I Advise You To Like Me As Soon As Possible - Chapter 11.2
Chapter 11 (part 2)
Just then, the tense atmosphere was interrupted by a new visitor–
It was a very young woman with a gentle face and tears in her eyes. When she introduced herself, her voice choked up with tears. "I want to consult with you. My husband… he's been beating me… what should I do? I want a divorce…"
Another domestic violence case. Fu Zheng could just see what was about to happen. Just now, Ning Wan had been bursting with righteousness while lecturing him, but now she was immediately going to put on a different mask, to persuade this woman to stay in a bad marriage using beautiful words, to endure the wind and take a step back…
It couldn't go on. Fu Zheng decided to step in this time. He could not allow this woman to continue suffering from violence.
Just as he opened his mouth to speak, Ning Wan said, "Have you called the police?"
Upon receiving a negative, Ning Wan said in a serious and earnest tone, "Divorce in the case of domestic violence requires strict evidence. I suggest that you call the police immediately to make a report, record down all that you can remember, and then obtain all the evidence you can. When he beat you, were there any witnesses at home or in the neighborhood? Did you shout for help? If there are, witness testimony will be crucial."
Fu Zheng was stunned. He heard Ning Wan say, "There are only zero and countless cases of domestic violence in a marriage. It's definitely not the first time he has hit you, and it won't be the last. Install a camera at home, and remember to save the video. The next time he beats you, prioritize your own safety and keep the evidence…"
Her eyes very serious, Ning Wan handed over her business card. "If you need legal aid, fill out our form. I can assist you with the evidence collection, and I promise you, I will help you represent yourself in the divorce and stand up for your best interests. You have nothing to fear."
The young woman wiped her tears and took Ning Wan's business card. "Thank you very much."
"Do you want me to call the police for you right now?"
"I… I can call the police myself… I– I'll order a camera when I go home. Thank you." The young woman seemed to feel better. "I'll deal with my wounds first. Can I contact you later?"
"Your legal advice depends on your mood, I see," Fu Zheng's mocking voice rang out as soon as the client had left.
"What?" Ning Wan asked, baffled.
"What gives you the right to lecture me?" Fu Zheng sneered. "Don't give me that innocent look. How noble do you think you are? Handling cases based on your mood. First you say you care about the lives of the common people, you claim to want to improve the legal environment of the community. For what? Both were cases of domestic violence, but you fooled the middle-aged woman this morning into enduring it. Yet you told the young woman just now to obtain evidence for divorce. Are you a chameleon?"
Fu Zheng felt like his line of questioning was undoubtedly solid. He had definitely won this battle. But Ning Wan looked at him lightly, a calm, even compassionate expression on her face–
"You must have been keeping this trump card in your back pocket for a while." She smiled defiantly at Fu Zheng. "But you're still a little out of your depth, young master."
"I've been working here in this community for two years, and I know more about the residents than you do. It is impossible for Aunt Wu's husband to have abused her."
Naturally, this didn't go over well with Fu Zheng. "Nothing's impossible. How did you come to this conclusion so easily?"
"This isn't the first time Aunt Wu has cried about being beaten by her husband. The last few times, I did some serious research, interviewed her children and neighbors, and finally ruled out the possibility of domestic violence." She forestalled the words obviously about to spill out of Fu Zheng's mouth. "Hold on, let me finish. I know what you're going to say. You're going to ask me how I ruled out domestic violence through witness testimonies. You'll tell me it's entirely possible to know the face of someone without knowing their heart, and that plenty of people who look fine on the outside are secretly psycho murderers. A neighbor's testimony can be inaccurate, and children may help cover up for their parents based on their own complex feelings or fears. Besides, where did Aunt Wu get her bruises from if she wasn't beaten by her husband?"
"But all that aside, no matter who else is subject to domestic violence, Aunt Wu will never be one of them. And this is because…" Ning Wan held Fu Zheng's gaze as if bringing him to enlightenment and said with great vigor, "She is a retired Sanda1 champion!"
"She runs a Sanda training class for a living, and she usually sports a few bruises and scars from training with her students." Here, Ning Wan paused, then added, "Aunt Wu's husband is an IT guy, a code monkey, thin as a rail and not that tall. He could probably take two punches from her before passing out. I've really, truly, never seen him even think about attacking her, since it would be suicide, but what I have seen several times is Aunt Wu chasing him around the community, threatening to break his legs…"
"…" Fu Zheng had never heard of such a plot twist. His voice came out a little choked. "But then why would she accuse him of domestic violence…"
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"Have you ever heard Aunt Wu's youthful fantasies?"
"What does that have to do with this?" Fu Zheng frowned.
Ning Wan ignored his interjection, "When Aunt Wu was young, her girlish dream was to become a pop star. But well, nature won out over nurture, and she became a Sanda champion instead."
…There really was quite a difference…
But what did that have to do with abuse? Fu Zheng thought to himself. He looked at Ning Wan warily, wondering what she was trying to sell him. "So?"
"So, although life forced her off the path of her true dream, Aunt Wu has always wished to be a star actress."
Ning Wan looked at him like he was an an idiot. "And so, she became a drama queen."
"Every once in awhile, Aunt Wu will brush off her acting skills and perform a one-woman play here at our community lawyer's office. The domestic violence script is one of her favourites." Ning Wan sighed. "She loves this sort of tragic suffering drama."
"Anyway, please don't slander me. I, Ning Wan, would never treat my customers differently. Each and every one holds equal importance in my heart. I might be an exiled lawyer from a second-rate school, one you despise and perhaps think of as some poor peon in the legal profession, but I'll still do what needs to be done and I won't give up. Even if I'm poor and I started out far behind you, so long as I keep running and running, one day I'll surpass you."
Her eyes on his face were clear and provocative. "So you'd better not stop running yourself, or it will be too easy."
Having said everything she had wanted to say, she glanced at the clock. "Well, time to get off work." She looked back at him. "Also, I would like to add that I loathe abusers."
"I have zero tolerance for domestic violence. When a victim of domestic violence asks for help, but can't afford to pay my fee, I would rather take them on pro bono than let them go back to their abuser."
"As for you, young master, I advise you to run on back to HQ early. Our little community temple doesn't have the space for such a famous academic Buddha such as yourself."