"Xiao Ran and I have close ties with each other. We aren’t relatives. Her father and my father are colleagues. But she’s from a divorced family. We went to the same elementary and junior high as well. We both envy each other. I envied the relaxed parenting she received and she envied my having a complete family..." Zhang Jinlei smiled bitterly. "Thinking carefully about it, we both came from unhappy families!"
Chen Shi had not expected him to have this kind of relationship with Xiao Ran. He continued to ask, "Yan Qilin's diary mentioned that both of them fell in love with you at the same time, but Xiao Ran backed out of her own volition. Was this the case?"
"Hmm!" Zhang Jinlei looked calm. "Actually, I’m very grateful to her. She helped me and Yan Qilin get together. Xiao Ran is a very good girl. She’s understanding and takes care of people, just like a big sister…"
Lin Dongxue interjected, "Listening to your tone, it seems that you kept in touch even after high school."
At that moment, someone opened the door with a key. A plainly-dressed woman with a full figure came in with a bag of food bought from the supermarket. When she saw that there were strangers in the house, she was a bit startled. Although the woman's appearance had changed, Lin Dongxue could still recognize her at a glance. Wasn't she Xiao Ran?
"Ranran, the two of them are police officers. They’re here to investigate the case." Zhang Jinlei introduced.
"Oh, hello... You guys aren’t the same officers from back then. Did they change the people in charge of the case again?"
"We’re criminal police officers from the city bureau. Your relationship with Zhang Jinlei is..."
"Boyfriend-girlfriend!", "Cohabitation." The two answered at the same time, then glanced at each other.
"When did you start dating?" Lin Dongxue asked.
"No, we aren’t dating. We met by chance a few years ago. She was renting a house at the time. I offered to rent a house with her, and then we began living together. I’m useless at looking after myself, so she’s been taking care of me."
Xiao Ran said, "We haven't established our relationship. It's more like being housemates. After I lost my job and couldn’t find another one, I have been doing the housework and taking care of Jinlei. I know that our relationship is strange, but Yan Qilin’s tragedy was a great blow to us and it’s another form of mutual support.”
"It’s our dereliction of duty for not being able to solve the case after so long. I'm sorry." Lin Dongxue said.
"It's okay. I know you’ve been investigating the whole time. Did you come and look for him today to understand the circumstances?" Xiao Ran said.
Chen Shi said, "The original plan was to visit the two of you. Since you two are here together, it’s more convenient. Miss Xiao, can we talk privately for a while elsewhere?"
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