Tea Leaves and Sapphire Earrings

Karma, Loss, and the End of a Nightmare

Match Twenty-Two: Karma, Loss, and the End of a Nightmare:


I have one more month left and I got an early present. Excuse me while I try to hold back my laughter. Here’s what happened.

Kao Yasha was a woman with a sunny disposition once you get to know her. She was just a victim of my uncle’s deceit. She sat across with Yao and me in the dining room.

“I don’t know what exactly want us to do with Mr. Kim,” I said. “We have been keeping tabs on him and this other guy that he’s been with. But other than that…” Yasha narrowed her eyes.

“I want to make the bastard pay,” she said.

“Yes, I am aware of this,” I said. I resisted the urge to say, “Don’t we all?”

“Did you try to sue him?” Yao asked.

“I don’t have the money for a lawyer,” Yasha said. “Plus, I don’t have the energy for to drag this out through court.” I understood her plight. I really did. But what did she want us to do about it?

“I still don’t understand how you think that we can help you,” I said. “What are you exactly asking us to do here?” Yasha closed her hands into fists.

“I don’t know,” she admitted with a trembling voice. “I just figured that you would know where he was.”

“You’re in the same boat as us,” I said. “I really that I knew where that bastard was.” Right when I said that, the phone rang.

“Excuse me,” I said. I got up and walked into the living room. Why am I even walking on my poor swollen feet? I could’ve just picked up cell phone. Too late now.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Ju! I have some good news for you!” Hen-to shouted.

“What?” I asked.

“It’s your uncle,” he said. “He’s been arrested.” I couldn’t help but to smile.

“Hang on,” I said. I waddled as fast as I could back to the dining room. Yao and Yasha looked up at me.

“Who was that?” Yao asked. I couldn’t help but smile.

“You’re going to want to come hear this,” I said. I turned back to the living room.

All three of us, crowded around the phone. I tried to hold back my laughter.

“Go on,” I said. “Tell us what happened. How did Mr. Kim get arrested?” My husband and our guest looked at me with big eyes.

“Yes, turns out that he stopped by a cop for holding up traffic,” Hen-to said. “Jianjun panicked and tried to drive away.” He broke into laughter on the other line. I waited until he got it out of his system.

“So what happened?” I asked.

“He sped and hit a fire hydrant!” my advisor yelled. Hen-to started laughing again. “They both got arrested! All because a fire hydrant!” I tried to not laugh myself. It did sound pretty funny.

“Which jail are they in now?” I asked.

“They are downtown,” he said.

“Thanks,” I said. Despite the good news, I couldn’t celebrate just yet. Jianjun could talk his way out of jail. I heard the stories of him doing it before.

“What happens now?” I asked.

“We will keep watching,” Hen-to said.

“We need to keep him in jail,” I said.

“Understood,” my advisor said.

“Thank you,” I said. I hung up with a cautious smile. I put up a small V-sign. Yao and Yasha looked like they would explode with joy.

“Don’t celebrate yet,” I said. “We still have to keep him in jail.” Yasha smiled at me like a demon. I shivered as I saw her teeth.

“Don’t worry about that,” she said. “I can help you keep him there.” She broke into a little giggle. I turned to my husband with a worried look my face. He looked just as worried as I did. Oh boy…

Yasha came with back-up. Turns out, she had been keeping in contact with all of Jianjun’s previous victims. They had all formed a group on WeChat. She was quick to share that my uncle had been arrested. (She gave me an invite on the spot.) The women vowed they would show up to take him down.

“Damn!” I said as I scrolled through the members’ list. “He’s been pretty busy, hasn’t he?” Yao only whistled at the list. Yasha gritted her teeth.

“I will make that bastard pay this time!” she snapped.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“I will be once that bastard has paid for what he’s done!” she shouted. I just left it there. Still, that led me to another thought. I pulled out my phone and disappeared down the hall. I had to make one more call.

“Hello?” Hen-to asked. I looked down the hall.

“What about Junjie?” I whispered. There was a pause on the other line.

“They went to separate jails,” he said in a low whisper.

“What?” I asked.

“Someone put in the request to make the transfer,” Hen-to said.

“Who made the transfer call?” I asked.

“Who do you think?” he asked. I frowned.

“His mother?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Hen-to said.

“Damn it,” I said. “Does she even care that she’s put us all in danger?”

“No, dear,” he said. “But will keep our eyes open.” I rubbed my forehead. Szu and her parents needed to know what was going on. But then, another thought crossed my mind.

“I need to call Zhong!” I said.

“I don’t think he would listen,” Hen-to said.

“I still have to make the call,” I said. “He has to know.” My advisor didn’t speak at first.

“Fine,” he said. “Go ahead.” I breathed out.

“Thank you,” I said. I hung up and made the call.

For three days, we kept our eyes open. Szu and her parents couldn’t rest. I didn’t blame them. Lili even talked about going away for a while.

“You don’t need to do that,” I said.

“Do I?” he asked. “Can you guarantee me that he won’t come after you or my daughter?” I couldn’t answer him. I pressed my lips together.

“Lili…” I said. I tried to grab his arm. He quickly pulled away.

“No,” he said. Lili walked into his house and shut the door. My stomach dropped.

