Weight of debt
Stuart started viewing flats in the same neighborhood he had lived in since university. He invited me to the second viewing once he narrowed it down to a few. The first couple of homes didn’t give me good impressions, perhaps because the current tenants didn’t do well with the places. One had a tiny kitchen separated by a thick wall, and the other had a bookcase blocking airways. I told Stuart that Qi wasn’t flowing smoothly, and he bought my quasi-Feng Shui observation. The third place was a small one-bedroom flat on the second floor. We immediately noticed the high ceiling that made the living room look spacious and less stuffy. The kitchen was separated by the counter, which I liked. Even when one person was cooking and the other was watching TV, we would still be in the same room. Aside from his full-time job as a realtor, the current tenant bought and reformed flats to sell higher prices. He had good taste and made an excellent presentation of the place. Both Stuart and I were sold. The timing was right for Stuart. The owner of the current flat he shared with his friend decided to sell the place. And his flatmate wanted to move in with his girlfriend. So he made an offer to the third flat.
He expressed his financial concern after he made the transaction. “I won’t be able to go on holidays,” he told me one day in my apartment. I was stunned. Why did he buy a home he could only afford by scraping a meager living? How could I consider our life together if he was so debt-ridden? I thought it at first, but the next thing I knew, I was saying it out loud. Stuart’s face was instantly clouded, struck by the confirmation of his anxiety. He then slowly lowered his forehead into his hands and started crying. “Fuck, what have I done!?” A shock turned into a sense of guilt in me. I rushed to his side and cradled his trembling shoulders and pink face. I said, “it’s ok, you needed a place to live in.” As he calmed and felt optimistic about his life again, the cloud of anxiety now hovered above me.
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