FICTION: The Roommate

We walked into the dorm which was half lit by candles. The dingy walls of the living area had somehow begun to enclose around us like a trap encloses around its prey. I gasped in astonishment and clenched Hilary’s ice cold hands as she scoured the room filled with the scent of damp clothes and ink. A trail of what seemed like a thick red substance lead us to the bathroom where we would discover the most horrifying scene of our lives.

The bath tube was half filled with blood which seemed to had ran down from the walls. This was adjacent to the mirror which was shattered. Hilary walked over to look at it but I wasn’t going near that. You know what they say about broken mirrors. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more dreadful, it appeared as though a hand was writing our death message on the broken glass which were laying on the floor.

“What in the blue hell?”, Hilary gasped.

The writing was beautifully calligraphed but had a certainly ugly meaning.

“Go into the kitchen,to die!”

By now Hilary had passed out on the floor but forget her. Our friendship could wait for now. I was leaving. I reached for the knob on the front door but it wouldn’t open. And suddenly, a raspy voice came from behind.

“Marie, where are you going?”

It sent chills down my spine and I turned in disbelief to see a dark shadow rising from behind the couch. I couldn’t make out the face but the voice was familiar. Was that? No, it couldn’t be. We had bullied her too much, I guess. She hovered over a ouija board with her bony legs crossed. In fact, it was her. Jane had come to haunt us.

The green smoke around her head had begun to clear and I could finally see her pale face. She looked nauseous from all that floating around. I remember the first day she moved into the dorm with us. Hilary and I knew she was an easy target to bully. We would take all her assignments for ourselves. We were serious about doing it most of the time but there was some type of comedy behind it. We would never invite her to our night outs and we would be noisy while she was studying. I don’t know what prompted us to victimize her. She was so innocent and friendly. Such a soul of peace and a symbol of livelihood who seemed unbothered by the troubles of life.

There was something rather obscure about her ,however. She was somewhat anti-social and didn’t care for relationships. I’ve never seen her boyfriend, rather, I’ve never seen her friends. Sometimes I pitied her and her loneliness but Hilary peer pressured me into being heartless.

In Jane, I saw potential. She was a lanky girl with natural kinky red hair and emerald green eyes. Her pale skin accentuated her other striking features. She seemed like the model type. Very timeless and sophisticated she was. Then it dawned on me why l had developed such animosity for her. My boyfriend had confessed to Hilary that he thought she was pretty. How could I forget? She was indeed beautiful and I was indeed jealous. It was a minor incident but I had taken it to heart.

But now she was floating in front of me. Floating! Where did the supernatural side of her come from?

“Are you scared of me now?”, she asked.

I was speechless when she said that because I clearly was. Then suddenly the green smoke engulfed and consumed her. I was still standing in shock and dismay.  I made my way to back to the bathroom to check on Hilary. When I reached to the bathroom it felt as though a hand had grabbed my throat.

Stifling the air from entering my lungs like the trap chokes the rat. I felt my breath leaving leaving me and my sight began to darken. The room grew smaller and smaller at each last breath. I had become very dizzy and slightly unconscious, oblivious to all that was happening around me. An image of what seemed to be Hilary waving at me hysterically flashed across my eyes. She pushed away the soft whips of my caramel colored hair and tried to jerk me upwards in a sitting position but her bony structure limited her. Then I was lying on the cold tile, with no life. I felt her hands grip my numb flesh, clenching the life back into my eyes. She was trying so hard that her perspiration began to trickle like beads down from her forehead and onto my chest. Suddenly, I felt a heavy pounding in my chest. I opened my eyes to see Hilary hanging over me with her hand in a ‘slapping’ position. I ducked before her hand could meet my cheek.

“We’re late for Chem 1083”, she shouted.

Then I looked across the room and saw Jane fixing her breakfast. I touched my red, hot face. It was all a dream.

As we walked to class that morning, an atmosphere of fear lingered over my head. A wisp of my golden blonde hair blew over my eyes and I pushed it away to see Jane’s bony feet trampling quickly in front of me. The events from last night were etched in my mind. Although, it wasn’t real, I felt tense and reluctant to even talk to her. She glanced back to see if we were still there or goofing around.

Her eyes were those of an angel sent down from God. How could we be so mean to her? I thought about telling Hilary the dream for a minute but then that faded into the back of my mind.

When we got to Chem 1083, we were late, obviously. Jane pulled a chair close to the exit and Hilary and I followed her. Amongst all the lecturer’s speech about atoms and the universe, I heard myself gasping for breath as I did in the dream. Maybe this was a sign. I leaned over, ignoring the panting and took some notes.

Later that day, I finally had the gut to tell Hilary about what happened. She started laughing to my surprise then she whispered.

“She’s a voodoo child”

I smirked at her but then wiped it off my face since this had become really serious to me. I had begun to make a mental note to not be a bully for the rest of my life. Although it was much fun, I didn’t like the thought of drowning in blood in my dorm or even the thought of Hillary dying. I made a decision to be nice. Hopefully, Hilary would follow suit. Life is short for the people who don’t enjoy the company of others. It’s shorter for those who don’t see the beauty in the things and people around them.

I made a sandwich for Hilary and I, and one for Jane too as a start to living a better life. I even invited her to our evening walks. Of course, both Jane and Hilary thought I was paranoid but I guess that’s the way things would be for a while. Most importantly, you should treat others the way you would like to be treated. Thank God I learned this through Jane and no one else. You get a sense of ease. You even look more beautiful! You become beautiful.


Author: Keia Smith


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