The first voice was a slightly hoarse one belonging to a rough-sounding man.
“Yao Kang, hmmm.
Yao Kang's a bragger, but he ain't a bad guy.
He's real fond of his son, Feifei is the boy's name.
He talks about him all the time, saying that he's got to earn a lotta money to send him to a good college, maybe even one of those overseas universities, buy him a big house so he can marry.
Looks like he means it too.
We slave to death every day and he's the only one who's still in a good mood.
He probably keeps going thinking about his kid.
Still, a university abroad, that's a pipe dream if I've ever heard one…
but at least he has a son.
I'm still single with no kids, who am I even working hard for!”
Next was what felt like a younger man.
“He was an upstanding guy.
Who could have predicted he'd get into an accident, and now he's gone.
Before the business trip, he confided in me that he was hoping to remarry his ex-wife soon, and that he might have to switch jobs afterward to support his family.
He was preparing for an interview with another place.
Who could have predicted that something like this…”
After the first and second, came the third and the fourth…
“Yao Kang once borrowed money from me.
The guy used to gamble all the time back then, so I guess that was what it was for.
I never got it back, so he must've lost it all.
He kept saying that he was gonna pay me back someday, but I never took him seriously.
Honestly, I never thought I'd get the money back to begin with, everyone knows that money lent out doesn't come back.
Anyway, gambling is addicting, so he would have gambled away anything he got.
I heard that his wife divorced him because of that…
but what I didn't see coming was that Yao Kang turned out to be more impressive than I thought.
After the divorce he said he would never gamble again, and as far as I know he hasn't gambled since.”
“I usually see him eating pickled vegetables and a steamed bun for lunch.
He saves all his money and paid off his debts to a few of the other fellows.
Really quite admirable, if you ask me.
A man ought to keep his word.
We all thought that he had turned himself around, changed his ways and was saving money, and his future wasn't going to be too bad after all…
ay, what bad luck.”
“It's so sad.
We're not very close, but he was a real living person, so what can you say now that he's gone? He was actually a pretty enthusiastic guy.
Once I bought a refrigerator and couldn't move it by myself, and he helped me out without even asking for a meal in exchange…”
As they listened to recordings one after another, Lu Shan shed tears, while Feifei cried even harder–
“Mommy, listen, they're all saying that Daddy was a good person and really changed.” He tugged on her with his little hand.
“Mommy, Daddy wasn't so bad after all.
Daddy was really trying…”
Even though tears were streaming down the little boy's face, his eyes were different.
When Lu Shan had denounced Yao Kang as a liar, hating iron for not being steel, Feifei had obviously been disappointed and dejected.
But after listening to these recordings, though he was still crying in grief the depression in his eyes had lifted and the pure, natural trust in his father had returned.
The child seemed to have regained his firm and steadfast faith.
“Mommy, if Daddy hadn't died, he would have gotten better.
He would have stayed with me…”
Lu Shan was already sobbing.
Although the words written in Yao Kang's diary failed to express his meaning and his characters were ugly, in it was clearly recorded the amount of money he had saved every day.
The night before his accident, he had written–
“'Got to get my wife to forgive me as soon as possible, live well, and actually buy that house.
I've let her down, when we marry again I'll have to treat her better, buy her flowers on her birthday, help her with the housework,'” Fu Zheng recited quietly.
“This was what Yao Kang wrote.
He did do a great deal of wrong, and his gambling can never be washed away, but he also did wish to correct himself and to face up to his own past mistakes.”
“I'm not attempting to speak on his behalf,” he said in an indifferent manner.
“It was Yao Kang's own fault that he didn't cherish what he had and lost it all to his gambling addiction.
You have every reason not to forgive him.
I just think that you both, and especially Feifei, have the right to know these things.”
Fu Zheng crouched down, looked right at Feifei, and patted him on the head.
“Feifei, your father may not have been a good husband to your mother, and he wasn't perfect as a father either, but deep inside, he cared very much about you.
You were very important to him, and he hoped to give you a good life, to watch you grow up.
Though your father made many mistakes, he loved you very much.”
Feifei had long ago lost control of himself.
He threw himself into Fu Zheng's arms and wept.
Lu Shan was also shedding tears.
Though she had obviously just called Yao Kang a disappointment, she tucked his diary away very carefully.
Ning Wan didn't know if she would ever forgive Yao Kang during the long road ahead, but she knew that at this moment, Lu Shan must be full of gratitude toward Fu Zheng.
Yao Kang was dead.
Feifei was fatherless.
