Right now, I’ve been living in this weird nomadic limbo. I was just recently kicked out of my room in Mellwitt Hall (more like Mellshit, am I right?) by my amazing roommates Lola and Queenie. It’s unfortunate that Lola shares the same nickname as me, and now, knowing how badly I dislike her, I wish my name resembled nothing of her character.
For my own sake, I’m going to refer to her by her full name, Flower Hussain, because, in my humble opinion, she doesn’t deserve to have anything in common with me, and calling her something as ridiculous as Flower Hussain sounds patronizingly satisfying.
I may be a tad bitter.
This is going to be a day-by-day reenactment of the past week of my life.
For context, each floor of Mellwitt is co-ed, and all rooms are triples, so Flower Hussain, Queenie, and I lived together on the 1st floor– room 120. The two girls always were closer to each other than they were to me, because they were in the “Rooftop Mell Gang” — an appropriately self-named friend group, because, besides my roommates, it consisted of all the girls who lived on the top floor of Mellwitt.
My friend group was called something so weird and stupid that I don’t care to think of a pseudonym for it right now– I wasn’t there for the naming of it; either way, my desire to be liked was so strong that I doubt Luna would have protested– and although the girls in our group were sprinkled all across campus, the boys were concentrated in Rooftop Mell as well. Our main hub was Ethan Tully’s room; it was two floors directly above me, in (coincidentally, but also appropriately named) room 420.
So there we have it, half of Mell’s fourth floor belonged to my roommates’ friend group, and half belonged to mine. Because of how physically close we were to each other, weekends were often shared, and we all spent it in the girls’ main hang-out space, room 410.
I always knew I didn’t fit in. Going to a snobby private school in Manhattan, I was used to people talking over me or dismissing me when I spoke. Back then, in my early high school years, I accepted it because I didn’t know better. I thought I wasn’t worth listening to. After transferring to a school where the average GPA was less than 0, I learned that that very much wasn’t true. I had a voice and it was valuable. So, when my 17-year-old self is in college with “friends” who brush me off like a speck of dust, it annoys the living hell out of me. It would have worked when I was 13, but I know I deserve better now.
I don’t know where they got the money to smoke each other up at least once a day, or how they managed to get away with missing weeks of class at a time, but they did it. I’ll probably describe my better moments with these people in a later post, but I’m going to try to limit my rambling to the topic at hand: my homelessness.
Because of how willing people were to ignore any and everything I said, I wasn’t surprised when I heard from an ex-member of their group that one of their favorite pastimes was making fun of me. Perhaps, calling it favorite would be a bit of an overstatement, but I do know they record me speaking to laugh about it later in 410.
My way of speaking is unique, to say the least. It’s a little foggy as to whether or not they actually have videos of me talking about it (the boy who told me is an international student with a thick Spanish accent), but they definitely talked, laughed, and bonded over things like my romantic affairs and friendships.
Not being in control of where my stories go is weird. It’s not that I feel as though I have anything to hide, because I’m pretty– very– open about my life, but when I tell my stories, I’m at least in control of how it’s told. Flower Hussain has a bad habit of spilling what goes on in my life to everyone she knows, and I’ve heard her twisted mis-tellings of my stories. It’s like a bad game of telephone.
Nonetheless, I tend to exaggerate when I speak. I do it for the shock value. Summarizing things I do into five-word clickbait titles was something I did back home with my friends in New York, and when I changed schools, people liked my bluntness. For example, instead of saying “I change the way I act depending on who I’m talking to” (something everyone does), I might say “I love emotionally manipulating people.” I’m riding on the fact that it would be absolutely ridiculous for a 17-year-old kid to be throwing around emotional manipulation so casually so often, therefore how could anyone believe it?
Either way, some Rooftop Mell Gang Member (I love how I call them gang members) recorded it, and it got around fast. I still haven’t listened to it, so god knows what I said or how sincere I sounded. All I know is I mention my love for emotionally manipulating my roommates.
This was such an eye-roll to hear, and a tad insulting. If I’m going to actually emotionally manipulate someone, it’s going to be someone with money and power. What do I gain from manipulating Flower Hussain? What would I even manipulate her and Queenie to do? Their laundry? Lord above, this was all blown way out of proportion.
But I threw you in about 4 days into the timeline. We’re going to start with clueless Luna on Monday. I was called into a meeting with the head of Mellwitt hall: Vicky. I was expecting to be reprimanded over an incident that had happened a few weeks before over fall break, but instead I was hit with a truckload of complaints. As I entered her office, the beginning of the conversation went something like this:
“Eloise– you go by ‘Luna’, right? Come on in!”
“Yeah! Sorry for not replying to your emails until now, they blended in with the club meeting emails that I don’t read…”
“Luna, you don’t have to lie. Your roommates told me you were ignoring my emails.”
