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Apartments for Rent – Chapter 03 – Part I

Chapter 3 – Gone Mental

Part I

A good actor will always try his/her best to fulfil a director’s request.

A good director, quite often also a good screenwriter, based on the qualities of his actors, will always make sure to put up a good show. Therefore a good director must have patience, which is why Wong Kar-Wai’s “2046” took so many years and is still in production.

From now on, I must observe each tenant’s qualities from a completely new angle, and most importantly, I must find out what kind of potential they may have underneath their daily lives.

So what kind of potential do they have?

And how many new possibilities will that potential lead to?

I’m not a psychiatrist, and in fact I know nothing about psychology at all. Which means, in order to fully understand the potential hidden underneath their daily lives, I must go one step further.

I have to be able to listen; I have to be able to see more.

 

During the short period of time each tenants spent outside, I took the keys and opened the door to their empty apartments. First I installed the newly bought listening devices behind the power plugs located in the corner of their rooms and inside the fire alarms located in every hallway. I tested them and the quality was acceptable. Then I hid the new movable pinhole cameras in the corner of every living room, bedroom and hallway, which greatly increased my viewing angle.

Next I went to the electronic store[1] and bought myself eight second hand TV-screens. This way I don’t have to keep switching channels in order to check in on my tenants. Now I can even see inside the lift at the same time.

An empty notebook is of course a must; I can only imagine what kind of exciting graffiti I will find.

And so it begins.

 

“Hey, little angel!”[2] Miss. Chen often greeted Mr. Wang’s daughter that way.

At first, Mr. Wang who lived next door would always remind his daughter: “Tang Tang, call her sister Chen”. But it didn’t take long before the girls become more intimate with each other, because Miss. Chen often bought Mr. Wang’s daughter gifts, sometimes it is the toys from the McDonalds, and sometimes it is the left over snacks.

Whenever Miss. Chen’s two boyfriends weren’t coming over and she was in a good mood or bored out of her mind, she would always welcome Mr. Wang’s daughter into her room with great enthusiasm. Whenever she did, they either watched TV or ate snacks, often for hours at a time. Mr. Wang never once tried to politely refuse, but from what I saw, Mr. Wang was definitely not happy about the fact. My guess is that it has something to do with Miss. Chen having two boyfriends. It must have left him a bad impression.

“Xiao Rou, I want to try your pretty mouth tonight.” As Miss. Chen’s muscular boyfriend laughingly unbuckled his belt. She simply gave him a seductive look and locked the door behind her.

His sexual desire is about as strong as he is possessive. Sometimes he would even lie next to her, listening in on her phone conversations.

He then pushed her head down, dropping her to her knees, with her office uniform still on. The moment her pink tongue softly wrapped around her boyfriend’s phallus, I took off my pants as well.

 

Across the hallway,

“Father, why does Miss. Chen have two boyfriends?” His daughter asked curiously while showing a playful smile.

“Be good and go to bed, you will understand when you grow up.” Mr. Wang gave his daughter a frown as he hurried his daughter to bed. While he tried to coax his daughter to sleep, Miss. Chen’s excellent tongue work had already made her boyfriend let out the first moan.

I immediately lowered the volume, because a guy’s moan would make me go soft.

Mr. Wang had the same problem; he was clearly not comfortable.

His hand formed a big bulge underneath the blanket, hesitating.

How long will he continue to hesitate, months? Or Years? As I stroked my shaft, I couldn’t help but wonder about Mr. Wang’s complex state of mind.

After all, for someone like me, committing a crime is not an impulsive or unthinkable act.

 

The need to commit a crime is in fact a very predictable mental state.

 

“Hey there, Mr. Wang! Let’s get together sometimes and chat!” Old man Zhang often spoke with too much courtesy whenever he met his peer, Mr. Wang on the stairs, acting to be friendly, but the introverted and quiet Mr. Wang would never respond with anything more than a wry smile, knowing that old man Zhang was only trying to be polite.

Whenever he comes back from work, Old Man Zhang would always cling to his dinner and sit in front of the telescope, searching for his next prey. But good prey is hard to find, and more often than not, hidden behind the closed curtains. That is why once he finishes with his dinner, he would either jerk off watching his voyeur footages or secretly open the door and see if there is anyone in the hall way. If the coast is clear, there is about thirty-six percent chance he would stuff his telescope into his backpack and smuggle it above me onto the rooftop, so he can spy on the people below in the streets.

Quite a ballsy move, in the end, the rooftop is the public place where everyone dries their clothes. Anyone can appear at any time.

And quite a few times, I have interrupted him on purpose.

 

“Yo! Mr. Zhang! Are you drying your clothes?” I casually walked my way to the rooftop, pretending to be exercising.

Despite the slight nervousness showing on old man Zhang’s face, his tone was surprisingly steady: “Hey! Are you exercising? I’m birdwatching.”

“What kind of birds are there in a city like this?” I replied while stretching my legs, pretending to be disinterested in his hobby.

