This morning, Ryan was only preparing to pack. Cardboard boxes everywhere. The movers were to come three days later. When I came back with Adrian in the evening, I was shocked to see his room completely emptied. Hardly any trace of him, as if he had never lived there.
It was a wish, not devoid of some apprehension. To have the flat all by myself. Ryan took a moment one morning to announce me his decision. He and Wasir were looking for a new flat. Ruru may join them, with her teenage son.
Ryan feared that I would react emotionally to the piece of news and was surprised when I welcomed it with perfect poise. Of course they had to move out. Wasir had been living with us for a year now. In the beginning, he was just someone that Ryan was dating and quite of the blue, though not unsurprisingly, he moved in. I was slightly put off by the fact that Ryan never really asked my opinion about it. For a full year, he and I would continue to share the rent when Wasir would not raise a finger to help in any way. A handsome and nice person, it took him a long time to get accustomed to me, perhaps because he knew about the nature of Ryan's feeling toward me before they met.
For many months, I didn't mingle much with the lovebirds. Young love needs to preserve itself. I didn't try to impose. I only made my disagreement clear to them when they started to hint that a dog may be a fourth tenant.
"I love dogs, but I also know that I will end up being the one to take care of it, since I work at home...
Quickly, a year passed. I felt Ryan was partly reluctant to leave.
"The new place we've found is good, but it's never going to be like here" he sighed. "The energy isn't the same. And it's not as beautiful". The subtext was slightly different, but I didn't comment on it.
"We'll meet again! We'll invite you to our new place!"
I simply nodded. I had not been taking part in any of their outings, so I doubted they would suddenly feel the impulse to have me join them.
It took them a couple of months to find the right flat. It was located nearby, closer to the MinQuan West Road MRT station. A two-storey flat. Enough room for everybody and the dog.
I had tried to initiate a conversation with Ryan about the necessity for him to honour his own wishes. Loving someone should not mean that we have to spend all our energy following the other's whim. He was aware of that.
"And be sure you and Wasir are willing to share the flat with Ruru, even if she is a very dear friend. Don't carry other people's life!"
Ryan retorted that he knew what he was doing and that he was pretty certain he was making the right decision. I had said what I had to say.
A couple of weeks before the big day, he was complaining about Ruru's shifting mood. "One day, she's one hundred per cents sure, the next day she is having second thought... That drives me mad!" he lamented.
Eventually they're all gone. I don't dare to touch the rooms. I just cleaned and mopped the floor, bought a pot of white paint to cover the stains on the wall. Now it's my turn to tame this room.