Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 1
"I think that my boyfriend is… planning to murder me."
It was the weekend, and the McDonald's they were in was filled with parents who had brought their children, there were also incessant shrills and laughter from the children who were playing on the slide at the play area. Naturally, it was difficult for the fair and plump Zhu Mei to believe what her good friend had said.
"That's nonsense! Even if both of you are quarreling, don't badmouth someone to that degree," Zhu Mei scolded jokingly. Pausing a while, she raised her eyebrow asking rather hesitantly, "When both of you quarrel, it doesn't get physical right?"
The woman who was sitting opposite from her was about 20 plus years old. Even though her features could be considered quite exquisite, in a bustling cosmopolitan city like theirs, she couldn't be considered a rare beauty. However, her most attention-drawing feature was her pair of slightly upturned large eyes. Within her light-coloured pupil was an amber luster which you couldn't help associating with expensive cats.
Lin Sanjiu shook her head and did not continue. She couldn't blame Zhu Mei for not believing her; saying such words seemed even somewhat preposterous to herself. Perhaps it was because she had not slept well, she felt rather anxious… Lin Sanjiu took two sips of Coca-Cola, not knowing what frame of mind she was in, she half jokingly said, "If a day comes when the police ask who I usually don't get along with..."
"Sheesh!" The bantering tone of her friend relieved Zhu Mei of the shreds of doubt she previously had. She waved her hand and cheerily commented, "Really, you got a great deal! Say, what are Ren Nan's shortcomings?"
The last half of the sentence blew past her like a breeze, Lin Sanjiu did not even listen. Her pair of cat-like eyes swept the surroundings outside the window, as her lower jaw slightly tightened.
Seeming to conceal that, she tilted her head down and took a bite out of her hamburger.
At that moment, the noisy McDonald's suddenly fell silent for a few seconds. As the doorway darkened, a tall man walked in a steady pace. A few customers in a queue unconsciously step aside, opening a path for him.
Wearing a custom-tailored steel gray shirt, with a uniquely Armani's slim fit design, every detail seemed to portray a dignified quality. His well-pressed dark colored pants, elegantly fitted him without any creases, as if there were professionals to iron it anytime. Additionally, he had a 1:9 body ratio that Asians rarely had and good looks to boot. At any time, Ren Nan looked like a top model who had just walked out from some fashion show —— right into a McDonald's. It was no wonder that he got glances from the crowd.
As he sat down, there was a slight fragrance of Davidoff Cool Water cologne in the air.
"Why are you eating such fast food again?" He nodded acknowledging Zhu Mei while he gently touched Sanjiu's hair as if not knowing what to do with her. His Patek Philippe watch was half buried in her hair. "I even planned to take you to that Japanese restaurant we went previously."
"When I walked past, I just felt hungry so..." Lin Sanjiu forced a smile, avoiding Ren Nan's gaze. She lowered her head and put a single french fry in her mouth. Her hair slipped from her shoulders, blocking the view of her expression.
Saying that Ren Nan had some sort of flaw seemed almost unimaginable.
After dating for a few months, Ren Nan had quickly won over her buddies and friends with his perfect demeanor, much less Lin Sanjiu herself. No, not only his demeanor; his looks, wealth, personality; every aspect was so perfect… he was exactly what women dreamed of.
Everyone told her fate treated her too well.
When they just started dating, Lin Sanjiu almost couldn't believe how lucky she was. At that time, she woke up smiling every morning, embracing the new world that Ren Nan brought to her.
When did she starting feeling there was something wrong?
Suddenly, Zhu Mei's enthusiastic voice broke her train of thought. "I have taken a day of Xiao Jiu's time, I won't interrupt both of your sweet time together! She just told me that she was a little tired, why don't both of you go back?"
Lin Sanjiu was pulled back to reality.
Ren Nan's gentle voice always had a fittingly cheerful tone. "Let us send you back. Recently, the weather has been too hot."
Zhu Mei had a childish temperament and immediately smiled replying, "Oh, then I just take up on that offer! It is so bloody hot today, I just walked for awhile, and I am covered with perspiration…" The clothes on her back were still damp.
As she did not have much appetite and saw that her good friend had finished eating, Lin Sanjiu readily stood up. Her boyfriend and good friend followed suit and walked out of the McDonald's.
The pavement outside had been baked by the afternoon sun, as a wave of heat surrounded the three of them. It was already October, but the intense heat did not show any sign of retreating, it continued holding their cosmopolitan city in its grip. Some of the people on the streets held umbrellas, and others had their forehead covered with perspiration. Everyone's face showed much discomfort — it was really too hot. Even at the height of summer, it wasn't that hot!
Zhu Mei was most afraid of the hot weather; she had only walked a few steps but was already covered in sweat and had to continuously wipe her forehead. Lin Sanjiu could feel several strands of her hair sticking to the skin at the back of her neck. As she could not stand this unpleasant feeling, she couldn't help asking, "Where did you park your car?"
