If I told only half the story, you’d say she was the best roommate ever.
I’m referring to the part when I came home from a weekend trip to find a friendly note on our dorm room door.
Take some leftover pizza from the refrigerator, she said. How kind.
For the sake of burying grudges, I should probably end the story there.
Never miss a local story.
Because if I continued the anecdote, you’d hear about the giant plastic alien I found upon entering the room.
Being greeted by a glowing pair of extraterrestrial eyes isn’t exactly pleasant. Especially when those eyes are staring at your pizza.
The alien -- a novelty purchase my roommate adored -- marked another blow to our compatibility.
This weekend, many people will watch “The Roommate” -- a thriller flick about a psycho roommate. Cue the real-life roommate memories.
With that, I return to my freshman year of college.
We were paired randomly, which was perhaps where the problem began. I thought I had an advantage: A relative coincidentally knew my roommate and testified to her sanity.
On move-in day, we exchanged basic pleasantries despite the contrasting decorations on our walls. She favored “X-Files” posters; my side of the room contained items from the sorority I planned to join.
Still, we found time for dinner dates and late-night conversations.
At least temporarily.
It wasn’t long before our common ground -- the thrill of living away from home for the first time -- lost its conversational newness.
She found a boyfriend while I scoured the party scene for a sense of social belonging. She excelled in theater while I joined the speech team.
I built an identity that reached beyond the confines of our two-bed dorm room. Yet a part of me still yearned to share my fears and victories with the “X-Files” fan whose closet stood beside mine.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped trying.
We existed almost as strangers inhabiting the same living space. I learned about her social milestones through the gossip grapevine. I assume she learned about my life the same way.
At the end of the school year, there were no teary goodbyes. I surrendered my room key with no tangible remnants of the time we spent living together.
Well, unless you count that stinging sense of regret.
Not every pairing results in a lifelong friendship. Neither one of us was completely blameless in the situation.
But I was the one who gave up first.
Memories of a plastic extraterrestrial being’s glow underscore a tough reality: The real alien in our room was me.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.