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Apartments for Rent – Chapter 09 – Part II

Chapter 09 Part II

One out of two chances

 

Looking at the two men on screen; a couple that used to love each other.

Reminded me of what happened back at high-school.

During the second year of high-school, there was a classmate and a good friend of mine, Ah Zhi.

One day, he borrowed my newly bought SYM Wolf to impress the girls, and on the same night, he called me outside with a sorry look on his face, telling me that he crashed my ride.

I was angry, enraged even, but other than wasting my energy staring at Ah Zhi, there was little else I could have done, even though that ride took me entire summer of hard work.

The second day, we saw each other at school and it was as if nothing had happened.

Because it was only a temporary emotional outburst.

 

But let me give you another example.

Back in College, the night I was expelled, my law teacher, who always hated me called me that night and humiliated me thoroughly.

“I told you that you wouldn’t last the semester. See? How more useless can you get, you good for nothing snob? Getting expelled is the best thing that has happened to you yet. You better find a place and start learning how to make noodles instead!”

 

I hanged up on him.

Even now, I still want to kill him.

Which is the reason I have been keeping a canister of gasoline under my bed.

The day I find my life empty and no longer longing, is the day I will pick up the gasoline and ride to the address I have memorized long ago.

 

That is the difference between humiliation and anger; it is like heaven and earth.

It is something a person could never forget, the moment their dignity was robbed away from them.

Some things, when taken away, can never be regained.

Perhaps, you often thought if you could just stomach the humiliation, everything would be better. But the shame would forever haunt you in your dreams, every time you breathe and every time you are the topic of the conversation. Like Han Xin[1], whenever his name was mentioned, we would always talk about the time he had to suffer the humiliation of crawling between the legs of couple thugs, and so in essence, that idiot was pretty much remembered for thousands of years for crawling between someone’s legs.

Again, just wait till you get the chance to take your dignity back, you would realize then, fuck, if you hadn’t lost all that back then, you wouldn’t have ended up this way. If Han Xin could speak to us now, he would tell you that he would rather never become a king, so he didn’t have to endure the thousand years of shame.

 

“Do you understand?! Some things once done cannot be undone!”

Ling Hu cried out.

 

……

Guo Li exhaled with a hint of contempt.

 

Ling Hu fell on the floor; his body trembled as he pulled himself together.

“Do you remember your promise, when we first met?” Ling Hu raised his head; he was devastated.

Guo Li jolted, but he quickly regained his metallic demeanor.

“Have you forgotten? You told me, if I feel I don’t have a reason to live anymore in this world, you would die with me, which is why you will give me all the happiness in the world, was it all a lie?”

Ling Hu’s voice pitched up and down like the broken plastic bag floating on the ocean.

Guo Li kept his eyes shut.

I knew for a fact, that the quiet Guo Li is much more dangerous right now than the more expressive Ling Hu.

 

“Will you die with me?” Ling Hu stood up and there was void in his eyes.

 

Ling Hu didn’t really need to die.

It is not like there is much difference between the way he is right now and a frozen corpse in the coffin anyway.

 

Slowly, Ling Hu opened the door and walked outside.

I watched through the pinhole cameras in the hallway as Ling Hu went down the stairs, one step at the time. Guo Li on the other hand, sat quietly, only his heart jumped.

Two minutes later, when Ling Hu came back through the doors, his hand was already holding the sharp sashimi knife he grabbed from the kitchen.

I saw everything as it unfolded; I couldn’t help but applaud for my excellent scriptwriting skills.

 

“I love you, Guo Li.”

Ling Hu went on his knees, holding the knife against his throat.

Ling Hu still loved Guo Li very much.

If Guo Li would just apologize, or perhaps encircle Ling Hu with his arms, the knife in Ling Hu’s hand would instantly fall on the floor.

Ling Hu could live without dignity.

As long as the void was filled with Guo Li’s love.

 

“Bitch.” Guo Li opened his eyes coldly.

 

Ling Hu cried, waving the blade hysterically.

 

I clenched my fists.

It was the moment of truth, between blood and love!

 

Guo Lo roared as he leaped off the chair.

The sharp edge of the blade instantly pierced into his shoulder, leaving a stream of red dripping down.

“Are you mad?!” Guo Li shouted as he swung his fist at Ling Hu, knocking him away.

“You told me you would never hit me!” Ling Hu wailed as he swung the blade in his hand once again aimlessly.

The blade lightly passed through the front of Guo Li’s nose, before I could even confirm Guo Li’s injuries, Ling Hu already lifted the sharp knife again; the knife sparkled in the air as drops of red separated from its blade. Ignoring his wounds, Guo Li pushed with both of his hands against the floor, trying to get up.

“Together!” Ling Hu cried out, clenching tightly with his fist.

“You stupid bitch!” Even though Guo Li was scared, the anger that had been brewing for so long finally reached its critical mass. Without hesitation, Guo Li leaped towards Ling Hu who still held a weapon in his hand.

 

Bang!

Two men rolled over each other on the floor; I couldn’t spot that stupid knife no matter how hard I tried.

 

“Tell me you still love me!” Screaming, Ling Hu tried to force Guo Li back with his knee while Guo Li held tightly onto Ling Hu's right arm holding the knife.

“You stupid, bitch!” Guo Li exploded with rage.

 

And then, all the noises stopped.

 

I opened the door and went outside. I walked by the fourth floor, Ying Ru was obviously still in her room, reading, while Bo Yan was still in the bathroom, cleaning his asshole with the toothbrush.

Then I walked by the third floor. I glanced at the door leading to Guo Li and Ling Hu’s room, and walked down to the second floor.

Miss. Chen and Mr. Wang were already in the hallway, gossiping about the event that just occurred with the different looks in their eyes.

“It is not often they have a fight, let’s not make a scene of it.” I sighed.

Miss. Chen nodded and gave a knowing smile. Mr. Wang raised his eyebrow but didn’t say much.

I raised my head and stared at the stairs leading to the third floor, recalling the images I saw.

 

Sharp blade penetrated Ling Hu’s chest, all the way to the hilt.

Guo Li sat against the bedside; he was empty from the inside.

 

One out of two chances, how lucky I am.

 

In that critical moment, the muscular Ling Hu shook his head and let Guo Li take the knife from his hand.

The moment the blade pierced his heart, it was as if Ling Hu was in pain, yet he was smiling.

The way his lips moved was as though he was saying: “…You promised.”

 

One out of two chances, how lucky I am.

 

Ling Hu let Guo Li take the knife away from him on purpose.

Guo Li who sat against the bedside seemed to be more confused than me, someone who wasn’t even involved.

His pair of eyes had completely lost its soul.

 

One out of two chances, how lucky I am.

 

“Let’s go back to our rooms and pretend nothing had happened. Let’s not embarrass them.” I sighed.

Miss. Chen and Mr. Wang obediently went back to their respective rooms.

I inhaled deeply.

If my observation of Guo Li proves to be accurate, tonight is merely the beginning.

 

Returning to my screens, Guo Li continued his disoriented mental state.

The cold and sharp knife still protruded from the now silent Ling Hu’s chest.

Blood soaked the floor.

 

“What are you waiting for?” I gasped.

…….

 

 

 


[1] Han Xin (died 196 BC) was a military general who served Liu Bang (Emperor Gaozu of Han) during the Chu–Han Contention and contributed greatly to the founding of the Han dynasty. Han Xin was named as one of the "Three Heroes of the early Han dynasty" (漢初三傑), along with Zhang Liang and Xiao He.

 

 

 

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