Ren Nan lifted his head and looked over to the location not far from them; his skin was clean and dry without even a bit of perspiration. "It is right in front," he paused a while, keeping his usual elegant and calm demeanor, "I already told you a few times, not owning a car is too inconvenient. Since you have already gotten your driving license, do you want to buy a car?"
Zhu Mei immediately exclaimed enviously, "You plan to buy a car for Xiao Jiu? You are really a Mr. Perfect. My boyfriend only bought me a teddy bear for my birthday…"
Lin Sanjiu replied superficially with some agreeing sound, while she was totally not thinking about the car. It was lucky that Zhu Mei was a lively person, as Zhu Mei chatted noisily with Ren Nan, he did not notice the unease that Sanjiu felt.
Three months before, Lin Sanjiu had finally sweetly agreed to Ren Nan's countless request for her to move in. She packed her things, ended her housing rental, and moved to his condominium situated in the middle of the city. The many friends and colleagues who visited her new accommodation were all extremely envious. The moment they step out of the apartment, they would immediately pull her over and tell her, "Xiao Jiu. You must hold on to such a good guy!"
"Does Ren Nan have any brothers? Or friends who are still single? Don't forget to introduce one to me!"
"You should talk to him about marriage soon…"
Her friends' celebratory voices seemed to reverberate in her ears. The emotions and excitement in Lin Sanjiu's heart were ten times her friends'. However, after they had stayed together for some time, her IQ which had been lowered due to being in love, had slowly recovered.
She started to gradually notice the details of her daily life.
Right now, Lin Sanjiu really couldn't explain it, but she felt a little fearful of Ren Nan.
After Zhu Mei had disappeared around the corner of the old street, Ren Nan restarted the engine and the sound of the car merge with the traffic. In about 20 mins, both of them were back at home.
Ren Nan's condominium was located in the most expensive district, and its construction was only completed two years before. Every inch of tile represented a kind of lifestyle that only normal folks like Lin Sanjiu could dream of. And now, she had almost gotten used to her new lifestyle — if not for the cloud of doubt in her heart that got heavier day after day…
The penthouse apartment occupied the entire 38th floor. Following the "ding" sound of their personal elevator, the door opened, and both of them walked into the living room.
Responding to the movement of the elevator, the living room's soft lights switched on one by one.
"I bought some cola today, do you want a can?" Putting down her bag, Lin Sanjiu headed to the kitchen. She hid the thumping of her heartbeat and smiled at Ren Nan as if nothing happened — conscious that her expression hid her feelings perfectly.
Ren Nan also walked over, wearing his usual tender smile, "Okay, whatever you buy is great."
She didn't know when it started, but this sort of fairytale like sweet talk sounded strange to Lin Sanjiu. Totally not knowing how to reply, she hurriedly handed over the cola — once he pulled open the can tab, the gas in the drink came out with a "sss sss" sound. Probably to make her happy, he drank half a can of the drink in one mouth.
Lin Sanjiu hid herself behind the pulled open fridge door; her body tensed up as she perked up her ears not wanting to miss a sound.
The room was silent for half a minute.
Seconds after seconds passed until Ren Nan's laughter broke the silence in the room. "What are you looking for in the fridge?"
Lin Sanjiu's heart fell into the pit of her stomach. She closed the door and acted casually as she observed Ren Nan.
Swallowing a can of cola full of carbon dioxide down into his stomach, Ren Nan did not even show an intention of burping — as if he had just drunk a black pool of stagnant water.
"Nothing, I just wanted to see if there were any snacks." She forced a smile.
Living together for 3 months, she had never even seen Ren Nan burp once.
Not just burping — coughing, sneezing, farting, sweating… all this sort of unsightly bodily functions that everyone had, Lin Sanjiu had never seen Ren Nan having.
If she thought of it carefully, she was not sure if she even ever saw him using the toilet.
"You didn't even eat much just now. Why don't we go out for dinner tonight?" Ren Nan pulled both her arms and gave a kiss on Lin Sanjiu's neck.
Goosebumps surfaced all over her back, "Nah, it's okay. I am too lazy to move… plus I want to sleep early tonight; I have to wake up early tomorrow."
"Well, then I will personally cook you some salmon," Ren Nan replied smilingly.
Lin Sanjiu nodded her head quickly.
Ren Nan's cooking skills were like himself, perfect without flaws. After eating the dinner he had meticulously prepared, the sun outside the living room's glass windows was slowly setting to the west. As the sky darkened, it turned to a star-filled nightfall.
"There is an ongoing global heatwave. And today is the 104th day..." After clearing up the dinner utensils, Lin Sanjiu watched the television as if she was interested in the news. She honestly did not want to match gaze with Ren Nan. "Following the deaths due to hyperthermia in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, our country's death toll due to heat stroke has already reached 67 people. Relevant experts remind all..."
She felt Ren Nan walked over, sitting beside her and the sofa sinking down.
An arm settled on her shoulder naturally, and Lin Sanjiu's body stiffened.
Even though she did not turn her head, she could feel that he wasn't watching the television.