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Published at 14th of January 2016 12:27:02 PM


Chapter 15

Winter makes way for spring .  


 

The trees that lost their leaves over winter are starting to grow new leaves again .   These Ginkgo trees line either side of the road leading to the university dormitory block for the girls .   Underneath the trees, students are standing in groups, catching up with one another about what happened during the holidays .   There are also couples in the more secluded spots, cuddling and displaying their affection for each other . After, the romantic spring season has arrived .  

 

Jian Yao’s roommates have not returned to the campus, so she has the room all to herself .   She spends her day reading, surfing the net and recording the details of working with Bo Jinyan on a journal . It was a one in a lifetime experience .   She wants to keep a note of everything that has happened .

 

———

 

Jian Yao is lying in bed when Fu Ziyu calls .

“Your voice sounds funny .   Are you ok? Do you have a toothache?  Or is your face swollen because someone hit you?”  asks Fu Ziyu .  

 

Jian Yao tries not to laugh .   She has a whitening mask on her face . It’s hard to talk when you don’t want to open your mouth .

 

“Mask! What’s up?” She answers .

 

Fu Ziyu is amused .   He turns to Bo Jinyan and says: “Hey Bo Jinyan, she sounds like a sheep .   It’s kinda whiny but it’s cute . Do you want to listen to it?” 

 

Bo Jinyan answers :”Why would I want to hear her distorted voice?” 

 

By this time, Jian Yao has removed the thin piece of sheet from her face: “Hey, I didn’t answer the phone to get mocked . ” 

 

Fu Ziyu laughs and tells her the reason for the call:”Let’s have lunch together .   I’ve found a flat for you . ”

 

“I’ll treat you . Come over to the campus .   There’s a restaurant nearby that does a nice fish dish . ”

 

———

 

There’s a lot of small eateries around the campus .   Yao picked a restaurant that does a good lamb and fish casserole . It’s a popular choice amongst the students .  


 

- Does he own suits of any other colour?  Jian Yao wonders .   At least he looks good in a black suit . Hang on, why should she care what Bo Jinyan wears .   

 • 

 

They stand at the entrance, waiting for a waiter to show them to their table .   Bo Jinyan takes a look around .   The place is filled with the smell of chilli, fish and lamb .

 

“They source their fish from the fish market every morning .   It’s guaranteed fresh .   And the lamb is from Mongolia . ” Jian Yao looks at Bo Jinyan, “Have you tried this before?” 

 

Bo Jinyan take a glance at her .   He doesn’t answer her question .

 

Jian Yao passes the menu to Fu Ziyu: “Is there anything else you want to order?”

 

Fu Ziyu asks the waiter: “Can we order a steamed fish as well?”

 

“Sorry, we specialises in lamb and fish casserole .   The kitchen prepares the food in the morning . We don’t have any whole fish fillets left .   The portions are quite large, it should be more than enough for the three of you . ” 

 

It’s a pleasant meal . Jian Yao and Fu Ziyu did most of the talking .   Bo Jinyan will add a sentence or two occasionally, but it’s always in his arrogant and inconsiderate manner .   They are used to his style by now, so they just laugh it off .   When Bo Jinyan leaves the table to take a phone call outside, Fu Ziyu says jokingly to Jian Yao: “What’s wrong with us?  Why are we friends with Bo Jinyan? Do we like to bring torture upon ourselves?”

 

- A Friend?! Bo Jinyan?  Jian Yao thinks to herself .   They are friends now .  


——

 

Jian Yao notices that Bo Jinyan did not touch the fish and lamb casserole .   He didn’t eat from the beef dish either .  

 

Jian Yao: “Why…?” 

 

“He doesn’t eat red meat . ” Fu Ziyu knows what she is about to ask: “He was on a six months cannibal hunt in California a couple of years ago .   He stopped eating red meat after that case . ” 


 

Jian Yao“I’m sorry… . ” 

 

“Never mind .   He also likes vegetables .   See, he finished this whole plate by himself!”  smiles Fu Ziyu . “ In his line of work, he comes across a lot of very disturbing sights at the crime scenes, especially during the time when he assisted the FBI investigation .   He is used to them now, but it’s because of accumulated experience . The first time he was at a crime scene, he threw up too . ” 

 

—— 

 

After lunch, Fu Ziyu brings them to a beautiful apartment building on a quiet cul de sac .  

 

The three bedrooms apartment Fu Ziyu found for Bo Jinyan is on the first place . It has a very minimalist feel .   A palette of neutral and grey colours makes the place cold and uninviting .   There is a big 2metres x 2 metres bed in the master bedroom, covered in black bed linen .   Bo Jinyan takes a look around and nods: “Yes, I like this place .   Thank you . ” 

 

“We are going to your apartment next . ” says Fu Ziyu to Jian Yao .  

