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The Worst Moment of My life happened in a movie theatre. A bit odd, maybe. But why not a movie theatre, really? The worst moment doesn’t wait around for you to be safe, warm and alone, in the comfort of your own home, before it hits. It has no time to wait around, it hits on its own schedule.

That Moment in retrospect probably only qualifies as one of “top 5” Worst Moments of My Life. But at the time, it felt like the worst. So it can keep its title.

In the weeks leading up to The Moment, Hero and I had been on the hunt for an apartment to share. I had already been staying at his place, for a month. It’s quite common here to rent, rather than own. So did Hero and I, we had two separate apartments. We had put up an ad for both of our apartments, at a website where you can “trade” apartments, for example two small for a big one.

And we finally found the perfect apartment!

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About a month before, Hero had convinced me to come back, after I had left him in the summer of 2014. So, this was the fall of 2014. I had come back cause he had said we would move in together “for real”.

The apartment we’d suddenly found online was spacious, modern, with a view of a lake(!), affordable rent. We arranged for a mutual “viewing”, of their and our apartments. I said to Hero that we’d have to help each other clean both our apartments so they would look nice for the viewing. He agreed.

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Hero didn’t show up when it was time to clean. He made some excuse or other, about work, and then he was “busy” with something else he couldn’t quite specify.

For 3 days straight, morning to evening, I cleaned both of our apartments in a “professional” manner, sort of like when you’re moving out. They were so clean afterwards, that you could probably have performed a surgery in there. I on the other hand, wasn’t looking too pretty. Sweaty, red in the face, back felt like it was reshaped into a “U” after all the kneeling/bending/scrubbing/vacuuming. (How do cleaning staff clean at work, and then their own homes? It’s really hard work!) This was a bit before Christmas last year. So, as my finishing touch, I bought some new decorations to hang, for a welcoming feel!

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Ready to serve – trained, efficient workers–Household Service Demonstration Project, W.P.A. / Cleo.

When Hero showed up, my eyes shot daggers at him. I felt sad he hadn’t bothered to help at all, as he’d said he would. He shrugged. He defended himself saying he didn’t think it was necessary to clean that much. To him it was enough to just “do a sweep” during an hour or so before the viewing. I was speechless. He didn’t think it was necessary? What about me? What about the fact he’d promised to be there and help? What about the fact that this apartment we were gonna see, was the only good one we had found in the last month or so?

And we couldn’t afford to buy a place. So this would be our only real option in months. And I was staying at his place, which wasn’t very comfortable for me, since I didn’t have any space for my things. Judging from the photos of the other couple’s apartment, they seemed to really like cleanliness.  Of course it was important that we made an effort!

I wanted to shake him and yell at him, and show him my hands, so tired and worn, from three days of hard work that we were supposed to do together. But I held my tongue.

I swallowed my anger at his indifference and arrogant attitude. We were so close to the goal now. In the last three years, Hero had promised at least 10 times, that we would move in together. He had always backed out when real plans took form. But this time, he had sworn that nothing in the world could make him back out.

He’d also sworn to keep a positive attitude and go through with it this time. The reason I say he swore to stay positive, was that in the past, upon browsing hundreds of apartments online, he always oddly enough managed to find some fault with each one. Too small, too close to the road, too far from the subway (he drives a car), too expensive, too far out from the city. On and on it went. I had told him in those days, that he’d never get “the apartment of his dreams”. Cause those don’t exist. Not when you’re on a budget. So anyway, that’s why he had promised to be realistic, and simply accept any apartment that was inexpensive and looked ok.

The day after my swallowed anger, was the day of the viewing. Despite my red hot anger from the day before, I managed to get a little bit excited, even happy. Nothing could go wrong this time. He had sworn.

To be continued in Part 2