I was sure it would be over, with the blinding light taking over my vision. What else could this be, but the end? But then the ice wall cracked, revealing the tall form of my wife standing behind it. She stepped through the frozen wall that had taken over my hallway, carrying an object that sent a dark wave of dread across my body.
“Honey! I bought a portable heater!” she said, the words making me shriek back with fear. I could see the extension cable dragging behind her as she approached, the warmth of the heater washing over me.
“Don’t you know how much those cost in electricity?” I said, mortified. “It would have been cheaper to get a central heating business close to Melbourne to install a permanent fixture, even after paying the landlord for any perceived wrongs.”
“You’re just being dramatic,” she said, putting the heater against my frozen leg, so that I could be freed. “Besides, we’ve saved so much money in the first half of winter by not using a heater that we can afford a more expensive one.”
“It’s not about being able to afford it.” I pushed myself up once the ice had melted. “It’s about the principle. There is far more value in central ducted heating. Melbourne houses use it for a reason!”
“Oh, please. I just saved your life. You could be a little more grateful! I’ll be in the very warm lounge room with our daughters if you need me.”
Grateful? She wanted me to be grateful for driving our electricity bill through the roof? I could never be grateful for that. Instead, I simply stood in the cold bedroom with my arms crossed. The lounge room did look awfully warm, though… The orange glow from the portable heater… It must have been burning my family with its heat. Ultimately, I decided to swallow my pride and go in there, just so that there would be another body to absorb some of the heat. Distribution of the warmth and all that. Yeah, I was just taking one for the team.
– From the diary of a finally warm tenant.