Song Yuwen's mother stared at Ms. Song. "It was you who killed my son! Return my son to me! Return my son to me!" She pounced at Ms. Song as though she wanted to take the other party’s life.
Chen Shi rushed to step in between the two families. Ms. Song howled, "You’re asking me to return your son, but who will return my daughter to me?! Your son's death is to pay for her life. One strand of hair for one strand of hair. A drop of blood for a drop of blood. I took his life to avenge my daughter. I have no regrets over killing him!"
Song Yuwen's mother cried even more fiercely. The others were also affected by this and wiped away their own tears.
Except for Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue who were not involved in the situation, both families were crying. Chen Shi had long expected Ms. Song's confession. After all, she had been under pressure for an extremely long time. She had been lying to everyone all those years, and her confession was a relief for her.
Ms. Song took the facial tissue that Lin Dongxue offered, wiped her tears, and said to Song Yuwen’s parents, "Do you know what your son did to my daughter twelve years ago? She was only 13 years old! We were too busy and didn’t notice anything wrong with Wanjun. Until one day when I got home, and I saw her lying in the bathroom with her right hand soaking in a basin. The whole basin had been stained red and her face was already as white as paper...”
"Wanjun had left us a suicide note, telling us what had happened. She didn't know what to say to us, and how to face our relatives in the future. She could only... She could only escape through death!" Ms. Song's eyes were damp with tears again. "That night, we both cried for a long time while looking at our daughter. We blamed each other, quarreled, and discussed what to do. Her dad said that he would sue them, but how could we? Wanjun had committed suicide. If we wanted to sue Song Yuwen for rape, would the court believe us with only a suicide note as proof? Once this kind of thing is publicized, only the girl’s reputation would be damaged. There would be no loss to all of you... Not to mention that after the court case, how would we get along with one another in the future!”
"And of all people, it was your family who killed my daughter. At that time, you had given us a lot of financial support. The money that we used to buy a house was borrowed from you. You didn’t ask us to pay interest and even now we haven’t repaid all the money. When my mother fell ill and we didn’t have money for the surgery, we went to look for you. When Wanjun didn’t have money to continue with her education, it was also your family that helped us. You gave us all the clothes, shoes, and food that you didn't need... Your family was too good to us. Too good. I will never be able to repay these favors! On the day that Wanjun committed suicide, Sister-in-Law called me over saying that she had bought too many ling nuts and that they’d rot if they weren’t eaten in time. She told me to take them home for my family. When Wanjun sat in the bathroom and cut her wrist, I was still in your yard peeling ling nuts... If only I could have gone back earlier. If I had went back earlier..."
Ms. Song covered up her face with her hands and there was silence at the scene. Only her crying could be heard. Then she continued, "Every time that you bestowed some favors upon us, or if my family had difficulties and I had to shamelessly ask you for help, I hated myself for being useless. I hated that I was born in this poor family. But what could I do? I had to please people and get into their good graces my whole life. After Wanjun’s death, we’ve been unable to speak up about her death. If someone asked us, what should we say? Tell the truth? That Song Yuwen raped her, so she committed suicide? Afterwards, how would the two families get along?! If we scolded you, doesn't that mean that we’re ungrateful?”
"Sister-in-Law, do you remember the day when you bumped into me on the street and asked me why Wanjun didn’t go to your house to play during the summer vacation? That was the third day of her death. I had to tell you with a smiling face that she was going to cram school. You said that we couldn’t pick cram schools willy-nilly and that we had to find the right teacher, or the child would be badly taught. You insisted on introducing me to a teacher and transferring Wanjun there for tuition! So that I could maintain the lie, I asked my colleague’s daughter to go and study under the name of Wanjun. Then I read her notes so that I could deal with your calls asking me about the progress of the tutoring... Since then, we’ve lied again and again. We became more and more proficient and professional at lying. Finally, we lied that she had gone to study abroad. Sometimes, I really don’t know what I’m doing. My daughter has been gone for more than ten years. Why should I continue to conceal things? Whose reputation was I protecting? Was I protecting those of you who killed her?!"
Ms. Song pointed her finger accusingly at the mournful face of Song Yuwen’s father. Then she wilted again and said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m not saying that you killed her. It was Song Yuwen... No, no one killed her. No one killed her. She committed suicide! During these years, I couldn’t eat nor sleep well. I often shed tears when I thought of my daughter, and her father got sick from depression. This family is no longer like a family… I often dream about her. No, I will see her whenever I dream. She’s still 13 years old in my dreams, looking smart and adorable."
A fierce light suddenly flashed in Ms. Song's bleak eyes. "I was on the verge of breaking down. At that time, a gun appeared at my door. I... I think someone was helping me in secret. He must be a great person! It was a real gun with a silencer on it. I used it to shoot a dog. Bang. It died with just one shot! I was thinking that it has been 12 years, and no one knows about it except for my husband. Even if I avenged her, it was impossible for anyone to find out. The police aren’t omnipotent. If I shot him to death with one shot, how would they trace it back to me?”
"I had originally planned to kill him that day, but in the end, I didn’t succeed in killing him. Yuqiang had come over, which actually made me calm down. There are surveillance cameras and security guards in the housing community. If I was seen, the police would definitely find me. I thought about it for a long time after I went back. My daughter told me in a dream that there was a sewage pipe in the housing district that wouldn’t be monitored by the surveillance cameras. I rushed over before dawn and had a look. There was indeed a sewer. I asked Wanjun if we needed to kill him. She said yes, that he must die. He’s been living freely for 12 years, and it was his birthday in a couple of days. It was time for him to repay the debt!”
"My daughter also said that she had always hated the way I nodded and bowed deeply before this family, as well as how cautious I was every time I went to their house. I would pinch her from behind and tell her to greet her uncle, aunt and cousins one by one. These were all things that she told me. Her ghost told me personally! Even when Yuwen was killed later, Wanjun held my hand and fired the gun for me! When the police came to the door, it was also her that taught me what to say. She told me to push all the responsibility onto her! She’s actually here right now, standing behind you!”
Ms. Song pointed forward with a pathological smile on her tear-stained face. Everyone looked behind themselves with shock. There was clearly nothing but air in the spot that she had pointed at.
2. The author wrote ten years here, but it’s said that the villa party happened 12 years ago, and she must have killed herself shortly after (which is then confirmed again 2 paragraphs later. Therefore it’s been edited to “more than ten years.”