On the evening of April 21st, in a container house at a construction site.
After a day of hard work, the migrant workers came back one after another and waited for their meals to be delivered. Everyone smoked and chatted with each other, talking about how much they had earned that day, how much money they planned to send to their families, as well as about their wives and children.
It was already seven o'clock, and the boxed meals that have been ordered had still not been delivered. Some people got impatient and said, “Are they trying to starve us? Let’s look for the foreman and ask him!”
A group of people went to the foreman. The foreman said that he had called a few times, but the delivery person said that something unexpected had happened, and he feared that he wouldn’t be able to make it. After expressing their indignation and anger, the migrant workers planned to go to the nearby university town for dinner.
“Are you coming or not?!” A migrant worker urged Little Ke, who was on the bed.
Little Ke, who had just taken a nap, got up and asked, “Where to?”
“To the massage parlour. You coming?”
“We got paid?”
“Haha, you really believed that? The food delivery guy can't come today. Let's have dinner together and get bottles of beer on the way.”
“Okay, let’s go... Hey, where are my pants?!”
People outside were hurrying them. The friend threw his pants onto Little Ke's face and said, “I'll go first.”
“Hey! Fucking wait for me for a bit!”
“It’s not like you don’t know how to get there.”
“Help me order some sweet and sour battered pork.”
Little Ke got dressed and stretched. The nap made his stomach feel a little ill. He felt a little nauseous as his stomach bile surged upwards. He drank some water in his thermos cup but felt that it didn’t help with his bile problem.
He didn’t know who had left a bottle of carbonated drink on the table, but he took it, had a sip and he felt much better.
Little Ke suddenly noticed that there was a weird pattern in the bottle cap and stared at it for a long time. “What is this? Did I win a prize?”
However, there was no prize-winning activity printed on the drink. He took another sip, and threw the empty bottle into a plastic bag hanging by the wall.
At that moment, a person entered the room.He stood there like a ghost, standing with his back to the light coming from outside, and his face couldn’t be seen clearly.
“Little Lu? Old Zheng?”
The suspicious man walked in and suddenly a shiny dagger extended out from his sleeve. Little Ke shouted in shock, “Ah! Robbery! The money is with the foreman, you...”
Before he had finished speaking, a hard object penetrated his abdomen, and the blood flowed from his internal organs like a flood. Little Ke opened his mouth in vain, vomiting blood flavored by the carbonated drink he had just drank.
The man grabbed his shoulder with one hand and stabbed him repeatedly with the other, until Little Ke's consciousness gradually faded as he slowly fell to the ground.
Chen Shi returned home and heard Tao Yueyue talking to someone, “...After that, I have been very afraid of strangers...”
Chen Shi wondered who she was chatting with online. Although Tao Yueyue was stunted in her growth, she was at an age when she would probably start online dating.
However, there was another person's voice in the room. It was a woman, “What happened in the past formed our present personality. We can't change it, but we must learn to accept ourselves!”
Chen Shi opened the door and saw Tao Yueyue sitting with his neighbour, Gu You. Chen Shi said with a little surprise, “Miss Gu, why are you...”
“I'm here to deliver apples and then I came in to talk to Yueyue.” Gu You smiled and there was a plate of bright red apples on the table next to her.
“You're too kind.”
“We’re neighbors, so it’s nothing. I should head back.”
“I won’t see you off.”
After Gu You left, Chen Shi picked up an apple, and took a bite, saying, “Aren't you afraid of strangers?”
“When Elder Sister Lin first appeared in front of me, wasn't she also a stranger? I think this Elder Sister Gu is nice, and I'm willing to chat with her.”
“It's good to make friends.”
Not long after the three photos were sent here, Gu You suddenly moved in and even chatted with him. Chen Shi had suspected her for a while. He had used the computer from the bureau to check her out. Gu You was indeed a proper psychologist and had her own clinic. Her background was also very clean.
The apples that Gu You gave them were imported and would have cost dozens of yuan per pound. Chen Shi wanted to thank her with a return gift. There was an unopened bottle of Ballantine in the house. It was bought by Wang Daji last time. Chen Shi took it and was about to head out.
“Gifting wine?” Tao Yueyue said, “And it’s a pretty female neighbour. Uncle Chen, you don’t want to start a relationship with her, right?”
“Look at my serious face. Am I the kind of person that would do that?”
“Oh you want a beating, huh? I'll be back in a bit.”
Chen Shi knocked on Gu You's door. There was a scent of olive oil coming out from the room. She was cooking. Chen Shi said, “I know you like to drink, so this is for you.”
“Oh, Mr. Chen, you don't have to be so polite... Come in and have a seat!”
Gu You's home was neat,cleaned up and seemed to follow a minimalist style. There were no extraneous furnishings. All sundry items were stowed in the cabinets and drawers. Some flowers and plants were grown in the room, and going inside, one felt like one was in a therapy room.
“You live alone?”
“Yeah, I'm a egoistic person and I’ve parted ways with quite a few boyfriends.”
“I thought that a psychologist's personality would be more mellow?”
“Work is work. Do you want a drink?”
“No, no, I'll leave later. Miss Gu, I have something to ask you...” Chen Shi explained Peng Sijue's symptoms.
Gu You replied immediately, “They are precursors to depression.”
“Is my approach wrong? Taking him out for fun seems to be ineffective.”
“Depression is like a psychological cold. When people have a cold, they don’t have an appetite. When they are depressed, they also feel that things that are fun are boring. In fact, I suggest that your friend come to my clinic so that I can treat him systematically. You should convince him that having psychological problems doesn’t mean that there is a problem with his personality or character. Nor is it shameful, but it should really be given enough attention... The friend you’re talking about isn’t yourself, right?”
“No, no, it’s really a friend.”
“This is my business card.” Gu You passed it over to him with her slender fingers.
After Chen Shi and Tao Yueyue finished their meal, Lin Qiupu called and said, “A case happened at a construction site. It seems fishy. Come over for a while.”
Chen Shi hurried out and arrived at the construction site where the incident had occurred. Four or five police cars were on the scene and the container house was cordoned off. The forensic technicians took pictures and the police were questioning the victim’s colleagues.
“Have you eaten dinner, Captain Lin?” Chen Shi walked towards Lin Qiupu.
“No, I came here right after receiving the message. The deceased was a migrant worker. According to colleagues, the relationship between him and others is cordial. He only had a few fellow migrant worker friends and family far way in the countryside. He doesn't owe any debts and he hasn't offended anyone. The time of the crime was probably around seven o'clock. The construction management had originally ordered food, but the delivery staff said that when he had parked the motorcycle on the roadside to buy cigarettes, someone had driven the motorcycle away, resulting in his inability to deliver the food. So these workers went to a nearby university town to have dinner together, leaving the victim behind to get there by himself. He failed to answer phone calls later. When they got back, they found the victim lying in a pool of blood, with five or six knife wounds on his body. No property was missing at the scene.”
“It seems to be a difficult case.”
“I called you here just to hear this?” Lin Qiupu glared at him.
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