“Good question, I hope I could go visit the countryside one day, instead of trying to find what isn’t there.  So far I have only found one or two birds here and there.” Old man Zhang continued on pointlessly while quietly adjusting the angle of his telescope couple degrees higher.

“Indeed, the air is badly polluted in the city.” I blurted the words out without much thought and began with the exercises facing towards the sunset.

And so old man Zhang just stood there staring at the sparrow sitting on top of the electric pole through his telescope. Half an hour later, I waved at him and said my farewell, leaving him a bit of time to openly spy on people.

In the end, old man Zhang cares a lot about his appearance. I don’t want to suppress his dark side for too long and get on his nerves, or he may lose control and start pummelling me with his fist.

 

A good director must understand his actor’s feelings, and know how to keep the emotion of his actors in check.

 

As a twenty year old student, Bo Yan is an incredibly dull person.

And he is even suffering from a disease called “Hopelessness”.

“Hurry use the nunchaku! Hohohahi! Hurry use the nunchaku! Hohohahi!” One time Bo Yan walked past me in the hallway while twitching rhythmlessly with his headphone on.

“Why would I use the nunchaku?” I tapped on Bo Yan’s shoulder and asked.

Bo Yan gave me a frown and continued on with his spastic movements.

And again I asked, this time without his headphone, “I said, why do I need to use the nunchaku?”

“Hohohahi! Hurry use the nunchaku! Hurry use the nunchaku!” Bo Yan rambled on merrily waving his finger in front of my face drawing strange symbols. I could only pretend to have understood.

So there I was, standing at the end of the hallway, watching Bo Yan disappear into his room like a monkey. The kind of annoyance he made me feel was the kind the words cannot describe.

 

Is it because I got kicked out before I finished my study? Am I jealous because he endlessly squandered his youth?

I can’t be bothered to analyze it any further, though I do very much enjoy disrupting Bo Yan’s life.

Sometimes you have to accept the kind of person you are. Even when you are one of those bad guys who base their happiness on someone else’s suffering, you know the type that ends up in jail at the end of a movie and gets ganged upon by another group of bad guys, even so you must accept, secretly if you have to, and then do it. Because everyone has a place in this world, it is your duty to play out your part.

Bo Yan likes to jerk off, very much so. Jerking off three times a day has left him with very little motivation to study.

I understand why he and his left hand got along so well, because this waste of a student could never find a real girlfriend. I once tried to zoom in to the max and I found that he would always put both of his feet up on top of the desk before he rapidly stroked his junk and shot his load towards the faces of Ochiai Yukie, Ozawa Madoka, Kawashima Azumi or some other Japanese porn stars.

That was the only thing I couldn’t tolerate, I couldn’t stand the fact that he and I both jerked off to the same type of girls.

 

“Knock knock, knock knock!” I knocked lightly at the door, with my arms akimbo.

The sound of stuff being knocked around soon came from inside the room.

“Knock knock, knock knock, knock knock!” I kept on knocking and laughing hysterically on the inside.

Bo Yan abruptly opened the door, pretending nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. But he was nothing like old man Zhang, his face was like that of some first time murderer whose car has just been tolled away with a dead body still stuffed in the trunk.

I cleared my throat and smiled: “Nothing important, just wanted to ask if everything is to your liking?”

Bo Yan was a bit confused, but he quickly replied: “Everything is fine”.

Fucker, can’t you at least show some gratitude? Didn’t you know that I wanted to charge you five thousand a month at first?

Anyways, I put up a smile again: “Is there anything that needs to be improved?”

Bo Yan was getting impatient: “Not really, except, perhaps if the rent was cheaper.”

I nodded slightly and laughed: “I will think about it”. Then I patted on his shoulder and said: “Let me know if there is anything else you need.”

After that, I left. I could hear Bo Yan shutting the door.

Once again I sat down in front of the TV-screen, staring as Bo Yan jerked off. Counting the time, the brat usually needs about three minute forty seven seconds on average, though it depends on the porn star. The one he is looking at right now is the new girl, Milk Ichigo. His average record for her is about four minute and eight seconds.

It won’t be long now, as I zoom in on Bo Yan’s computer screen. I know Milk Ichigo is about to receive her milk, (Because I have seen that video before) but Bo Yan would always finish a few seconds later.

Immediately I picked up the phone and dialled his number,

Leaving only the “call” button not pressed.

Bo Yan’s hand moved faster and faster. Milk Ichigo had just received her milk. Holding out both of her hands, she slowly spit it back out on top of her palm.

Bo Yan’s back jerked back and forth more intensely, and I pressed down on the call button.

Bo Yan suddenly shivered in front of the screen, but it wasn’t the kind of shiver he made when he climaxed, it was the kind when he was in shock.

Bo Yan stared at the phone angrily, and slammed down on his desk. “Bang!”

 

“Hey, it is me, Landlord.”

“What?”

