Part One - Some Peace and Quiet
"There isn't a roommate listed next to your name, Cam." said Aaron. "I guess that means you get the dorm all to yourself! Lucky you!"
"Heh. Yeah! All of that space. I guess I did luck out." Cam said, as they stood by the wall of 8.5"x11" sheets of white computer paper crudely taped along the hallway in Thomas Hall.
Cam and his friend Aaron were starting their Sophomore year at Virginia Tech. Cam was 21, 6'2" and 180 lbs, possessed the build of a seasoned swimmer. In fact, he was on the college's intramural swim team and practiced regularly. He was a clean-cut, blonde-haired, blue-eyed example of what every upper-middle class family would want in a son. He was studying Biomedical Engineering and was a member of Phi Alpha Sigma, one of the more "merit-focused" frats on campus. In practice, this meant that members followed all-night study binges with all-weekend drinking binges which oft resulted in a net-negative in terms of coursework comprehension.
Aaron was Cam's friend from way back; they had been schoolmates since the 3rd grade. Aaron was 22, 5'11" and 170 lbs, with a mess of black hair on his round head and brown eyes. He wore the geek label with pride, bringing his prized collection of over 60 SNES games with him and playing D&D regularly with a group of like-minded students at VT. He rarely studied, yet still pulled off a 3.4 GPA during his Freshman year, studying Mechanical Engineering.
"Who's your's Aaron?", Cam asked.
"Roger Childers. 'Art History'... Oh boy. Well... At least I probably won't be seeing much of him. Will probably be out partying and getting wasted every night.", Aaron said with a sneer of contempt.
Cam and Aaron were in the same dorm, but Cam was on the 4th Floor and Aaron was on the 2nd. After they had moved their things in, they went over to the cafeteria for an early dinner.
"I liked the south side cafeteria more... These chicken tenders are so dry, there isn't enough gravy in the world to make them edible." Cam said, taking a swig out of his Nalgene bottle which was filled with Pre-Workout.
"Yeah." Aaron said, "And their selection of breakfast cereals is meager at best." He prodded his bowl of Corn Pops with his spoon. He also had a small bowl of chocolate pudding, some macaroni and cheese, and a 24oz Pepsi.
"Is that your dinner? How old are you, 6?" Cam said jokingly. "Well, enjoy it now, before you hit 30 and your metabolism tanks."
After dinner, both Cam and Aaron stopped by Aaron's dorm room. "I wonder if this Roger guy has moved in yet." Aaron said.
Roger had moved in. His HP laptop was opened to a Windows 8 lock screen. His clothes were piled on his bed and a laundry basket full of bathroom supplies was stacked precariously on top of that. His XBOX One was plugged in to an overwhelming 65" LCD TV which was perched on his would-be nightstand, now shoved against the wall opposite his twin bed. Really, aside from the entertainment, Roger's part of the shared room was in disarray.
"I kinda like this guy's priorities" Aaron laughed. "But I know that after seeing this, you're glad you've got a room all to yourself, Cam."
"Yeah... It might get a bit lonely at times, but think of all the typical roommate BS I'll never have to bother with." Cam sighed. He thought of all of the possibilities having two sets of furniture to himself would give him. A 'guest area'? Shove the beds together and buy a King-sized mattress to put on top? He smiled.
"Aaron, don't we have a meeting with our RAs at 8:30?" Cam asked.
"Yeah." Replied Aaron, "Each floor has one. That's in about five minutes, we'd better get moving. I'll see ya tomorrow."
"See ya, Aaron." Cam waved as he left the room and headed for the stairwell.
Part Two - An Unwelcome Development
"Hey guys, I'm Eddie, the Thomas Hall 4th Floor Resident Advisor! I'm your point of contact for any resident concerns or issues here in Thomas Hall! I'm right down the hall in room 403 if you need me, and feel free to call as well! The number is on the door!"
Eddie sure was energetic, Cam thought, laughing to himself.
"Now, what I'm going to do now, just to make sure we've crossed all our 't's and dotted all of our 'i's, is read off a list of dorm mates. I'm happy to say that our automated roommate pairing system was a massive success this year! You can thank our good friends in the VT Computer Science department for that, they wrote all the pairing algorithms! Everyone has a roommate, yaaaaay!" Eddie crooned, furthering his caricature of himself.
A sudden uncomfortable feeling dropped Cam's stomach to his toes. "Everyone??" He thought. "But... what about me?!"
