Apartment for Rent Chapter 12.1
Chapter 12 Part I
I was scared and excited at the same time.
Everything was going exactly as I predicted, but I was scared because everything could go so horribly wrong if that time bomb went off at an inopportune time. But, I was excited at the possibility, because the ending of my prophecy was horrifying to begin with.
I couldn’t wait to find out how ridiculous the ending would be.
Ying Ru went through the doors and into her room.
As she took off that strange black raincoat, she was completely naked underneath. Below her snow white neck skin, her entire body was painted in crimson.
It was blood.
Perhaps due to the sheen of rainwater streaming down her elegant cheeks, her skin looked so much whiter and smoother. She adjusted her hair slightly and went into to the shower.
In her room, the pink Hello Kitty bag sat quietly on her tea table, as if something could tear it apart from the inside out at any moment.
“I know my daughter is there with you!”
Losing the target of his twisted affection, Mr. Wang’s reason was slowly ripped away from him with each passing moment.
Other than to scream his lungs out, Mr. Wang never stopped knocking.
“What the heck is wrong with you? How is it my fault that you can’t take care of your own daughter?” Miss Chen never once raised her voice. Sitting alone on the mattress, she unsympathetically responded over the door as she turned on the TV.
In another space.
Old man Zhang almost lost his grip on the baseball bat. He stared wide-eyed, unable to speak.
Mr. Wang’s daughter sat naked inside the closet. Through her bleary eyes, she watched him, wondering how to react to the scary looking Old man Zhang towering over her.
“Huh?” As if something was stuck in his throat, he was just as surprised as Mr. Wang’s naked daughter.
Why is Mr. Wang’s daughter all tied up sitting naked in my closet?
Who could do something so perverted?
Putting away his baseball bat, Old man Zhang dropped down to one knee. Just as he was about to remove the tape over her mouth, his hand trembled uncontrollably as it stopped right next to her tiny face.
Her eyes were filled with terror, and an overwhelming feeling of injustice.
“I’m not the bad guy… you know that right? Who tied you up? Who took off your clothes? Did you see him?” Old man Zhang asked calmly, but Mr. Wang’s daughter was terrified. She jerked away in panic, kicking, as if she was afraid of being sexually abused.
Old man Zhang forced his face into a wide smile, saying: “I’m going to take you to your father now. But don’t scream ok? And most importantly, don’t falsely accuse me! You know that right? How old are you now? Do you know what the phrase ‘falsely accuse’ means? Did your teachers teach you?”
She wriggled her body. Like a beautiful young flower, she struggled helplessly in front of him, completely oblivious to anything he had just said.
I picked up the phone.
“I’m going to remove the tape over your mouth, but don’t scream ok? I’m the good guy. You know I’m the good guy right?” The calmer Old man Zhang tried to sound, the more violent his hand shook as it moved closer to Mr. Wang’s daughter.
Old man Zhang’s steeled nerves was instantly shattered as he turned nervously towards the phone ringing next to him on the floor.
“Hello, is it Miss Chen?” I asked.
“Aah, Mr. Landlord. You dialled wrong. I’m Old man Zhang,” he answered in a hurry.
“I’m sorry. My bad,” I hung up with an evil grin.
Old man Zhang exhaled in relief, but Mr. Wang’s daughter twitched even more. All of a sudden, Old man Zhang was at a loss. There was nothing he could say or do to get rid of the suspicion.
I wasn’t really expecting Old man Zhang to succumb to his desire for the young naked beauty and end up doing something truly unforgivable, because he was not that kind of man.
In an urgent situation like this, protecting oneself became the most important task of a peeping tom, and the only choice of action.
Mr. Wang kept knocked on Miss Chen’s door. Miss Chen on the other hand simply ignored him.
Miss Chen frowned at the phone ringing on the floor.
“Hello, is it Miss Chen? I’m the Landlord,” I tried to be amiable.
“Hi, Mr. Landlord. Let me guess, you want to ask why Mr. Wang won’t stop knocking on my door?” Miss Chen didn’t sound too friendly.
“Haha. Indeed. Is there anything I can do to help?” I asked her, feeling slightly embarrassed.
“Mr. Wang couldn’t find his daughter. He is convinced that I’m hiding her from him. I wouldn’t let him in, so he kept knocking on my door. You tell me, is there anything you can do?” Miss Chen spoke incredibly fast.
“Yes, I heard the thing about his daughter. Hmm, can’t you just let him in? He seemed so worried.” I asked.
“Why would I do that? Do I have to open my door to anyone who asks? Can a guy just waltz into a lady’s room whenever he wants?” Miss Chen seemed agitated as she raised her voice, purposely letting Mr. Wang overhear her conversion from outside.
“You have a point… What about, let’s both take a step back and see if we can find some common ground?” I smiled.
“How do you want to do that?” Miss Chen’s voice slowed down.
“Mr. Wang is just trying to find his little girl. If you are willing to let him look around a bit, I will exempt you from next month’s rent. What do you say?” I pretended to be generous.
Miss Chen hesitated for a moment, and I knew it was bullseye!
“If you come down here, I’ll let him in.” Miss Chen said.
“Hold on,” I smiled with satisfaction. “I will be there in a second.”
