Maybe Love (A David Chan Mystery, Part Twelve)

“Hubby told me,” Nina said, “that Daddy didn’t like wife number-one.  Too grabby, he said.  A person who’s too grabby, as far as that family is concerned, loses her hands.  At least.”

Chan thought, He murders the first wife but can’t bring Nina on publicly as wife number-two because she isn’t Korean, although he does secretly marry Nina.  And for Daddy he publicly marries a Korean wife number-two.  So was he legally married to two women?  Maybe even three if number-one hadn’t been declared legally dead.  Did that mean they could nail Byung Yu for bigamy?

Chan asked, “So he is married to this Korean wife number-two?”

“Oh, no, no, no.  He just makes out for Daddy that he is. Unbelievably, that’s one law he won’t break.  Jesus.  Bigamy would be one of the least of his crimes.”

“He obviously loves you though.  I mean crying to get you back.”

“Yeah, what a sentimentalist.  What a romantic.”  Nina shook her head.  “The more he loved me, the more he hit me, and I let him.  I tried to leave, but he’d always promise to change.  Crying’s part of the routine.”

Her face was strange and sad.  “It took me so long to escape, David.  It was like an addiction.  Sometimes I’d blame myself, thought I deserved what he did to me.  I don’t know, maybe it was some twisted kind of love.”  She teared up, looked at Chan.  “But I made it, David.”

Chan marveled at the strength of his friend from long ago.  Looking at her, he again saw his wife’s face.  It made him both euphoric and sick to his stomach.  Wasn’t it . . . was it time for someone to hold onto again, just to hold –

Nina said, “Some people, David, are just a mess of contradictions and conflicting passions.”

Chan blinked.  Sitting up straight and clearing his throat, he remembered himself.  “So Nina, really, do you think Byung had anything to do with what happened yesterday?”

Nina sat back and examined the ceiling.  Then smiling again, she leaned toward Chan.  “Would it surprise you if he did?”

Chan was convinced.  He closed his notebook and stood.  His legs were a bit shakier than he’d expected.  Nina rose as well.  Chan extended his hand.  She brushed it aside and grabbed him in a hug that nearly knocked the air out of him.

“Oh David,” she said, “please help me.  Do you think you can?”

Not quite understanding exactly what she meant, but fairly sure she was talking about getting rid of Yu Byung-hi, he said, “I do.”

On the ride back to headquarters, all David Chan could think about was a future.  Maybe one with love.

* * * * *

Aloha #WriterWednesday, I hope you are safe and well. Today’s #WritingPrompt is

love

Use it to inspire a piece of writing, then post that piece on your site and link back to me, or simply leave is as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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