Roommates

The constant clacking of keys on the computer keyboard finally stopped. I waited for a moment, staring at the screen of my own laptop, to be sure the sound wouldn’t resume again. When it didn’t, I looked up. “Hey.”

“Hey,” he returned, staring at me across the space between our desks. “We need to talk.”

“Yes.”

He didn’t say anything else then. My gaze was drawn back to the website I had been browsing for a moment before I forced it to snap back up to his face. “What’s this about?”

“Why have you been acting this way?” he asked before the words had even fully left my mouth.

I frowned. “I’m not acting like anything—”

“You come in late every night I know you’re trying to be quiet but it wakes me up anyway.” He expelled breath between his teeth. “And the smell. You think I don’t know what’s going on here?”

“Smell? I don’t know—”

“Let me finish,” he cut me off. “You knock my stuff down and don’t fix it and eat my food without asking and use my laundry detergent and my soap and . . . and . . . .”

I leaned back in my chair, folding my arms across my chest. “You finished?”

“No!” His balled fist slammed into the desktop. “Just listen to me—”

“No, no, I’ve had enough—”

“Enough of what, me?”

“—and I’m not going to tolerate anymore—”

You’re not going to tolerate this? Do you even realize . . .!”

“—of this. You accuse me of everything. I’m not the problem here . . . and what do you mean I smell when I come back?”

He stood and slammed the lid of his laptop closed. “I can’t live with you anymore,” he said, moving over to the shared closet and pulling out a winter jacket.

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me if your new roommate is as bad as you.” He shrugged into the jacket. “That’s karma.”

I slammed my own laptop closed and jumped to my feet. “You want to know what karma is, huh? Huh?”

He paused with his hand on the door. Thumb trembled. “I hope someone puts you through exactly what you just put me through.”


B. Valdez 3.21.14

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