"This is my place," he told her. He proudly revealed it cost him $30,000hkd, a tenth of what a similar sized place would cost below, but with a much better view. She smiled nervously, confused. She really liked the boy, but this was the first time visiting his home, and now she saw why he waited so long. "But we're standing at the top of the stairs," she pointed out. Three children ran past them laughing and kicking a small football. "Isn't this a walkway?"
"When I'm not here it is," he explained. "But when I am here it is my home." He demonstrated by leaning a small board against the top of the stairs, unfolding a small table and two chairs and placing them in the middle of the walkway. "Here see now it is my living room. Sit please and I will make you some tea." As she slowly sat he stood up and slid open an accordian door, revealing a shallow cubby space in the wall opposite. Inside was a small table with fold-out shelves, a sink, stove, oven, microwave, rice cooker, blender, television, dvd player, radio, laptop, books, bedroll, wine rack, pantry, clothes and shoes, and a small assortment of spices. He busied himself with the tea, while she looked up and down the passageway, listening to his neighbors and their lives. The small football rolled near her feet, yet the children stayed at the end of the hall, stopped seemingly by an invisible wall.
She nodded to herself and stood, kicked the ball to the children, and began to help with the tea. She could not imagine what life would be like here above. But he was a very nice boy, and it really was a wonderful view.