Ahhh, this is the life. After a long and stressful week of battling for my grades, and more importantly, with my unwanted roommate, I’m able to relax with a calming swim while hanging out with friends. Without a doubt, it was much needed to take my mind off the traumatic mental scars I think shall be engraved in my brain till the end of my days.
Let me give you some context. My roommate, although generally regarded as small, is like a giant to me. It is incorrigibly indestructible and, without any invitation at all, decided to move in. I hate it with a passion I could never muster up for my academics and have an unwavering belief that it has no right to exist. In fact, the only thing that exceeds my hate for it is my fear of it.
The first time I met my roommate, I had a rude awakening… literally.
It was in the dawning hours of a Saturday morning that I woke up to rustling under my double-decker bed. Thinking my dad was looking for something on my desk below, I yawned and greeted him good morning.
No response. Rustling continued.
No response, but the sound of movement persisted.
With the mental capacity of a person who didn’t clock in sufficient hours of sleep and was under extreme stress from the oncoming doom of exams, my fully functional brain (not) skipped through all the logical reasons for the sound and came to the conclusion that there was a thief in my room.
Scrambling upright, I stared blearily down at my desk.
Scanning my room, I caught the first glimpse of my new roommate. It lay on the couch as I stared at it and it at me, my brain not processing that what I saw before me was possible. I checked off a list: I didn’t eat in my room, all my snacks were kept in the kitchen, my room was… not that messy. Why on earth would it decide to move in?
Glaring at it, I spat out venomously, “You.”
Lazily, it looked at me, so chill you could almost hear it say, “‘Sup, brah?”
Feeling so disgusted by its presence on my couch, I vowed never to sit on the couch ever again until it was thoroughly disinfected. Simultaneously, the fear of my unwanted companion invading my room petrified me, so I didn’t dare go near to evict it.
I decided to stay up in my bed until it left… until it flew. Like a helicopter, it twirled and started pushing itself up and up, closer and closer to an elevation that was way too close for comfort. Terrified, I scrambled down the ladder and ran towards the nearest exit.
For the next day, I neither saw nor heard any signs on it. Feeling relieved and thinking it was a one-off event, I went about my day. Oh, how wrong I was. I guess that my lack of taking swift decisive action against it was enough of an invitation for it to remain in my room, because it was not gone. It had lurked in my room, sneakily waiting for me to let my guard down.
On Monday, after barely surviving a gruelling day of exams on top of Monday blues and preparing for the next day’s exams, I collapsed onto my bed, totally exhausted. As I stood on the border between the dream world and reality, I heard a sound.
It was a soft sound. Just a pattering. I didn’t think much of it at first; there were often cats walking on the roof. I allowed myself to relax and slowly took a step towards my dreams. Then came a fluttering of something plastic. Wrapping my blanket around me tighter, I uneasily told myself it was just the fan blowing one of the bags in my room. But then a scratching sound ensued. My eyes flashed open.
No way. That wasn’t nothing. Cautiously, I peered over the edge of the bed, hesitant to see what lurked in the dark. A smatter of black stood out in the grey light of my room, shapeless in my blurry world sans glasses. Heart pounding, I armed myself with my phone and turned on the flashlight. I stared into the distance, squinting to no avail, trying to make out the shape. I selected the camera app on my phone, turned on the flash, zoomed in as much as I could, and took a photo.
Cautiously clicking the image, I had to keep myself from screaming. There, taking up the whole screen in 4K, hung my roommate off the closet.
Internally screaming, I ran down my creaking ladder, fleeing for the safety of my sanity and shouting for someone to help rid of the beast who had violated the sanctity of my room. Like a drowning woman finding a sudden burst of strength to drag herself onto shore, I screamed for my father.
Running up the stairs – a feat not easily achieved by him – he held the slipper and gave my roommate a thrashing that it’ll never forget. It fell off the closet, and for a moment, I thought that that was it… until it got up and started crawling.
Looking up at me, it glared meanly, as if to say, “Seriously? That’s all you can do? I’ll remember this… just you wait.”
Dashing away, I positioned myself near the door for a speedy exit if it came any nearer me. It scowled, stalking towards me, until my father deal a swift and decisive blow with man’s most invaluable weapon; the dark underside of the slipper was the last thing it saw – permanently.
Maybe I should feel sorry for the loss of a life, or shocked at the brutality. But it was a cockroach. Somebody, for the life of me, please explain why cockroaches are even allowed to take up space on earth. It was a creature whom I believe was a mistake to be created. And tell me, which genius decided it was a good idea for it to have wings? Human nature was simply built in a way that wasn’t meant to coexist with nature’s lowest form of life.
The only reason I can possibly fathom for its existence is to terrorise people in their homes so that we know that we aren’t invincible, that there indeed exist threats we have no choice but to deal with. Either that, or, ironically, teach us to be invincible; unfortunately, I think cockroaches would be the only creatures that would survive a nuclear fallout and, heaven forbid, become the new Godzillas.
That said, it was over. Ever since then, I’d heard not a single peep from any other of nature’s terrorists. Now, I lay comfortably in the pool, my face basking in the warmth of the fading sun, my back chilling – literally – in the cool water, and my mind letting go of all my stress and traumas of the past week. The serenity of the moment captivated me like a magical dream and I closed my eyes, slowly drifting…
Pleurgh, cough cough! I surged up to a standing position and whipped around to get a 360° view of the pool to find whose feet water I just nearly drowned in.
“Oi! David!” I jokingly shouted at my friend who was swimming around. “Why you gotta kacau (disturb) my peaceful float?”
Grinning evilly, he said, “If peace is the only thing you’re searching for, I’ll give you the opposite of that.”
And that began a whole bout of revenge as I readied myself by putting on my armour of goggles and attacking him. Other friends joined in and that was how we whiled away until we started the games.
At the end of the session, feeling carefree and cheery, I went home. Wanting to drink some water, I walked to the kitchen, flipped on the lights, and jumped so high I think I could’ve qualified for the Olympics. Like a dog playing dead, there, flipped on its back, lay what could be a relative of my
dearly thankfully departed roommate.
With a pounding heart that raced faster than a couch potato like me could ever run, I dashed out of the kitchen as fast as I could, my water long forgotten.
Shoutout to the Sunway Swimming Club BoD for organising meets so we can all relax <3
Written by: Marinella Lotte