"I hate my house! I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!", she yelled.
It was strange to hear her go on like that because she used to love it. At least that is what she used to think, I think. When she was moving into the house, she had said that she picked this house because it had felt right. Of all the house places she had seen, this one was by far the most expensive one but it had felt right and she had stretched her purse strings to nearly snapping point. When the rent had increased, she had clung to it because she could not find a reason not to. Other than how expensive it was, it had just felt right. It was less than 5 minutes away from all 3 means of public transport - train, bus and ferry. She could walk to the city if she wanted to. The proximity to the river was one of the things that had attracted her most, when she was house-hunting and it continued to be a key factor. There were no major hassles with the house, the owners left her to her devices and the agent was not too interfering. In all, there did not seem to be one good reason to not like it. Yet, she had begun to feel a sense of incompleteness, off late.
Initially, she thought that she might be lonely. Maybe she needed a flatmate. Once she started considering this idea seriously, she realized that that might not be the case, after all. She was not too sure that the place was big enough to get a flatmate. It would cramp her space. Maybe not physical space, because there was still room for another person's furniture. The study was nearly empty, save for a briefcase and an air-mattress that was almost never used. Still, it was a small house. Anyway, deciding that she would go with logic rather than feeling, she convinced herself that the cut in rent and other costs plus the possibility of getting an internet connection, which she might be able to afford if she was splitting costs, were enough for her to start looking. When a mate of hers started looking at apartments and was struggling to find a suitable one, she thought it might be a sign. They were good friends, respected each others 'space' and might make good flatmates after all. The only problem was that neither she nor the mate were too keen on sharing a unit. Both of them loved living alone. So, she decided that they would leave the option open (Plan B, if you like) and get on with life. If this one did not work out, she was going to live by herself.
When her friend found a unit to move into, she almost breathed a sigh of relief! That was when she realized that loneliness and needing a flatmate was not the problem with the house. So then, what was it? She looked around the lounge she was standing in and found nothing wrong. During the day, it seemed like the perfect place. Lots of light streaming in, backyard, birds, plants that did not need maintenance, spacious, etc. At night, though, it did feel a little dark. Well, it is dark! She just could not put her finger on the problem. She knew something was missing. She did not know what. She decided that it was nothing and she was probably just reeling under the pressure of financial troubles. It was time to put that behind her and get on with things. She was going to stay here till the end of her lease, so it did not matter whether she found the source of her problem or not. She was not going to move out anyway. She was not going to get a flat-mate either. That was that.
One morning, she sat up in her bed and found herself thinking, "When I step out of this room and go into the living room, I want to be able to see people". It did not make sense, yet it did. It felt like it made perfect sense. Like that was the answer she was searching for. It took her a second to understand what it meant. Surely, she lived alone and would not want to find someone sitting in her living room when she stepped out of the room in her nightclothes, on waking up one morning? She knew it was not about a room-mate. What was it? She saw herself standing next to a window. That was it! That was exactly what was missing in this house! When she looked out the windows, she saw nothing but a few plants and the lower half of anyone at the entrance to the building. The balcony was behind the house, overlooking the backyard, and she could see nothing from there either. All she ever got was the sound of voices from neighbouring apartments on holidays and weekends (not even that, during Christmas and other long holidays). The only people she saw were a man or woman from the house behind her and from the distance, she could not even recognize their faces!
She wanted to be able to look out and see people or animals or even traffic. She lived in an underground apartment but she wanted to live on a higher level where she could see life. Then, she would be less lonely. There would be more light and more life. The nights would not seem so dark. She realized that the house seemed to close in on her on some nights. All because she lived under and she wanted above. That is why she had felt a sense of lightness when she had looked out from her mate's house one night. There was traffic to watch. She knew her answer to the agent's question that would come up in the next few months. Did she want to move out? Yes, she did! She loved the locality, the proximity to public transport, so she might look for something around there but she wanted something higher up, with a balcony and a view of life other than basic flora & fauna.
Once she found the answers, she never felt sad in the house again. She would enjoy it as much as she could, while she was here. Because once her time was up here, she was going to move up in life. Yay!