When Fu Zheng had won them workers compensation, his task as a lawyer was actually already complete.
But nevertheless Ning Wan stood outside the door, her heart surging with strong emotion.
Fu Zheng was an extraordinarily kind and gentle person.
There is no change in the result.
Yao Kang wouldn't come back to life no matter what Fu Zheng might have done.
Most lawyers wouldn't have cared at all about who he was in life.
However, Ning Wan knew all too well what this meant to Feifei.
Had his father lied, cheated and gambled until his death without ever reflecting upon himself, or had he desired to repent and make amends? No one else cared.
Even Lu Shan might not be interested enough to inquire, but it was very, very important to Feifei.
To a child, whether the father he had trusted truly loved him or whether he was a selfish liar until the end meant two completely different things.
Yao Kang was hardly perfect.
His deception had even caused Fu Zheng trouble.
However, Fu Zheng had striven to keep Yao Kang's dignity as best as he could, and done his best to maintain his final integrity as a father.
Perhaps no one else in the world cared what kind of person Yao Kang was, but it would forever matter in the eyes of his son, because no matter how ordinary a father was, in his children's eyes, he might be the greatest man in the world.
Fu Zheng 'doing something superfluous' meant something very different to Feifei's growth and development.
Yao Kang might be dead, but Feifei would still be able to carry on with the memory of his father's love.
In the future when he grew up, he would think of his father with warmth and love, rather than resentment and sadness.
It wasn't difficult to deal with work-related injury cases.
Nearly every lawyer could do it.
What was commendable was that Fu Zheng had done so in such a warm and humane way.
All along, it had never been a lawyer's superfluous actions, but the gentle strength in his heart.
Feifei was still in Fu Zheng's arms, crying and vaguely calling out 'Daddy'.
It was impossible for Lu Shan not to cry, too.
“Thank you, Lawyer Fu.
Thank you for taking the extra time to investigate and tell us this.”
“It's no big deal.
Yao Kang deserved a fairer assessment,” Fu Zheng said.
He picked up Feifei.
It was true, as he had said before, that he was not very good with children or talking to them.
The way he was holding the boy was neither professional nor natural.
But even so, Ning Wan could see that he was doing his best to comfort Feifei.
He rather awkwardly and roughly patted Feifei again on the head.
“It's okay to cry when you're sad, but you can't cry all the time.
You're a big boy and you'll have to take care of your mother in the future, you know that?”
This brought a wave of fresh tears, but the child nodded hard.
Still holding him, Fu Zheng took out a USB drive.
“I've made a copy of all the recordings.
I'll give them to the two of you as a memory.”
Lu Shan thanked him sincerely, took the USB drive solemnly, and repeatedly expressed her gratitude.
Only then did she turn to take Feifei from Fu Zheng's arms.
“Let's go, Feifei.
Say goodbye to lawyer Fu.”
Feifei wiped away his tears and waved cutely to Fu Zheng.
But just as they were about to go, the boy turned around and ran back to Fu Zheng.
He looked up, a little shy–
“Big brother, can you bend down? I want to give you something.”
Fu Zheng heard the two words 'big brother', hesitated, and then nodded and bent down.
Shyly and quickly, Feifei pecked him on the cheek before running away.
“Big brother Fu Zheng, you're a good person and a good lawyer.
Thank you.” He went back to his mother and waved.
“When I grow up, I wanna be a lawyer just like you.”
Ning Wan made a little detour to avoid embarrassing them.
When Feifei had left hand in hand with Lu Shan, she came back around from the outside.
As expected, Fu Zheng was the only one left in the room.
However, unlike in her imagination, there was an undisguised smile stretched across his always cool, detached countenance.
He had clearly looked awkward just now while being kissed by a child, yet right now this man was actually touching his cheek where Feifei had kissed him and smiling.
Ning Wan had always known that Fu Zheng was extraordinarily handsome.
It was an objective fact that any praise of his appearance could not be overstated.
But this was the first time that she felt a little foolish just looking at his face.
It was clearly just an ordinary smile, but the glimmer of tenderness in his eyes and lips moved her heart.
In the silence, Ning Wan heard the sound of her heart beating faster.
Even though he was just a little chick, an older newcomer who had just started working, a silly sweet man easy to take advantage of, a man who acted like a pampered young master even though his fortunes had fallen…
Even though apart from being handsome, nothing else about him was particularly outstanding, at this moment Ning Wan stood outside the door, secretly peering in at Fu Zheng, and felt like everything about him was perfect.
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