At this point I’m annoyed at Queenie and Flower Hussain for ratting me out. Mainly because it was only half true. I went on to explain that I hadn’t actually seen her emails until her second to last warning that read something on the lines of If you don’t respond you will get in trouble. At that point, responding would have looked bad on me, since it would almost imply that I had been ignoring everything until the threat of disciplinary action. Logically, I’d have to wait until a final warning to pace it out perfectly. As I was explaining, I had regretted confiding in my roommates. I was prepared to confront them about it later. At least I had been until Vicky had started out the conversation with:
“Have you been having any problems with your roommates?”
That was when I knew the conversation wasn’t going to be about fall break.
No. The answer was I hadn’t. There were certain things Flower Hussain and Queenie did that I wasn’t a big fan of, like rat my secrets and wake me up every nap by bringing in a bunch of friends, respectively, but they had never done anything talk-to-the-head-of-the-building bad. Up until then, I had considered them my close friends. So, when Vicky whipped out what felt like an endless list of complaints, I was hurt.
My alarm going off without me waking up.
My being loud and making it impossible to study.
My talking to my roommates about my problems.
That last one hurt the most. I had confided in them because I had been under the impression they cared. I hadn’t realized how much of a burden I was to everyone. Especially considering how badly my freshman year had already been going, and how alone I’d already been feeling, hearing that crushed me.
The other complaints I could easily fix or dismiss (Flower Hussain‘s alarm goes off constantly, too, and none of us were in the room enough to study), and some I already had– for example, somehow Vicky had complaints from Ethan and my ex-boyfriend Nicholas’ rooms about me walking in there without knocking, but those were dated and had been quickly dissolved because I, out of embarrassment, never walked in those rooms again after they talked to me.
Ultimately, I left embarrassed. I wanted to make my roommates aware of how immaturely they handled things with me, but I also felt too cowardly to approach them. Not once did it occur to them to talk to me first to fix these easily resolvable problems. I texted Queenie, the nicer of the two and the one I trusted and confided in the most, a paragraph apologizing for my behavior. Though I tried to keep in genuine sounding, I was mad. If she talked to Vicky before me, who else must have known? There was no way she would have kept it from the entire rooftop, as well.
Queenie replied, and we had a polite conversation that essentially asked me to reach out to Flower Hussain who, turns out, most of the complaints were coming from. Reluctantly, I did just that. I was annoyed that I was responsible for reaching out to her over a problem I, until literally 10 minutes earlier, didn’t even know existed. Nonetheless, I texted her a long paragraph with my apology that she never replied to.
At this point I’m too uncomfortable to sleep in my own room, out of fear my alarm will go off and I’ll be reported, or that they will find other small things to complain about, so I pack a backpack with a change of clothing and a blanket, and go to sleep on the armchair of the first floor lounge.
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty average days. There was other intense boy drama I was dealing with that I’ll get into later, but it was pretty tame in regards to the roommate situation. Tuesday, I went to restock my supplies in my backpack; I grabbed a toothbrush, deodorant, and my work clothes, and headed back to my couch. Flower Hussain was in the room when I grabbed my things. We didn’t say a word to each other, and I did not intend on initiating. It was partially because the ball was in her court, and I had already initiated with no reply, but it was also partially because I was terrified. I was scared that I’d just burst into tears.
Wednesday was the day my thick accented hallmate told me about the girls talking behind my back. Upset and yet oddly inspired, I ran down to the computer lab to work on my philosophy paper. I got back from the computer lab to my room– I broke my laptop so I have no choice to work on homework on school computers– at about 3AM, and the door was locked. They never lock the door. They know I lose my key frequently, so they always just leave it open. If they’d locked it before they went to sleep, it was like a fat middle finger to me. That day, I had no choice but to sleep on the armchair.
Thursday, in order to avoid Mellwitt as much as I could, I spent the whole day in the library. I slept on a bean bag to catch up on some Zs, and when I woke up, I got a heartbreaking email from Vicky:
After further conversations surrounding your continued inappropriate behavior in the hall, the residential life office has decided to have you move out of your current room.
WHAT?! I bursted into tears. Don’t you have to be in your room to continue inappropriate behavior? I emailed her back two medium sized emails detailing the initiative I’d shown with my roommates, attaching screenshots of texts, and simply asking her: why?
She responded by saying, “Luna, we’re continuing with the move. I’d focus on that because you have only until Monday.”
Not even a reason.
I wrote her back one more time with a short message that explained how knowing what I did wrong would help me not repeat my same mistakes blah blah, and in response, she asked to meet with me the next day.
I returned to Mellwitt at about midnight, ordered some pizza, ate it in the lounge that was empty except for two unfamiliar faces (residents I hadn’t officially met yet), and bumped into Ethan. Ethan is a sweetheart. He asked me how I was, and I briefly explained a condensed version of my roommate situation. Considering he lives on the rooftop, I was sure he had already known, so I chose my words carefully in order to not sound too preachy. He was the one who told me about the video.
Remember how I mentioned that video about emotional manipulation that got around? Well, that was the evening I had found out about it. Ethan seemed to be very empathetic about it, though. He seemed to still trust that I was a good person. So, he invited me to 420 to play some Call of Duty on his PS4. I was beyond grateful at his kindness.