"Carly Baker and Sammy Jenkins. Rena Garza and Lacy Carlson. Ben Ernest and Jack Spears. Cam Williams and Alex Knight." Aaron spoke loudly above the din in the common room.
"Well..." Cam thought, resigned, "Maybe he won't be so bad." Cam looked around, trying to see if anyone else had reacted when both names were spoken, but nobody stood out from the crowd. Maybe this Alex guy isn't even here now.
"Guys, if you're still lost, I'm having Kayla print the updated list now and she'll have it posted on the wall in a sec."
Most of the room cleared out by the time Kayla, the assistant RA, had emerged from her dorm with the papers, and began tacking them up along the wall.
Cam thought to at least check to see what Alex's major was. He approached the paper and found his name and Alex's. Again, his stomach sank.
"Unavailable?!" this time Cam said it out loud, clearly getting a bit rattled. He quickly scanned the roster and saw no other "Unavailables" listed for any student.
"Hey, Eddie, what's this - my roommate's major says "Unavailable"... and I didn't even have a roommate on the list this morning!" Cam said with a tinge of exasperation.
"Umm... let's see... 416... 416... Oh yeah, you were the loner... party of uno. Yeah, we are required by the university to fill every dorm we have, so your roommate there, Alex, is actually a transfer student from Blue Ridge Community College. He actually hasn't declared a major yet, he's just taking some 'core classes' while he decides."
"But... a transfer student from a community college? I mean, really?" Cam was shocked and a bit angry. He was a bit prejudiced after all, and, realizing his attitude, backed off and nodded. "All right, it's fine. See ya, Eddie."
Cam retired to his dorm, which still only had his possessions in it. "So much for the King-sized bed and 12-foot long mega-desk!" He said, as he collapsed into bed and pulled the covers over him. He fell asleep to the rhythm of the air conditioning cycling on and off every few minutes and the thuds and muffled voices from the surrounding rooms and hall.
Two days passed and still no Alex. Until Sunday afternoon.
Cam had just finished up a mile swim at the school's indoor swimming pool. 33 laps, whew. He had really pushed himself to get a 22 minute time, and his tall, taut body felt like a wet noodle. With his duffel bag of workout gear slung over his shoulder, he unlocked and entered dorm 416.
Part Three - A Long Silence
There, standing just five feet away near the bathroom sink, was Alex. 5' 11" tall, looked a good 200 lbs of muscle with bright green eyes and spiky black hair. He wore a black wifebeater top, camo shorts and black lace-up army boots.
For a few seconds, Alex just looked at Cam and Cam stared back, mainly at his boots. "Weird..." he thought to himself.
"Alex." the new roommate finally grunted, extending his hand to Cam. He grasped Cam's hand firmly, which made a few pops as he shook it. The handshake lasted a few seconds longer than Cam felt comfortable with.
"Hey..." Cam said, a bit hesitant, "What's up? Just get in?"
"Yeah, I figured I didn't have much shit to bring up here so I'd just chill with my brother till today and move in what I've got."
Cam noticed a laundry hamper full of dirty clothes, another full of various kinds of shoes, and a stack of unmarked cardboard boxes set against the wall on the end of the room closer to the door. Cam had set up against the far wall, near the window, and he had already organized and stowed all of his belongings the day before.
"So, you're a transfer student? What are you studying?" Cam inquired.
"I dunno. Just taking the core curriculum now until I figure it out."
"Oh, that's cool. Well, I'm going to get a shower and get some sleep. Classes start tomorrow, after all." Cam said.
"Yeah..." Alex said, looking at Cam, almost like he was sizing him up. Cam felt a bit uneasy, catching a glimpse of Alex's stare in the bathroom mirror as he shut the door to the shower/toilet nook behind him. "What's up with this dude?" he thought "What's his deal? Gave me the weirdest look just then."
After a long shower, Cam emerged to find Alex at his desk with the overhead lights off, absorbed with whatever he was looking at on his laptop. Cam wasn't able to catch whatever webpage it was that Alex had quickly closed when he noticed Cam had finished up his bathroom business.
As strange as Alex was, at least he was quiet, thought Cam, as he changed into his nylon shorts and crawled into his uncomfortably-narrow twin-sized bed. "Maybe he will turn out to be normal. Maybe we'll get along fine." thought Cam, as he drifted to sleep.
He couldn't have been more wrong.
[TO BE CONTINUED]
Last edited by SparkTex
on Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.