Deep breaths. You can do this. It’s time.
It was time to do it. Sign the papers. Pay the deposit. Walk away from the previous place. Walk away from what it meant. The happiness. The pain. All of it.
Bub went with me to sign the papers. My landlords are three sisters. Only one seems to be able to speak any English. It’s okay. My first landlord didn’t speak a word of English. I can do this.
We met the agent and the sisters and went to the flat. Bub was excited to see it all. He circled the flat multiple times. I looked around. The previous tenants had left their broken furniture. The walls were so dirty. The sink faucet was broken. The master bedroom air conditioning needed to be replaced.
So much. There was so much.
Bub would circle around and tell me something else that needs to be fixed. I was sat on the edge of couch as 4 voices spoke rapidly in Chinese. I waited for any indication I was needed. It felt like hours before I was beckoned to sign the papers. My hands shook as I took the pen. I signed. I did it. It was done.
More Chinese swirled around my head as I watched Bub flit from room to room. He declared one room his but was disappointed to learn he would have the other room.
It started to feel as though all of the oxygen was sucked from the room as I handed over the check for the deposit and first month’s rent. The agent asked again if the money was in the account. I nodded. Bub circled around again with another problem. I shook my head. Not right now, please.
They talked for a while longer before they turned the keys over to me. They showed me the other keys for the rooms. They asked if I had any other questions. I shook my head. I could feel the tears as Bub stood behind me, “Mom!” pointing out the same things.
At some point, they all left. They smiled kindly to me as they left. They seemed to like Bub. They seemed pleased with me as a tenant. As the door shut, I took a deep breath.
I found Bub sitting in one of the rooms. I sat with him, holding the keys in my hand. I could feel him watching me. All I could manage was, “this was the best I could do”. Tears started to run down my face. It was so small. B will tell you I am exaggerating. I’m not. It’s small. So small. It was so sad with the broken furniture. I cried. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I cried in front of my son.
I wish I could tell him why I was crying. I wish I could tell him why I was in so much pain. I wish I could tell him so many things. I can’t though. It’s grown up things he doesn’t need to worry about yet. So I just cried.
In two days time, we would move out of Oscar by the Sea and leave all of those memories behind.