“Lili…” I said again. On the upside, Zhong took me seriously. He had security around his house and work 24/7. He offered me the same protection. I thanked him. Guards have been staying outside the gates at the front. I couldn’t complain. At least we had some form of protection. Still, I couldn’t rest. Yasha and her fellow victims were fighting to keep Jianjun in jail. But I couldn’t help but wonder if his charges would stick. Yao came up behind me and rubbed my shoulders.

“It will be okay, dear,” he said in a low voice. I forced myself to smile.

“Will it, though?” I asked.

“I believe so,” Yao said. After three days of unease, part of me wished that something would happen.

Unfortunately, I would get my wish.

It happened on a Saturday morning in September. It’s one of those rare times where I got to sleep in. Bik has greatly reduced my work. I didn’t have any paperwork that week. Yao took care of all that. For once, I was just happy to be asleep.

But then my phone rang.

I grumbled as I started reaching around for my phone on the nightstand. Why did I have to be woken up on my forced day off?

“Hello?” I asked. I heard someone frantically whispering into the other line. A confused look came over my tired face.

“Hello?” I asked again. The whispering grew faster.

“Help… me…” I heard. Then, there came a scream and a pop. Suddenly, the line got disconnected. I looked at the number on my screen. My eyes widened when I realized the source. I sat up and tried to climb out of bed.

“Yao!” I screamed. “Yao!” My husband ran up the steps to my room.

“What’s going on? What happened?” he asked. I held up the latest call log on my phone. It didn’t take him long to figure out what I was trying to say.

“We have to get to the Zhong house now!” I shouted. Yao didn’t have to say a word. I just threw some clothes on and we hurried out the door.

We drove to the Zhong House as fast as we could. I insisted that Yao take me with him. He had no choice but to listen to me. I just had to see what was going on. Along the way, I feared the worst. I drew out my phone and called the police. I explained the situation and they promised to be on the way to their destination. By the time we pulled into the driveway, we were met with a horrifying site. A maid lay outside the open front door in a pool of blood. The color drained from my face. Yao jumped out of the car and ran over to her. I started to get out of the car too.

“Stay there!” my husband shouted. Again, I didn’t listen. I did my best to run and keep up. Where were the guards? Yao knelt down to the body and put two fingers to her wrist. He looked up when I made it over to him. My husband shook her head. My bad feeling got worse as we went inside. A security guard sat on a couch with holes in his head and chest. He looked like he had been watching TV when he had been shot. We didn’t get a chance to check him out due to the shouting from the back of the house.

“Is that…?” I asked. Yao grabbed my hand and pulled me along with him. The shouting came from an office further down the hall.

“Come on, don’t do this!” Zhong pleaded.

“Shut up!” Junjie hissed.

“Junjie!” his adoptive father said.

“I said shut up!” that bastard snapped. Yao and I looked in the doorway. Junjie had a hunting rifle pointing to a cornered Zhong. His adoptive father had his hands up with his back to the bookcase.

“You did this to me!” Junjie yelled. “I lost everything! My friends, my money, my reputation, my life! All of it! Because of you!”

“We can talk about this! Put the gun the down,” Zhong tried to tell him.

“Shut up!” Junjie yelled. I wanted to run up and stop him but Yao held me back. I whipped my head around. He shook his head.

“But…” I mouthed. He just looked down at my stomach. It hurt to just stand there and hold my tongue. Right now, all I could do was hope that the police would arrive before there was further damage. Zhong took a step forward.

“You don’t have to do this,” he said in a calmer tone. Junjie glared at him with his finger on the trigger.

“Please, don’t do this,” Yao said. “You’re already in trouble with the law. Don’t make it any worse.”

“And who do I have to blame for that?!” Junjie snapped. “You all ruined my life!”

“It doesn’t have to be like this,” Zhong said. “Just put the gun down and we can talk about this.”

“No, we can’t,” his adopted son hissed. Zhong took another step forward to his desk.

“Son…” he said.

“I am not you son!” Junjie shouted.


Zhong’s eyes and mouth were wide open. He didn’t make a sound as he collapsed to the desk.

“Zhong!” I shouted. Junjie turned the gun on us.

“You’re next!” he shouted. He turned to aim his gun towards Little Bean.

“Freeze!” a voice boomed behind us. Yao and I looked up to see a swat team rushing behind us. My husband pulled me aside in time as they filed into the room.

“Put the gun down!” the leader shouted as he and his team had their guns drawn. Junjie led them into a standstill for about ten minutes.

“Put the gun down!” the leader shouted again. Junjie finally gave up and put the gun down. The team surrounded him and arrested him. That bastard glared at us as they dragged him away. The leader gave us a nod as he walked by. I about collapsed in Yao’s arms. Meanwhile, Zhong’s blood ran all over his papers on his desk.

Zhong Tan was dead at age fifty-nine.

Zhong Junjie now faced three counts of murder along with the multiple rape, drug, and assault charges. Bond was denied this time. He murdered one of the most powerful business clan leaders in Eastern China. Mommy’s not going to be able to help him this time. Yeah, he’s not getting out for a long time.

“Is it over?” Szu asked me after she and her parents watched the news. I sighed and smiled in their living room.

“Yes,” I said. “It’s over.” Szu put her head on my shoulder. Hark and Lili could finally breathe out. I on the other hand still couldn’t relax. I still had to deal with Jianjun. But at least now Junjie would be out of our lives for good.

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