 

“Mine?  In the same building?” 

 

“Of course, then you can look out for one another . ” Fu Ziyu whispers in her eyes: “I think it’s safer for you to have a male friend living close by . ” 

 

Bo Jinyan overheads this statement .   He has a smile on his face .   Jian Yao is not sure what the significance of this smile .   Proud?  Pride? What is he proud of anyway? That he’s a man, and not a weak and vulnerable woman?   

 

——-

 

“This neighbourhood is probably outside my budget…”

 

“Take a look inside first before you decide . ” Fu Ziyu pushes her into a small studio apartment on the second floor .   It’s neatly furnished .   A little chandelier hanging from the ceiling adds a nice feminine touch .   There’s two small orange sofas in the middle of the room .   There’s a tatami bed next to the window .   In the other side of the room is a clawed foot bathtub, with soft pink drapes around it .   Jian Yao can already imagine how relaxing it will be soaking the tiredness away after a hard day’s work .   This  place is perfect for her .

 

“How much is this studio?”  She knows it’s not going to be cheap but it’s worth the extra rent .     Fu Ziyu tells her how much the rent is .   She makes a quick calculation in her head . “OK!  I’ll take it . ” 

 


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Bo Jinyan looks around her apartment . He takes a look at the views outside the window:  “Wow, you’ll never see a sunrise through these windows . ”  It looks into the wall of a tall neighbouring building .  

 

Come on, at the price she is paying, she can’t expect a sea view too!  

 

    He walks to the clawed foot bathtub .   He looks at it for ages, and then uses his fingers to examine the surface .   Jian Yao thinks it’s weird that a man would stare at her bathtub for such a long time .   She walks over and tries to draw him away: “There’s nothing special to see here . ”  

 

“Why are you blushing?” Asks Bo Jinyan .  

 

   It’s not something Jian Yao expects him to say .   She subconsciously touches her face .   It’s … a little hot .    

 

    “Don’t be shy . " His eyes flashes her a haughty glance: “Woman feels the need to be naked sometimes . To be freed from the restraints of clothing . You express that when you are alone .   It’s normal human behaviour . ” 

 

    Jian Yao face is bright red now .   But perhaps they have spent enough time together by now .   She comes back with her counterattack: “Is this what you read from your psychology books?  That’s just theories ‘on paper’,  you have no idea how woman actually thinks or behaves . ”  

 

    -

 

    Jian Yao spend the next few days decorating her apartment .   She looks forward to her first day of work .  

 

    Bo Jinyan has been busy too .   He bought a car - a Grand Cherokee .   They met each other at the lobby a few times .   Apparently, Bo Jinyan works mostly from home .   He does not need to go to the office every day .  

 

    -

 

    Jian Yao works for a company calls ClearWorld -  a well-known international trading company . It’s not easy to get an internship there, but her good grades helped her to secure the job .  

 

    On Monday morning, Jian Yao takes the subway to work .   The company is in a building located near the embassy district, next to all the high-end shopping malls, entertainment and bars .  

 

    It is a magnificent building .   Everyone is very well-dressed .   They all look like they are very busy .   The atmosphere here is quite intense . Jian Yao has heard rumours about an employee who died suddenly of fatigue due to over working .   There’s also a story that a girl committed suicide recently because she can’t take the pressure of working here anymore .   Jian Yao doesn’t know if they are true .   But everyone does look like they are in combat mode and ready to ‘fight’ .


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    Jian Yao reports to the sector that is responsible for  automotive parts . This is one of the smaller divisions within the sales department . To her relieve, her reporting manager is quite nice, and her colleagues are friendly and helpful . They are all around the same age as her, so it’s easy to get along with them .    

 

 

 

———

 

Weekend .

 

It’s been a week since Jian Yao started work .   It’s been a busy week .   She is happy to relax in her little apartment .  

 

There’s a knock on the door .   It’s a courier package for someone calls Simon .

 

The courier guy says to Jian Yao: “ I called Mr . Bo .   He is not home at the moment . He said to leave this package with you . ” 

 

- Simon?   She didn’t know he has an English name .   

 

- Simon . It’s a nice name . It suits him .  

 

 

Just before dinner time, there’s another knock on the door . It’s Bo Jinyan .

 

They just look at each other .   She passes him the parcel .   She expects him to leave straight away .   But instead, he walks in without an invitation .   He starts inspecting the house . Then he takes a seat on the sofa and opens the parcel .   It’s a document file .   He starts going through the file .  

 

 

Jian Yao leaves him to do his own thing .   She goes back to the kitchenette to prepare her dinner .  

 

 



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