I turned my gaze to Mr. Wang’s daughter lying in Old man Zhang’s lap.
“I can’t wait to see what you are going to do next.” Regretfully, I had to move away from the screen and the image of Old man Zhang drenched in cold sweat.
As I walked down the stairs, I passed by Ying Ru and Bo Yan’s room.
One was still in the shower. She preferred long showers, especially if she was soaked in blood. I knew by experience that the dried bloodstains were hard to get rid of.
The other one hadn’t had anything to eat today. He fell asleep sitting cross-legged on the bathroom stall. He did wake up several times, but every time he wound up either throwing up or crying.
The scent of smoke constantly escaped from under Guo Li’s door. I couldn’t help but wonder when he would finish his last cigarette.
Meanwhile, inside the other room, Old man Zhang struggled restlessly against every subtle movement. The thoughts alone were very interesting.
“Hello, Mr. Wang!” I greeted.
“Mr. Landlord! She is hiding my daughter from me!” Mr. Wang said angrily, pointing at Miss Chen’s door.
“Calm down. I can hear you from all the way up in my room. Surely Miss Chen has better things to do. Why would she keep your daughter from you?” I tried to diffuse the situation as I knocked on the door.
Mr. Wang stood on the side with his hands akimbo. The most quiet and most aloof person in the building had now become the actor of rage and fury.
Miss Chen opened her doors and gave Mr. Wang a stare, then looked back at me, saying: “Luckily the landlord is being generous. He is willing to exempt me from this month’s rent to get into my room. Unlike a certain someone who kept saying how important his daughter is, but can’t even afford five thousand bucks.”
Seeing Miss Chen opening her doors, Mr. Wang’s face paled, because in a sense, it was even less likely for her to be hiding his daughter now.
Even so, Mr. Wang still rushed into her room. He quickly checked the bathroom, checked the closet, and checked everything. In the end, he stood defeated in the middle of the room, pulling at his own hair. His mind went blank.
Miss Chen sneered. Just as she was about to ridicule him even more, I sighed as I lay my hand on Mr. Wang’s shoulder, saying: “She is probably out playing with her schoolmates, and lost track of time. What else could it be? It is not like she has anyone else’s room key. Where else can she be hiding?”
After I said those words, Miss Chen didn’t react at all.
What a dumb bitch.
Therefore I had to purposely repeat myself, making it sound even more obvious: “Besides, even if she does have someone else’s room key, why would she hide herself from you? Unless she has somehow found my missing key chain and is playing hide-and-seek?”
Miss Chen jolted.
“Wait, I know where she is!” Miss Chen looked at us, with the word vengeance written all over her face, and a tiny bit of worry.
I sounded surprised, asking: “Huh? Why didn’t you say so sooner?”
Mr. Wang immediately grabbed her arm, asking frantically: “Where is she? Tell me! Quick!”
Miss Chen averted my gaze, turning to Mr. Wang and said: “Old man Zhang found the missing key chain. He has the keys to everyone’s rooms!”
I pretended to be angry, saying: “Then why hasn’t he returned it to me? What if a fire breaks out? Or even worse…”
Before Miss Chen could respond, Mr. Wang was alreadInterne linky running, heading upstairs.
Both I and Miss Chen hurriedly followed. Through the corner of my eye, I could see her smiling, a very cheerful smile, as if she was about to uncover a great secret.
“Mr. Zhang! Open the door!” Mr. Wang knocked on Old man Zhang’s door with force.
While Miss Chen and I stood behind him, watching Mr. Wang shouting like a maniac.
I sounded confused when I complained at Miss Chen while she was trying to catch her breath: “Are you messing with Old man Zhang right now? Even if he does have my keys, why would he keep Mr. Wang’s daughter from him?”
Miss Chen didn’t respond, but that confident and mysterious smile never left her face.
Old man Zhang could hide in her closet and rape her, then get Bo Yan to hide under her bed and scare her, not to mention the powerful fist in the end that landed on her pretty face.
In Miss Chen’s mind, someone like Old man Zhang was totally capable of kidnapping and doing unspeakable things to an under-aged little girl.
“Mr. Zhang! Mr. Zhang! Open the door!” Mr. Wang bashed at the door relentlessly.
Yet inside, the room was complete and utterly silent.
“Perhaps Old man Zhang is not home?” I muttered to myself.
Miss Chen did not agree, saying: “Why don’t you kick the door down? If she is really in there, who knows what that beast is capable of?”
I shouted in shock: “Hell no! I just lost a whole month of rent; I’m not paying for another door! I say we wait for Old man Zhang to come back!”
Mr. Wang was always like that. The longer the door stayed shut, the more suspicious he felt. He desperately squeezed and turned at the doorknob, saying: “I will pay for the door! But I never kicked one down before. Do we just bash against it? Or do we find something to bash with?”
I hastily knocked on the door, saying: “Hold on! Don’t be hasty! Perhaps he just fell asleep! Old man Zhang, are you in there?!”
Even though I sounded and acted very panicky, I was in fact very relaxed.
It didn’t matter at all whether Old man Zhang would open the door or not, or if we had to kick the door down, I had every scenario mapped out, and a spectacular ending prepared for each of them.