By Sigge S. Amdal © 2006
I wasn't moving very far, just three blocks up from where I used to live. They only took half the rent there, because it was quite a long time since anyone had done anything to keep the place acceptable.
I shared the kitchen and the bathroom with two girls and another boy. I also shared meeting them in the hall early in the morning, waiting in line for the WC, and I shared the soundscape with all three of them.
One of the girls and the boy were usually out of town, so I didn't see or hear much from them. The last girl, however, was a young student, and she spent most of her time at home.
Incidentally, her room was the one closest to mine, and the wall between was thin as paper. If it hadn't been for the traffic moving steadily outside, I bet I would even have heard her breathe.
She was my favourite roommate. She was young the way only an eighteen-year-old looking–fifteen-years-old can be. She had a beautiful smile, and she would laugh at my innocent jokes if we ever met.
Studying and working hard, and me working hard was not very often. But I could always hear her late at night, turning in bed or sleeping and sighing dreamfully, when I could not.
I just knew she was a virgin.
After a while we grew into quite an item. We were not going out or anything, she preferred watching television when she wasn't studying, which was fine with me. I grew deeper and deeper into the nagging passion of feeling her touch, and she would let me touch her without pulling away. But somewhere deep down I knew she didn't understand what I was brewing on. And I couldn't tell her, since, after all, I was going to have to live with it every day. The thought of facing past failure every day did its best to keep me off, and just be friends.
When I think of it now, I know I was never in love, but I would never deny that I wanted her. She appealed to me as a challenge, a conquest in wait. Because I never did anything, I would grow irritated and be rash with her, not accepting of her company.
So our so-called friendship fell apart, signaling my illusion that I was in love.
It was imaginary by definition. I wanted to possess her, to master her, to demand and loyally receive admiration, adoration and recognition. It is hard to see that, though, when you are sleep-walking bewildered in the middle of it.
One devastating night I woke up to the sound of her coming home from work. She worked late every other Friday. My body froze and every shred of focus was shifted to my ears; was she not alone? I was shocked speechless hearing a male voice talking softly, but reassuring to her in her room. I couldn't hear words although my mind was rushing to piece together what I could catch. She knew too about the thin walls, and I could hear the sshshhh, silencing what verbal tokens I should never hear.
I heard fabric slowly collapsing to a pile on the floor, and the sound came from where I knew her bed was standing. My eyes were not as open as my ears; I heard the kissing, the moans and the suppressed hushing. I heard her gasp when he entered her, taking what I had longed so for. The cockroaches kept quiet throughout the long, long night, and I couldn't let it go.
I could not close my ears for this.
Listening, but weeping inside, I mastered my tears and breath as dominantly I could, not to make a sound. Why had she not picked me? The voice should have been mine! I longed to be the one to comfort her, still her sorrows and fill her wounds with passion!
I wanted to rush up and call out my anguish, my desperation and my loss, but I did not dare to move. This was also my doing in abandoning her company, but loving her in the next room, and I could never let her know that I was listening.
Early the next morning I left before they, and she had gotten up. All I wanted was to leave. To never see anyone of them again. I wanted not to hear any more of it. No living person could sustain such torture willingly. I decided to move out right away.
I managed to cut my three months notice down to three days, since I found someone who would take my room immediately. I collected my furniture, books, and everything in a single day at an hour she was working. Then I left, and never saw her again.
It was about half a year after this, when I had forgotten all about it, that I learned how the mentally retarded janitor working there had surprised some girl in the entrance, drugged her with chloroform, locked himself into her room and raped her in her own bed.
Sigge S. Amadal is a word wanker from Oslo, Norway.