The Roommate

It was not my fault. It was not I who forced her to do such a ghastly thing to herself, and neither I who goaded her to do so. However, regardless of anything, Jane did it. Lying in front of my eyes, emaciated and lifeless, I couldn’t help but regret it. Her last wish was to stay with me before she succumbed to a coma, but I was cold-hearted and that’s why she was in that condition. I was trying to shift the mental burden and guilt. Is it only because of me?

Just last night I moved to this apartment in the suburbs. It was large enough for sleeping yet congested to live. The landlady told me that I had to share my room with another person. That was not a bad deal, as my bills were going to be split up. It was a girl, as I came to know.

One night, a bad smell like that of a rotten pig passed through my nostrils. I was so irritated and annoyed at the same time. Why doesn’t the landlady get that garbage bin out of the house? I went out to check it and knocked at the door of the apartment of that lady. To my surprise she was not able to smell the thing that was irritating me. After much arguing, I went to bed in a compromised mood. As I was about to turn the knob of my door to enter, I saw through a crack, a girl lying on another bed two feet next to mine. Her face was buried in the pillow, and her hair was like weeds. She was fragile like she had not eaten for years. I went in and assumed her to be my roommate. I tried to talk to her, but she didn’t say a word. Maybe she was exhausted, but also malodorous. Yes, it was she! I regretted this. Now I had to sleep aside the one who smelled like rotten pigs. I wonder why!

The next day I woke up. I had to go. I was in a hurry, and the girl was not there. Maybe she left early. Later that day when I came home, she was lying in the same position and smelling even worse. She didn’t say a word again. I was tired. I agreed that the rent was cheap, but that didn’t mean I was going to tolerate such a bag of carcass aside my bed. I immediately thought of calling the lady up and getting that sorted out once and for all. But before that, my phone rang, and I picked it up. I couldn’t stand that smell, so I walked out.

There was a call from the hospital informing me about the demise of Jane two days ago. I was infuriated. Why didn’t they tell me before on the reply of which I was told that it was Jane’s last wish, which she had written before suicide, to not tell me immediately of her death. The reason she wrote was vengeance. I was in grief. I threw my phone away, and it was lying there, shattered but still working, when it rang again. I consoled myself and picked it up. It was the voice of a girl on the phone. She told me that she would be late and would be there within a week, and if I had to go on a vacation or an outing, I better be handing over the keys of the room to the landlady, as she lost hers, and yes, that she got my number from the landlady.

Who are you? I asked

“I am your roommate,” she replied.



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