In the quiet interrogation room, Gong Jianqin slowly said, "In the beginning, it was just a house in my eyes. Of course, I also liked it very much. Its layout is so perfect. The living room is always full of sunshine. I really wanted to live there. Occasionally, when I was mistreated by clients or managers and needed to vent, I’d run up alone and sit on the balcony to watch the clouds. This became my secret little house. I talked to myself about my troubles. It just listened. Gradually, if I didn’t go there every day, I would feel uncomfortable. If I didn’t see it, my inner anxiety was like that of a smoker without cigarettes or an alcoholic without alcohol. As soon as I walked into its clean living room, I would calm down soon after...”
"I spent more and more time there. I touched every wall and kissed every floor. I even made love with it. Of course, from your viewpoint, it’s just masturbation with toys stuck onto the wall, but that feeling was wonderful. I was in it, it was in me..." Gong Jianqin said this as if she was intoxicated, like a girl passionately in love. She said with red cheeks, "Even when I think about it now, I would suddenly get wet."
"Ahem, don't talk about your objectophilia in detail. It sounds disgusting to listen to!" Lin Qiupu interrupted.
"Don't use that word to address me!!!" Gong Jianqin's expression changed drastically, and she roared violently. She, who was slender and petite, shook the interrogation chair with her anger. "Never use that word to define me. You guys don't understand anything,don't understand anything!"
This was blatantly threatening the police. Lin Qiupu wanted to say something, but Chen Shi gestured to stop him.
Chen Shi said, "Do you know what I think about objectophilia?"
Gong Jianqin nodded calmly and listened. Lin Qiupu wondered why Chen Shi could talk about it but he couldn’t. What kind of differential treatment was this?
"I think that is love!" Chen Shi said, "What kind of thing is love? To make it clear, it may be just a cocktail of several chemicals in our brain. It’s a feeling. This feeling would appear when you meet the right person. If that person is of the same sex, an animal, something, or even themselves, is this feeling wrong? I don’t think anyone can call it wrong. Love is love, no matter who or what the love is directed towards." 
"Thank you for your understanding!" Gong Jianqin nodded, crying.
"Actually, I had thought of this possibility suddenly. I couldn't believe it, so I set up a scheme to infuriate you. It turned out that I was right."
"I love it more than anything else! Even if I read its name, 1818, my heart would tremble!" Gong Jianqin said, "So whenever I saw a customer coming in, leaving dirty footsteps on its floor, pointing here and there, saying how they would decorate it in the future, as if they were talking about an item, I would have anger well up in my heart! Thinking of what this place would be like in the future, having children dripping mucus crawling all over the floor, dirty and smelly cats and dogs peeing and pooping inside and smoke and oil blackening the walls. Thinking of the owner proudly showing the guests how big his house is and selling it to the next unknown person when the house’s price rises, I’d go crazy. I know this is wrong. I’m the one who was selling it but I fell in love with it. However, I can't control myself. Love is selfish. I don't want to share it with others. I want it and I can sacrifice everything for it!"
"Then why don't you buy it? Even if you are a sales staff, you can buy it yourself."
"I thought about it, but by then I’ve already killed two people. If I bought it at this juncture, the police would suspect me. So I changed my mind and let all this happen and end quietly. I’d find someone worthy of my trust and hand over 1818 to them. Ordinary people would also be disappointed in love as well. It’s just a failed love affair. I can bear it!"
"What does it mean to 'find someone worthy of trust'?"
"Killing continuously!" Gong Jianqin smiled sinisterly, "Until it meets a good person! Actually Mr. Chen, after you appeared, I had already planned to entrust it to you. If you hadn’t seen through me and if this case had ended just like that, you would be safe even if you bought it.”
"I'm really sorry. I have a cat."
"A cat... I can still accept that!"
Lin Qiupu gave Chen Shi a look to indicate that he was starting to talk nonsense again. Chen Shi said, "Let's continue to talk about the case!"
"Okay." Gong Jianqin's expression became much brighter after revealing the secret in her heart.
The interrogation lasted until 5:00 in the evening, and finally Gong Jianqin said, "I have a small request."
"To see it one last time?" Chen Shi asked.
Chen Shi turned his head and asked Lin Qiupu, "This doesn’t count as an excessive request, right?"
Lin Qiupu said, "I’ll think about it!"
This was really not an excessive request. Lin Qiupu had actually already agreed in his heart, but he didn't say it out loud. When the case was reenacted the next day, Lin Qiupu asked the team to make a detour to Tiancheng International Housing District. Gong Jianqin was in prisoner’s chains and stood at the doorway of 1818. She took off her shoes and walked in, wandering back and forth in every room.
