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Apartments for Rent – Chapter 08 – Part I

Chapter 8 – Part I

Evolution of Civil Ethics


Let’s not talk about Ying Ru anymore, it makes my head hurt.

It is time for the other tenants.


Bo Yan paced aimlessly around the room after waking up from his drugged sleep for the second time.  I had heard that amnesia could be a potential side-effect of taking too many sleeping pills, but I'd never been able to confirm it. I could only guess based on Bo Yan’s soulless eyes and the random involuntary movements of his limbs.

Stark naked, he would sometimes sit down on the bed, and then immediately go to the bathroom…only to change his mind a moment later and return to his PC, contemplating. Sometimes he would even crawl back under the bed to the place where he woke up, trying to recollect the shattered pieces of lost memories.

His only clue was the message I left him last night on his open chat window:


“I’m going to disappear!”


Several days later, after Bo Yan had finished the left over orange juice from before he left the house, I went to his room and stripped him of his clothes as usual. Afterwards, I stuffed him inside the closet, leaving him there with the monitor and keyboard in his hands.

And another time, after he had drunk the left over bubble tea from the night before, I ripped off every poster hanging on his wall. I went on to spray my seed all over his CD cases and finished it off by carrying him to the rooftop and wrapping his naked body with a woollen blanket.

The most important part of all was turning on his PC and highlighting a horror novel in the middle of his screen.

The Fridge [1] was its name. It was the inspiration for my design for Bo Yan.

I believe that Bo Yan will slowly come to understand his true potential, and arrive at where he needs to be. Once the time is right, he will blossom like a beautiful flower.

If you don't think I make much sense right now… Well, I can’t really explain it.

Shall we call it a test?

You'd understand if you tried it out on someone. People believe just about anything, and sometimes, the more proof there is that shows otherwise, the more likely they are to be convinced by their own ridiculous ideas.


The gorgeous Miss Chen had an interesting method to handle her two boyfriends. After all this time, they had yet to discover the existence of the other.

The clothing of the other man would never appear in Miss. Chen’s closet. She had a perfect sense of recollection. She would always remember to take down the other man’s clothes and put up the ones belonging to the guest of the night.

Never once did she call out the wrong name during sex, either.

She even memorized the differences in their sensitive spots, the stances they preferred, the way they wanted her little mouth, and what colour lipstick they liked.

She would throw out the garbage every morning. Inside the plastic bag, the condoms and milky fluids were wrapped tightly with toilet paper.

She had thought of everything; it was perfect.


Except that I had the keys.

So did old man Zhang.


The days old man Zhang skipped work became more and more frequent, and the time he spent in Miss Chen’s room became longer and longer.

He no longer confined himself to only sticking his face against the toilet seat or daydreaming. He even snuck under her pink hallo kitty blanket and wiggled like a worm, not at all scared of leaving his scent behind on Miss. Chen’s bed.

His senses were slowly being devoured by his overwhelming lust.

The speed at which he crumbled was much faster than I had anticipated, but then again, humans are not to be underestimated. We are the most dominant species for a reason.


It was three days ago, which also happened to be the day after I carried Bo Yan to the rooftop and wrapped him in woollen blanket, that old man Zhang actually fell asleep on Miss Chen’s bed.

Watching the stupid old man Zhang lose control and fall asleep onscreen made my jaw drop. He even snored. While I was still considering whether I should wake him up or not and how, Miss. Chen suddenly returned to the house with a strange man in her arms. Seeing the images through the pinhole cameras installed on the hanging fan in the drawing room almost made my heart leap out of my chest.

My goodness, it was only six past four in the afternoon. Miss Chen had actually skipped work and come back with an older guy who wasn’t even one of her boyfriends!

Things were getting weirder by the second. I didn’t need to check my notebook to know that the day was Thursday, and Miss. Chen always spent the night alone on Thursdays. Could it be that from now on, every Thursday would be the day reserved for the third guy?

It didn’t matter; whatever happened, happened. In a flash, I picked up the phone and called Miss Chen’s room.


Ring ring ring…


Old man Zhang suddenly jumped up, eyes wide.

And I hung up the phone, staring nervously at the screen.


