Chapter Four

Cruel Fate
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Chapter Four

 

 

 

Taeyeon was standing in the middle with Joohyun on her right and Yerim on her left. She bowed first and her sisters followed right after her and soon their ancestral rite room was filled with that nostalgic scent of burning incense, candle and aroma of feast for their deceased mother.

‘Umma… I’m sorry…’

‘Please watch over us like always…’

‘I might not remember you but I feel like you’re always here with us…’

The three sisters might have different silent prayers at the same time but it still has the same purpose, and it was to remember their lost loved one.

“Alright! Let’s eat now! I’m sure your mother is famished with all these foods we prepared for her!”

Taeyeon gratefully smiled at her aunt, it was actually always her who prepare for their mother’s death anniversary no matter how much they insist it should be their turn to hold it on their own. Taeyeon felt a gentle tug on her arm and saw Soojung pulling her towards their dining room.

As their whole family began to share foods and their uncle and aunt reminiscing about how was their mother was a like when she was younger and was still living, everything was still quite peaceful that Taeyeon was actually feeling lethargic once again.

It was like a bad dejavu all over again, that quiet pace before another storm hit her and her sister’s life.

“Kids…”

Their uncle began and Taeyeon knew that this was it again.

Her sisters will be hurt once again.

“Since the whole family is all present today I would like to share a news to all of you.”

“What is it, Dad.”

Sooyeon asked, curiosity was sketched all over her face when her father took a moment to take a deep breath to collect his words.

“Well… It was about… *sighs* it was about Heejoon, yes… Kim Heejoon.”

The earlier lively living room had drastically turned quiet and cold by just a name.

Jung Yoonjae finally let it out in the open. He carefully weighs in the expression of his nieces and her daughters. When no one seems to react anytime soon. He decided to just go on with everything. Since he already started this.

“We were notified by the Bureau of Correction that he is one of few candidates for Presidential Parole. The Chief of the Bureau was the one who hand picked him for next year’s Parole Grantee and they also stated one by one all the reason why they picked Heejoon… Taeyeon, Joohyun, Yerim… your father will surely be granted his freedom, he can now come home to us.”

Taeyeon was trying to keep her expression passive and blank. Joohyun was getting paler and was tightly clutching on her glass. Yerim was wide eyed and speechless.

“Daddy Yoonjae! Are you saying that our Appa will be released soon? When?!”

Yerim finally found her voice and asked all her questions in one breathing to their uncle.

“Yes he will be. He’s over half-way from serving his sentences and he really did serve it peacefully in there and tried to be still an active person while he’s inside the penitentiary by helping his fellow in-mates in learning some skills that could help them in their livelihood, you know how good of a craftsman your father is, right? That also help a lot for his good record inside the penitentiary.”

“But there will still be factors to be considered before he will be granted that parole. How can you be sure that he will easily attain it? You think they will allow him to become a free man after committing that— that— crime.”

“Joohyun-ah,”

“Okay, I’ll give them a benefit of the doubt, let say that they would listen to his final plea of apology, you think he can still function like a normal citizen?”

“Joohyun!”

“No Uncle, he won’t be. No business establishment would trust him. How he can function like a normal citizen? That is why almost 80% of ex-convicts goes back in doing crimes after they are released because of that! They can never change! They always carry that brand that they are murderers!”

“Kim Joohyun!”

Joohyun burst and hurriedly left the table. Sooyeon quietly followed her younger cousin outside.

“Daddy… Joohyun unnie… she has a point and among all of us she’s the one who knows about law more than anything. I— don’t know what to say…”

Yerim helplessly looked at her eldest sister.

“Taeyeon unnie… please say something.”

“Taeyeon-ah, please… we all are family… and we don’t abandon a family no matter what— and like what your uncle said your fa— Heejoon is naturally talented in arts and crafts, he can still start a new! We will help him! We are family, Taeyeon-ah…”

Taeyeon heard her aunt’s soft pleading voice.

“Family members… no matter how much pain they have caused. No matter how deep the scar they have left on us, no matter how many of those. Will always be family. Because before all that there was love and happiness shared between us and that love is lasting and would always remain. And it’s what binds every family.”

“Taeyeon-ah,”

“Have you ever think that that saying doesn’t just can’t be applied to our family?”

Taeyeon spoke without looking to anyone.

“I really don’t know what to think right now, auntie, uncle.”

Taeyeon finally heard it, the soft cries of her youngest sister. She snapped away from her thoughts and turned her head to where Yerim is sitting and saw the young girl was getting comforted by an equally teary eyed Soojung.

Taeyeon quietly stood up and went back to their mother’s altar and lit up another incense and just silently stared at her smiling picture.

“Dad, Mom… just give Taeyeon unnie a bit of time to breath… let’s leave her be for a while…”

Jung Yoonjae could only let out a sad sigh while his hand automatically rea

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