In order to prevent her from committing suicide by jumping off the building, police guarded the balcony and windows, and she was not allowed to approach those areas.
Lin Dongxue and Chen Shi stood at the door, and Lin Dongxue said, "I’ve lived a long time. I’ve seen everything now. I heard that a foreign woman married the Eiffel Tower, broke up with the Tower and then fell in love with a construction crane. When I saw this news, I thought that it was just an act.”
"The biggest unsolved mystery in the world is the human heart. You never know what other people might be thinking. Objectophilia is just a sexual orientation. It has nothing to do with right or wrong. Sometimes, I'm glad that I was born in this day and age where homosexuality won’t cause you to be burned to death, and S&M activities won’t land you in jail."
"Are you an S or M?"
"Why are you asking this suddenly?"
"I heard that S&M is also a kind of orientation. As long as you’re a person, you’d be one, just like gender."
"If I have to say, I might be an S."
"Why do you look a bit regretful?" Chen Shi took her hand.
"Really planning to buy this place?"
"What a great house this is. Objectophilia aside, I’ve almost fallen in love with it."
"Then I suggest you don't buy it... Can we talk tonight?"
The root causes of the two people's quarrel hadn’t been resolved. Chen Shi's past and Chen Shi’s unwillingness to marry her. Chen Shi couldn’t provide answers for these two matters yet. He said, "We can talk, but we shouldn't fight."
"The quarrel started because of you, didn’t it?"
"Someone has a bad memory? You obviously got angry first."
"Okay, okay, I admit it!"
"In the evening, let's go and eat grilled fish. I heard that the restaurant offers a Thai-style tom yum grilled fish now."
"Okay, okay, I’m drooling just thinking about it. If I had objectophilia, I’d marry grilled fish."
"I heard that there was really a man abroad who married a pizza."
"Married to a pizza. Then how does he..." Lin Dongxue blushed suddenly.
"What are you thinking?! What are you thinking?! Little Comrade Lin, your current thoughts are very dirty!"
Gong Jianqin stayed there for half an hour. She kept stroking the walls, crying. After fulfilling her wish, she was escorted back to the police car. Before getting into the car, she said, "Mr. Chen, please buy it. Be kind to it, please! I beg you! This way, my heart will be at ease even while I serve my sentence!"
"Okay, I promise you."
As the police car drove away, Chen Shi breathed a sigh of relief. He had to pay within these two days. He had to sell his current house or get a loan. There were still many things to do!
After returning home in the evening, Chen Shi told Tao Yueyue to prepare for the move in the near future, but Tao Yueyue was unhappy. She said, "Do I have to move? I'm used to living here."
"Don't you like that house a lot too?"
"What do you want to say?"
"That house is really good, but I don’t want a big house or anything. I like living here. I don’t quite understand why adults care about houses so much. What is important are the people who live with you! I want to continue living here with you and Maoqiu... Uncle Chen, am I a bit too much? You’ve already signed the contract. You can buy it if you want. Don't worry about me."
Chen Shi gave a wry smile, squatted down and poked the bridge of her nose, "Really don't want to move?"
Tao Yueyue shook her head.
"This time you saved my life. You have the final say. If you don't want to move, then we won't move. The penalty of 10,000 yuan isn’t much. It would save a lot of trouble too."
"Great, no need to move!" Tao Yueyue happily lifted the cat up high in the air.
After thinking about it carefully, it seems that there was no reason to move in the beginning. It was purely because he saw that 1818 was too good and was tempted. This was the case in the commodity age. People are always stimulated by merchants to pursue things they don't need.
Wallets, clothes, pay-to-play games, limited edition items, luxury cars, designer watches. If you asked yourself honestly, are those things really indispensable?
A wrong decision made in a moment of weakness resulted in 1818 becoming a house without an owner again. When the market opens next time, who knows how many people would fight for it again? Houses, oh houses, how many people exchange their entire youth and lives for them, willing to be slaves?
1. A form of sexual or romantic attraction focused on particular inanimate objects. Individuals with this attraction may have strong feelings of love and commitment to certain items or structures of their fixation.
2. The author wrote “those three words” as objectophilia is written with three characters in Chinese.
3. I’m unsure if it’s actually classified as a threat under Chinese law.
4. Note: I don’t condone malicious, harmful or illegal activities in translating this. e.g. beastiality.
5. Can also be read as a pancake, but I’m pretty sure it’s pizza because there was quite a bit of news about the Russian man who married a pizza back in 2015.
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