This is the tale of my first and only roommates. A little background: my parents kicked me out at 16, and I had been living with my boyfriend (who was 18) for a year. We were trying to shape up our act, but still partying a little more than we probably should have. Our major wake-up call came when I was 17, right before I graduate high school. He got 2 DUIs and some drug charges, and the judge decided a 9 month prison sentence was in order. I was devastated, and we vowed to stop our lifestyles and start from square one when he got out. This didn’t change the fact that my part time after school job wouldn’t be able to support me enough to keep our apartment for the 9 months he would be away. So I made arrangements to move in with some guys I knew who went to a local college for the 9 months, and kissed my boyfriend goodbye for the better part of a year.
I had graduated already when he had to report for his sentencing, and had enrolled for the summer semester at the community college and taken on my part time job full time. I should have known the situation was trouble my first night with my roommates when they wanted to get me wasted drunk to “celebrate never having to see *that guy* again”. I explained I was not leaving him, nor did I want to get drunk and put myself at any risk of getting arrested. They seemed rather pissed. Between full time college and full time work, I had very little time at the house. When I was home, I usually filled my time with homework or studying. I would shut the door to my room and try to ignore them out in the living room being loud as they got progressively more drunk and coked out. They tried almost every night to get me to party with them, to which I replied “no” over and over.
About a month after I lived there, letters stopped coming from my boyfriend. I had been sending him letters daily as he had been me. One night I had gone down to the basement since a fuse had blown and I had no lights in my room, and found my letters in the “trash pile” they had down there. As I read them, it became clear to me, my boyfriend hadn’t gotten any of my letters in a week or so (they were taking them out of the mailbox). I got a P.O. Box, and told him to send letters there, and I started mailing my letters from the mailbox in the parking lot of my work. Problem solved, or so I thought.
My roommates, figuring since letters stopped coming, that we had broken things off, started trying to hook up with me, hook me up with their friends and just being general perverts.I told them to back off, and that My letters were coming somewhere else now. They got really pissed about that, and reacted by pouring alcohol into my bottle of OJ in the fridge (as if I wouldn’t notice). I got a mini fridge, and put a outside locking lock on my door, for which I had the only key. They reacted to that by offering me a sub from Subway, it seemed innocent enough, and I thought perhaps they felt bad I had been eating food from the dollar store. Wrong again! After I started feeling funny, they informed me they had put acid in the sub, because they felt they needed to “force me to have fun”. I immediately called a friend who I could trust who came, explained the horrific situation I was in and she came and picked me up. Apparently, when my friend went to the bathroom, I disappeared, and woke up in the middle of a field in the pouring rain covered in mud. At this point, I wanted to move out and call the cops. Not only was what they did highly illegal, but I could no longer trust these bastards. But seeing as I had nowhere else to go, I locked myself in my room at all times I was home, and tried to be away as much as possible.
It finally ended one night when I came home later than normal because I had been studying for a big exam with a classmate. This was 3 months after I moved in, I had done nothing wrong in those 3 months, paid all my rent and utilities, done nothing illegal (except when they drugged me, and that was certainly not willingly), and had been a good roommate. When I got home, all my stuff was outside, and they informed me their new friend had moved in, and there was no place for a girl who didn’t want to be “a member of their family”. I put what I could in the trunk of my car, and told them to kiss my a**. I lived in my car for the next 6 months, freezing my butt off at night because it was fall then winter. I had to buy a membership at the Y to take showers, I had no access to a phone, so I lost contact with all my friends (this was the days before cell phones) and I still maintained full time school and work. It was the most miserable time of my life.
But Karma has a funny way of getting people back. My boyfriend got out of prison, we lived briefly at his mom’s while we saved money, and got our own place again in the spring. We both graduated college, got married and he got a great job, despite his past. Fast forward 15 years since the whole roommate disaster happened: my husband is a successful businessman, we have the luxury of me being a stay at home mom with our 3 beautiful children, and while we’re not rich, through smart money management, we live very comfortably and are very happy. Last Christmas, we traveled home to see my in-laws, and on the 2 hour drive from the airport, the kids got hungry. We stopped at this little no name greasy spoon by the side of the freeway. Some overweight, unkempt 40-s something guy comes up to inform us he was our waiter. After he took our drink orders, he paused and said “aren’t you (Jane Doe)?”. Now I haven’t been called by my maiden name in so many years, I was somewhat taken back as to how this man knew me from my past. I cautiously said, “That used to be my name, who are you?”, and he gleefully replied, “I’m (Bob Smith), your old roommate! Remember me?”. I replied, “O ya, how could I ever forget, you stole my mail, tried to break me and my husband up, drugged me, and threw me out on the street”.
He no longer bore any resemblance to the young man I once had as a roommate. I guess years of hard partying takes it’s toll and lands you in a dead end career. After I said that, he moped about as he brought us our food and check. What him and his buddies did was unforgivable, and I guess the universe saw he got the punishment he deserved in the end. 1002-10