[Fiction] The stigma and allure of a building’s 13th floor:

“In the end, our building’s thirteenth floor went to an American company. The floor’s flats were turned into serviced apartments for Rafell Inc’s expat workforce. It was a direct deal with the builder. None of us earned any commission. In the vacant space where our kids once played carrom and table tennis, where our drivers and servants took afternoon naps and where our youngsters held Saturday night dance parties, now people with names like Brenda and Wesley slept, ate, and watched television. The watchmen claimed the Americans would be up all night sometimes. Maybe it was the differing time zones and residual jet lag that caused their insomnia. It was more likely, however, that the walls of their thirteenth floor flat had retained memories of our laughter, our screams, our amorous whispers and stifled sobs, making the air still crackle with the excitement and anticipation that we had come to associate with that derelict floor.

“In the end, when it was time to dismantle the table-tennis table and move out our discarded furniture to make way for the Americans, we realised we loved the thirteenth floor more than our own plush, over-furnished flats.”