We pressed on his doorbell twice. There was no answer the first time round.
Perhaps he isn't at home?
Finally he answered the door.
"Oh hello," he greeted us. Surprised. We tried calling him earlier but there was no answer.
"Sorry I have turned off the aircon," he apologized sheepishly.
"I wasn't expecting company. Come on in."
"I didn't know you smoked?" said S.
"I only smoke when I get lonely."
That remarked he made, even though it was sponteneous and offhand, struck me like a knife on my chest.
I noticed he has been lying down on the couch in the living room. With a neat, white pillowcase, a laptop on the coffee table and a headphone. A yellow food container laid on the table, take away dinner perhaps.
I've been there, living on the sofa in my living room, at different times in my life. Once while at university when I was living alone. And once again while waiting to come here.
And so has S.
Just at that moment I felt so grateful, so thankful that I have S on my side.
Because that person living on the couch in front of the tv and the pc could just as easily be either one of us.
He left his beloved and his 2 children back home. Not everyone gets the luxury of coming here as a family. Many don't.
Perhaps I wished that we were elsewhere but for now I am grateful that we are together.