The Dorm Room

It was my college dorm room, and I was afraid to call it my own. Though I thought of it as my own, it wasn’t only mine.
It belonged to more.
I had no reason to lie to my roommate, but she didn’t believe me.
She never saw her. It was most certainly peculiar.
The sun went down and I went down to the dining hall to get my dinner.
I was going to bring it up but found the dining room empty–just how I liked it. The sweet desolate air.
And so I decided to sit down in a corner and began to nibble on my pepperoni pizza. Greasy cheese pressed on my fingers. That’s how I liked it.
A few moments passed. I still sat there hunched in the corner consuming the last bit of the vanilla gelato.
That was when I saw her.
And old woman smiling straight at me.
After holding too much eye contact, I struggled to find another viewpoint.
The last of the employees came out and yelled, “Sorry, ma’am. We close in 5.”
She nodded and all this time she had been ogling me.
Not once had she looked away.
A surge of discomfort swallowed me up.
But I thought she wanted something so I got up to approach her.
Though she had been long gone.
I caught her slowly treading up the stairs.
A right, a left and then another right.
How odd, I thought.
It was as if she knew exactly where I was going. Where my dorm room was.
Then the oddest of all happened.
She knocked on my dorm door and made her way casually in as it opened before her.
But I knew no one was home.
My roommate had late night band practice.
I scurried to my dorm room, my hands trembling, for the key was not working.
So I banged as loud as I could.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Another pound from my desperate fist.
And another one.
I called the landlord. He gave me a new key.
We both entered the dorm room.
I rummaged through everything. The old woman was gone.
She had disappeared into thin air; not a slight trace of her.
And both the landlord and my roommate thought I was crazy.
But the verdict of insanity placed upon me was removed when the next morning I found a gray hair on an old pillow–one I never used, let alone my roommate.

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