“Why are you still patient with me?”
“What do you mean?”
“Everyone seems really quick to hate me, and you don’t yet… why?”
“Because nobody’s perfect.”
“You don’t need to thank me.”
“But I hate being people’s charity case–”
“You’re not. I don’t want you thinking you are. I enjoy hanging out with you.”
That made me smile. For the first time that week, I went to sleep on my lounge armchair genuinely happy.
It was short lived, though, because that brings us to Friday. I came into Vicky’s Mellwitt office fully prepared to plead my case. I was planning on getting emotionally vulnerable, sobbing to her that I hated this college, and explaining how I feel so alone and ostracized. Mediation was her job, after all. But as I sat down on her couch, and saw that her demeanor had changed to a rather cold one, I decided against it. As she explained the video situation to me, I knew there was no point in pleading my case to someone who already has their mind made up about me. She thought I was a bad person.
When I asked about the video, she refused to show me, and then said how we weren’t meeting to talk about the video. That confused the living hell out of me, because that’s literally what I thought I was there to do. She explained how it was my responsibility to find a roommate through the list of rooms that she emailed me. I’m being kicked out, and yet it’s my job to find someone new to room with.
There were only eight rooms on the list, six of them were in Mellwitt, and two of them were in Rooftop Mell specifically.
Vicky couldn’t just leave me with that information. Before I left, she also added how she had received complaints of me roaming the halls the night before making people uncomfortable. If she were to get any more complaints about me, she threatened to call public safety. What were they going to say? That I can’t walk around in my own hall?
Terrified to be seen in Mellwitt, I occupied myself in a private bathroom until my shift at work started. Afterwards, I explained my situation to a few of my coworkers, and one of the girls, Sylvie, offered me her carpet on the third floor of Mellwitt to sleep on. I graciously accept.
That night was my first night sleeping on a pillow.
When I woke up the next morning on Saturday, I was disgusting. I hadn’t been able to shower, I was recycling the same clothing, and I had no idea where I was going to stay. Fortunately, my closest friend Toph let me revisit old times when I’d spend nights in his room sleeping with his roommate Ruaidhri, so he let me borrow his shower stuff. When I got out of my nice, long shower, I bumped into Valeria, a Costa Rican international student whom I’d been acquainted with. She asked if I had spent the night at Toph’s, and I explained my roommate situation.
Considering how absolutely ridiculous it was, she urged me to stay in her room for the night. I thanked her, and she gave me a change of clothing. For the first time that week, I’d actually felt clean. Her friend from across the hall, and former Mellwitt resident, Grace, heard what had happened to me, and demanded that we went straight to Mellwitt to gather my things.
Grace was of a very mature disposition. She seemed direct– as in she knew what she wanted, when she wanted it, and how to get it. It was intimidating. Nonetheless, I trusted her, and we went back to 120 to pack up my belongings into 3 suitcases. We left the big things in the room, and promised Queenie and Flower Hussain we’d be back the next day to get it.
When we had gotten back, I’d found out that Valeria’s roommate was friends with Queenie, and Valeria showed me a series of texts from her roommate about me.
Something on the lines of:
“I heard from Queenie that Luna is unstable. They lock the door because they don’t trust her in the room alone for long periods of time, and she takes their things. I don’t feel comfortable with her in our room.”
Once again, and to no ones surprise, I was hurt. Upon more reflection, I think I know what they meant by me taking things. Their things never left the room without my asking them first, but once I borrowed Flower Hussain’s phone charger without asking, and fell asleep before I was able to put it back. I woke up to her pulling it out of the outlet saying, “Don’t take my fucking things.”
She didn’t mean for that to be heard, because I sprung up apologizing, explaining how I couldn’t find mine, and that I was planning on putting it back after an hour, but I had just fallen asleep. Her face was red.
Either way, that night I stayed in Grace’s room instead. Sunday I did the same, and stored the rest of my belongings in Toph’s car.
Monday, once I left their room, I got a text from Grace that essentially said that she felt as though I had taken advantage of her kindness, and that she doesn’t feel comfortable with me staying there. That made my stomach drop. She thought I wasn’t putting in any effort to find a new roommate, and that wasn’t the case at all. I explained to her that I was just put in a weird place in which I had to do a lot of waiting. I was required to be out of Mellwitt by 8:30AM that morning, so I assumed that, if I hadn’t found a roommate by then, they’d just place me in a room.
Nope. It was still up to me to find somewhere to stay. I started writing this at about 10PM Monday evening, having nowhere to sleep, so my dad got me a hotel for the night about a few miles away from campus. It was lovely. I had my own bed, and I had my own bathroom, and for once in my two months here, I felt like I could finally breathe.
Today I’m supposed to stay in a guest room that the school is providing while I look for roommates. Honestly, the takeaway here is that high-school didn’t end and everything sucks. All I know is I’m definitely transferring out of this hell-hole of a school, and I just want to go home.