Dawn breaks into daylight. The morning has begun. The start of another busy yet ordinary day for many people in B City.
Jian Yao is wearing her pyjamas. Her hair tied into a ponytail. She stands in front of her wardrobe.
- Mmm… what should I wear today?
She takes out a light blue shirt and a pair of beige Capri pants. That’s her usual attire since she started working. Clothes that are more suitable for the corporate environment.
Then she pauses. She looks at the dresses on the other end of the wardrobe. Those with more vibrant colours and designs.
She thinks for a while. Then she pulls out the prettiest dress that is in the wardrobe.
A sleeveless dress with a flared shirt and shoulder straps with buttons. It shows off her collarbone, nice arms and a little bit of her back. It’s a tight fitting dress so it accentuates her curves. But it’s not a low cut dress that would make her look too sexy. The pale yellow fabric is a perfect match to her beautiful skin complexion.
She looks at the mirror and is pleased with how she looks.
She takes a hair tie with a sparkly crystal design on it. She usually leaves her hair down but she wants to tie it up today. She puts on a little lip gloss, changes into a pair of heeded sandals and heads downstairs.
Bo Jinyan is reading the papers when she went into his apartment. Reading the newspaper in the morning is something he does every morning. An old fashioned habit of his.
He is so focused he didn’t even take a glance at her. Jian Yao is surprised to see that breakfast is already on the table. He went out earlier this morning to get it from their usual stall.
“You woke up early today.” She sits opposite him, and picks up a section of the paper that he is not reading. She pulls a bowl of congee to herself.
“Yeah…” Actually, he woke up early because he didn’t sleep well last night.
He thinks about his lack of sleep. He lifts his head to look at the culprit.
Jian Yao is reading the papers when she feels someone is starring at her.
It’s a familiar gaze. She can see from the corners of her eyes that Bo Jinyan is looking at her.
Today, she has tied her hair up, showing her shoulders. She can tell that Bo Jinyan are starring at her shoulders.
She pretends not to notice, and continues to eat her breakfast.
- He is still starring…
“Are you going for a beauty contest today?” He finally speaks.
Jian Yao blushes even more. She takes a look at him. He does not seem to be ‘attracted’ by the looks. He’s merely commenting on the fact that she looks different today.
“Well, you said we are going to meet someone from the Central Police Station today.” says Jian Yao, “I thought it would be nice to leave him a good first impression.”
Bo Jinyan thinks for a few seconds: “Then why didn’t you dress like this the first time we met? Is it not necessary to leave me a good first impression?”
Jian Yao laughs: “But you don’t care. In fact, you don’t know how to appreciate woman. Why should I care about what kind of first impressions I will leave you?”
Bo Jinyan doesn't look pleased.
As she stands up to wash her hands, she hears his voice from behind her: “I don’t know? 33C, 22, 34.”
Jian Yao is dumbfounded. Then she realised….. It’s her measurements!
She turns around to stare at him: “How… how did you know? You read my medical files?”
Bo Jinyan gives an impish smile: “Did you think that is necessary? I can tell just by looking.” As he speaks, he continues to ‘scan’ her.
Jian Yao: “Stop looking at me!”
Bo Jinyan needs to have an official title from the Police Department before he can take part in any investigations. Today they have come to the Central Station to finalise the details.
The Central Police station is a white building amongst the tall and mature trees in the city centre.
Jian Yao follows Bo Jinyan into the Chief Inspector’s office.
As previously agreed, Bo Jinyan will have his own research lab within the station. He is a university professor working with the Chinese Police.
His responsibilities include:
- Lead the investigation team when there are crimes in his area of expertise.
- As an independent consultant, give advice to officers investigating homicide cases.
The first responsibility is like what he used to do with the FBI in the US.
The second responsibility is a trial role. Criminal psychology is only an emerging field in China. While the Police Department is keen to train and upskill staff in the area, they do not have the necessary resources to set up a complete separate department for it yet.
With Bo Jinyan’s help, they can prove to the front line officers the benefits of criminal psychology and help raise awareness and interest for it.
So, when there’s a homicide case, Bo Jinyan will form a sub committee within the office. There will be another group of officers using the more traditional investigation methods. Bo Jinyan’s team will be responsible for profiling. The two teams will share information, resources and work together to solve the case.
After they have locked in the details, the Chief Inspector stands up and smiles: “Professor Bo, let me introduce you to the rest of the team.”