Meanwhile, Miss Chen smiled happily while leaning against the stranger’s shoulder. The newcomer’s hair was half-gray, half-black, and the brown age spots on his face were spread out evenly by his shy smile.

They walked slowly up the stairs.


Old man Zhang was in complete shock. Chucking the blanket aside, he stumbled roughly as he tried to get off the bed. By the time he got to the door…


Tak, tak, tak…

It was Miss Chen’s high heels accompanied by the stranger’s laughter, and the sound of my rapid heartbeat.


Old man Zhang instantly went for the closet, hiding himself inside.

I sought desperately for a way to rescue old man Zhang, but I saw the images of Miss Chen’s room onscreen, and the messy blanket left on the bed. She'd folded it nice and neatly before she left.

I could only pray fervently to the gods, hoping Miss Chen’s clever mind would be clouded by the rough and aggressive manner of the male.


The door opened.

The stranger didn’t even have the time to close the door before Miss. Chen expertly unbuckled the belt around his thick waist.

Bang! His back slammed against the door as she took his pants off.

Immediately she took it in her mouth.

The way the stranger over forty years old watched Miss Chen kneeling before him, it was as if he couldn’t believe what was happening to him. He slowly reached his hands forward, holding Miss Chen’s head in place. Miss Chen’s daring approach penetrated his defences almost immediately as his expressions rapidly faded from his face.

It didn’t matter who you were or how many times you had seen it before; anyone would have been aroused by the images shown on the screen. But at the time I could only think about the big closet next to her.

I could almost hear old man Zhang’s heart thundering in the dark, and see his pair of owlish eyes stare through the gaps of the closet.


Right! Tonight was the night!


I raced downstairs and went into old man Zhang’s room. After I had found the bottle of expired chocolate milk he was drinking at the time, I dumped a heavy dosage of aphrodisiac inside.

It was time.

Tonight would be the beginning, when each gear would become interlocked!


I rushed back to my screens; my breath was ragged and my hands were shaking. I prayed that old man Zhang, wouldn't be discovered and would find a way back to his room, where a high concentration of aphrodisiac was waiting for him. I also prayed for the old stranger, hoping he wouldn’t stay in Miss Chen’s room for too long; the faster he left the better.

If everything went as planned, then tonight I would be able to realize the dream of being the director and screenwriter at the same time. If not, then old man Zhang would probably end up in jail.

Meanwhile, the couple onscreen were getting hot and heavy. However, the older fellow seemed to be having trouble holding his ground against Miss Chen’s alluring and beguiling offensive. It didn’t take long before his face showed the first sign of defeat and the wooden door stopped shaking.

Miss Chen reached for a piece of tissue and carefully wiped her mouth as she slowly spit out the white liquid.

The older fellow tried to hide his weakened knees by caressing Miss Chen’s rosy cheeks, and Miss Chen pretended to be satisfied with her oral act as well, smiling happily.


Inside the closet, a pair of eyes was fixated on the two, and its gaze was crooked. I could feel it through the screen.


The older fellow nodded slightly.

He seemed to have grown dozens of years older in that short instant. An empty and hollowed layer of languish struggled to come out through the wrinkles on his face. And so, he was done staying here.

“So erm, see you tomorrow at the office.” The older guy sounded like a kind father.

“Let me walk you out, Chief.” Before Miss Chen got up, she attentively pulled his pants back up and buckled up his belt for him.

The door opened again.

Miss Chen took that older fellow whom she called "Chief" downstairs, waving goodbye before turning around.

Her face was filled with disgust.


But I wasn’t relieved; my eyes were even more fixated on the screen.

In fact, I almost face-planted against it, bewildered.

Had old man Zhang fallen asleep inside the closet?

Why wasn’t he coming out?!


I switched to all the angles, still speculating. Why wasn’t anything coming out of the closet?

“Are you crazy? You were married twice. Don’t you know a woman spends most of her time in front of her closet? Hurry!” I was honestly getting worried. I would have to rewrite the entire script if old man Zhang was out of the picture.


But the closet doors remained shut.



[1] “The Fridge” is a novel written by the author. It is the third book in the series of Urban Phobia. The only English translated book from that book series is the fifth book, called “Kung Fu”.



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