“I just wanted to ask, because I couldn’t figure out why I needed to use nunchaku for the life of me; I mean, what for?”

“……”

“Well?”

“It was a song, you know, Jay Chou’s song.”

“Oh, really? Is he new? I’m totally out of the loop.”

“……”

Bo Yan hanged up.

I watched with satisfaction as Bo Yan collapsed on top his bed, trying desperately to finish what he started before he fell asleep.

That boy really did have a hard time jerking off today.

 

The gay couple living downstairs of Bo Yan had a very good rapport with the other tenants, which was completely different than what I expected.

I first thought Guo Li and Lin Hu would only come here if they needed a secret place to consummate their love, probably because they were afraid of being found out by their families. But they didn’t treat this place as their cheap motel, especially Guo Li; he greeted everyone he met, the complete opposite to the manner less, hopeless Bo Yan.

“Feel free to have some.”

The older one of the two, Guo Li would often buy some drinks or pastries, leaving them on the table in the drawing room together with a note. He sure knew how to win favours. Even inside the fridge, we would often find buckets of ice cream marked with milk chocolate numbers together with a note saying feel free to dig in. Old man Zhang obviously waited till the milk chocolate was about to expire before he candidly brought it all back to his room.

Even though Guo Li is already over forty, his skin is well cared for. Given his intelligent and well-groomed face, together with a generous salary and a job of high social status, a university professor, I’m sure he is well respected amongst his peers. Through the few times we talked, I have learned that he is in fact married and has children, though his family does not know his sexual preference.

 

“I completely understand why you need to hide the truth, sigh, people always have things they don’t want others to know, even family.” I said while drinking the beer Guo Li bought.

“I’m not trying to hide it on purpose.” Guo Li smiled with his slightly wrinkled eyes: “I like men, but I like women as well, love is simply love, gender doesn’t matter.”

“Well said! That makes so much sense, how come I never thought of it this way?” Old man Zhang smacked on his leg as if he had come to a big revelation. But I knew for a fact that this kind of talk did not interest him in the slightest, he just liked to pretend.

“Able to receive the love from two different genders is not a virtue, nor is it a sin for that matter.” Guo Li smiled. Even the way he drank beer was gentlemanly, nothing to be scoffed at.

“When did Lin Hu and you first meet?” I asked because these were the things you couldn’t find out by listening in on their daily conversations.

“A long time ago, he was my student.” Guo Li stopped there, showing an awkward smile, unwilling to elaborate any further.

“I see! Teacher and student love eh! That was unexpected! Unfortunately I’m teaching the elementary school! I’m not as lucky as you are!” Old man Zhang spoke loudly. I couldn’t believe the bullshit he was spouting.

Lin Hu sat quietly on the side the whole time looking at the socially adept Guo Li, showing occasionally a satisfied smile.

 

Lin Hu is only twenty seven, with broad shoulders and a well built body. I see him in his room exercising all the time, for hours on end.  Sometimes when I feel like it, I would even follow his movement and do exercises with him. I mean who doesn’t want those six-packs.

I can understand why Lin Hu is so eager to maintain his body. It is a qualification, a necessary condition in order to be eligible to be taken care of.

“Teacher.”

Lin Hu laid naked against Guo Li's underbelly as he read while slowly caressing Lin Hu’s beautiful skin. Whenever he slid his nail across Lin Hu’s body, Lin Hu would tremble uncontrollably in excitement and whenever he pinched Lin Hu’s rear, Lin Hu would laugh like a happy groundhog.

Speaking of groundhog, Lin Hu’s eyes really do look like a groundhog’s. They are really big. I could almost see the reflection of Guo Li’s matured face in his happiness filled eyes through the TV-screen. I could feel his connection with Guo Li, it was true love. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe.

Lin Hu’s hair had more curls in it than Frodo from The lord of the rings, dark and smooth. Guo Li often whispered in Lin Hu’s ears while smelling his hair like a cat sniffing at a mouse. (I tried to increase the volume, but I could never make out their sweet words) Perhaps that was why Lin Hu often spent twenty minutes washing his hair, afraid of leaving any oily scent.

When it comes to love making, the young Lin Hu is much more aggressive, the older Guo Li on the other hand is more experienced, skilled and gentle. They either stay off each other, or spend hours entwined in each other’s arms. On average it goes on for more than an hour. Even though the way they make love is anything but fancy, most of the time it is Guo Li taking the charge, while the muscular Lin Lu being the obedient one, letting Guo Li control the pace. Frankly, I would rather watch Miss. Chen making love; she does all kind of tricks.

 

Six tenants and five apartments, they could all be anyone’s neighbours, anyone could have walked past them on the streets.

Except Ying Ru.

I was not only surprised; I was afraid.

Very afraid.

 

 


[1] The electronic store has a name, but it is irrelevant to the story.

 

[2] The actual nickname is little sister Wang, which I thought was a bit lame when translated.

 

 

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