The secretary next to him says: “I’ll take Jian Yao with me to complete the paperwork for your role.”
After she completes her tasks, Jian Yao waits in the corridor. She sits in a chair to wait for Bo Jinyan.
Bo Jinyan is in a meeting with the Chief Inspector and several other senior officers.
A group of police officers are working in an office across the hallway from where Jian Yao is sitting. There are no urgent cases at the moment. They are all quite relaxed. Besides, it is close to their lunch break. One of them notices the pretty lady sitting in the corridor.
“Who is that?” Someone asks.
“Oh, I think she is the assistant of the new criminal psychologist, Professor Bo. She is probably a post-graduate student working with Professor Bo.”
“Ah…” Everyone turns to look at her.
Jian Yao is still sitting on the chair. She notices the attention. She spent a lot of time in the police station when she was young because of her father. Therefore, she feels quite at home with the officers. She walks over and shakes hand with them while introducing herself: “Hi. I am Jian Yao.”
When Bo Jinyan and the senior officers finished their meeting, they see a group of men crowding around Jian Yao. She looks lovely in her pale yellow dress, with a polite smile on her face. She is obviously the centre of attention at the moment.
Bo Jinyan frowns.
The Chief Inspector officially introduces Bo Jinyan and Jian Yao to the group. Jian Yao walks to stand beside Bo Jinyan. The Chief Inspector jokingly tells the group off: “I know it’s not often we get a pretty girl in the station. But enough chatting. Get back to work!”
One officer laughs: “But Chief Inspector, it’s lunchtime. We are just getting acquainted with our new workmate.” Everyone else laughs…. except Bo Jinyan. He does not find it funny at all. He stands expressionless besides Jian Yao.
Such an antisocial guy. But that’s Bo Jinyan!
One of the Senior officer suggests: “Should we have lunch together?”
A few others are about to nod their head in agreement when Bo Jinyan just says coldly: “Sorry, we are busy. Goodbye.” He turns to look at Jian Yao.
Everyone is quiet. Jian Yao senses the awkward atmosphere. She quickly adds: “Yes, we have to rush. We have an appointment with the Department of National Security. Next time, Professor Bo will be pleased to join you…”
Appointment with National Security is just an excuse Jian Yao made up. When they are in the car, she asks: “Why did you decline the invitation to dine with them?”
With his hands on the steering wheel, he answers slowly: “Not only are you not thanking me for rescuing you from that place which is overloaded with testosterones, you are interfering with my personal freedom?”
Jian Yao is amused by his answer: “What testosterones? They are a nice bunch of lads.” She knows he doesn’t like socialising, so she says gently: “Next time when you want to decline an invitation, leave it to me. It’s part of the assistant’s responsibility. And even if you have to go, you don’t need to speak to them, just treat them as if they are not there. Ok?”
Bo Jinyan seems happy with the suggestion. His silence means he agrees with what she says.
Jian Yao leans back onto the seat . She closes her eyes to rest. After a while, she opens them and says slowly: “When it comes to testosterones. You don’t seem to have any.”
Bo Jinyan frowns immediately. That’s an insult! He takes a look at her.
She has her eyes closed again. She looks lovely in the afternoon sun. Her delicate skin, beautiful features, sensual curves…
He turns away and concentrates on his driving.
“Testosterones? Of course I…” he responses haughtily: “I am just better at controlling my urges than those cowboys.”
Jian Yao gives her mom a call that night. Although her mom is concerned about her new job, she respects Jian Yao’s decision.
After a while, her mom asks:” How’s Fu Ziyu? Do you see each other often?”
Jian Yao knows where she is heading: “Mom, I am not interested in him.”
“Oh.” Another disappointment. But she understands that love cannot be forced. Jian Yao is also a little disappointed.
- Why didn’t you ask about Bo Jinyan?
After talking to her mom, she calls her sister.
Compared to mom, Jian Xuan is a lot more ‘switch on’. Once she hears Jian Yao is working for Bo Jinyan, she asks her sister: “You like him, don’t you?”
Jian Yao laughs. That’s equivalent to saying yes to Jian Xuan’s question.
Jian Xuan is very supportive. She gave Jian Yao lots of ideas and advice.
The last phone call is to Li. It’s been months since they have contacted one another. But they both lead a busy life, it’s normal for them not to have spoken to each other for months at a time. The friendship never tarnished because of the lack of contact.
It’s past 8:00pm. He is usually awake at this time of the day.
But no one answers the phone.