. Sis, you seem to have lost weight recently. Have you been working too many night shifts?"
Huo Mian only smiled gently at her brother's concern, "No, I'm on a diet."
After that, the two walked into the public cemetery together. They placed the fresh flowers she had bought earlier before Uncle Jing's gravestone.
There were also fruits and a flower basket that their mother had left when she visited in the morning.
"Zhixin, over the past few years, have you ever blamed me like Mom does?" Taking off her sunglasses, Huo Mian's expression was sorrowful.
Jing Zhixin looked at his older sister. Perplexed, he exclaimed, "Sis, what are you saying? Why would I do that? What happened back then wasn't your fault. The Qin family are the bad guys. If Dad hadn't died, you would have. You're both the closest people I have in my life."
"But if I hadn't ignored the warnings and continued to date Qin Chu, this tragedy wouldn't have occurred." Huo Mian bit her lip, her chest filled with guilt.
To this, Jing Zhixin's reply completely shocked Huo Mian. She could hardly believe that her nineteen-year-old brother was capable of saying something like that.