“Finding an apartment, we like within our price range is going to be difficult. The guy on the radio said that Victoria has a 1% vacancy rate.” I say sipping tea.
“Don’t worry we’ll find something”, says Quinn as he leans back in his chair, and slurps his coffee.
We’d shared the apartments for rent section of the newspaper and only have two places circled. It doesn’t look good. The waiter stops at the table and slides the bill under Quinn’s saucer.
It’s Quinn’s dream to live in Victoria, and I want to make his dream come true. I don’t care where I live in the world as long as I’m with him. Victoria is a beautiful city, right on the ocean, with screeching seagulls, and whirring seaplanes. It’s exciting.
Quinn pulls the newspaper together and peers at both circled adverts. “Two potential places are better than nothing.” he says smiling. He wrestles his flip phone out of his front pocket and dials the first number. “Yes, we’ll meet you there in and hour”, he says. He then punches the next number into his phone “My wife and I will be there in two hours”. He flips the phone closed and slides it back into his pocket. “There you go, we’re all set.”
With a map of the city in my hand, Quinn and I stroll out of the hotel’s restaurant. Now I’m excited. This could be it. The first apartment is within walking distance of downtown, and the area has beautiful tree lined streets. The heat of the day hasn’t settled in yet, and I feel like I’m about to burst. Quinn holds my hand and we happily walk toward the first apartment building.
A man is waiting for us outside the front door as we approach. He smiles at Quinn and shakes his hand, but doesn’t look at me. We walk into the dimly lit entrance, and the stench of urine, and stale cigarettes almost knock me over. I try hard to contain myself as my insides lurch and tighten. How disgusting. The man merrily chatters to Quinn as we enter the apartment; it’s dark, reeks of cigarettes, and has mold growing in the corners of the living room ceiling.
“How many bedrooms, does the apartment have?” I ask.
The man ignores me. He pushes past, and opens the balcony door “Come look at the view.” he says to Quinn.
Quinn is polite and sticks his head out of the balcony. He knows this place is awful and tells the manager “We’ll think about it”.
Once we are outside the building, I could breath again, fresh, salty, Victoria air. “Did you see how he ignored me?” I fume, “Doesn’t he realize this is going to be my home too? This place is disgusting! I hope the next place is better than this.”
It’s a glorious day and the sun dissolves my outrage. Quinn grabs my hand, and we go looking for the next apartment building. It’s close to the first building, and looks smart; it has potential. We sit on the front steps and wait. We wait and wait. “He’s half an hour late already,” I say, “how much longer are we going to stay here?” With that, an Asian man pulls up in a blue Honda Civic. He smiles at Quinn and shakes his hand, I don’t get looked at again. The building manager tells Quinn about the parking, local schools, and parks which is all very interesting, but I’m not included in the conversation. The suite is small and dark. “Which direction does the apartment face?” I ask.
The man ignores my question. Quinn knows how important having a sunny home is to me and re-asks the question, “It’s important for us to know what direction the suite faces.”
“Oh. It’s a north facing apartment.” the man answers.
Outside the second building I look at Quinn and angrily say, “What’s wrong with the men in this city? Two different managers and neither of them acknowledged I was there. Just because I’m a woman they think my opinion doesn’t count. Do they not realize if the wife doesn’t like the apartment it’s not going to be rented?”
I feel despondent. Our only hope of finding a new home in beautiful Victoria has vanished. We slowly walk back to the Inner Harbour and both of us are deep in thought. We pass a building with a vacant sign and I ask, “What do you think? Shall we just drop in and see if we can look at the place. It looks really nice.”
“OK, at this point we don’t have anything to lose.” says Quinn.
I ring the buzzer, and a happy, spritely, old lady answers the door. She smiles at me and grabs my hand in both of hers. I like her already. Quinn makes the introductions and we are whisked up to the third floor. The apartment is beautiful, it faces east, and is within our price range. It’s perfect.
I can help make Quinn’s dream come true after all.