Edwin was hardly listening to the agent of the real estate company, Phoenix Builders, who was describing about his company and their new tampa apartments in Brandon. His parents’ apartment, in Tampa, FL, sits in a bleak unembellished building that neighbors other similarly depressing structures. He wanted to run away those depressing structures, he thought, and this three bedroom apartment on Park Street was the perfect place. Park Street in Brandon was known as the abode of many film stars and owning an apartment near it meant a step closer to his dream of entering Hollywood.
Ever since he got the job as a photographer, he wanted to own an apartment. Growing up in the two bedroom apartment with the meek salary of his parents and two brothers was not easy, as anyone would say. But, he remembered, every moment of his life was entwined with the building. The walls of his room have seen him cry like no one have. It was there where he took his first photo- of Brownie, his Labrador, yawning. His father has framed the picture and has hung it in the living room. It was there, he celebrated his 25 birthdays along with his family.
The building did not have a playground and it was in the Tampa apartments that he and his brothers played baseball. Oh! They used to make a real racket, especially during the holidays and every time their mother had to listen to the complaints of the neighbors. The game usually ends in fights and it was one such fight that gave him the scar on his forehead. He touched the scar on his forehead and smiled and that made him remember the promise he had given his nephew about the weekend baseball game.
The agent took him to the next room. The kitchen faced the lake and soft breezes were coming through the window. And along came the sweet smell of a cake being baked. His mother taught him to cook and he loved it, just like photography. His mother loved preparing new dishes and he was her main assistant. She was the one who was affected the most, when he told them about his plan to shift to a new apartment. The last time they talked on the subject he shouted at his father and shut the door of his room at his mother’s face. He wondered why they can’t understand that it is for his career that he is moving to the new place and new place means more money for him and to the family.
The wind brushed his hair and he was brought back to the present. The agent was still talking. The two, exchanged business cards and Edwin promised to call him in a week with an answer. Edwin took a taxi from the street. “Where do you want to go, sir?” asked the driver. Edwin looked at the brochure given by the agent and it read ‘Home is the nicest word there is’. “Tampa, FL”, he answered.