There’s something wrong with my college roommate

Last fall, I started college.

I hated it. The classes were hard. The people were cold. I had a hard time making friends.

And then there was Addison.

Addison was my roommate. We were randomly assigned by computer – and it couldn’t have been more obvious. We had nothing in common. I was a nerdy, self-conscious, tall girl that frequented the computer labs. She was a blonde, petite softball player, that spent her Saturday nights partying and her Sunday mornings in church.

There’s something wrong with my college roommate

She was friendly enough – when we both happened to be in the room at the same time, she’d say hello. Sometimes she’d ‘borrow’ my shampoo (without asking, of course.) Sometimes I’d ‘borrow’ one of her fancy-schmancy granola bars in retaliation. Generally, things were okay, even though they weren’t great.

Until the night of October 19th.

I got back late from an engineering class. As I felt the chill leave my cheeks in the warm hallway of our dorm, I heard a scream from our room.

Addison.

Then, she yelled: “No! Get out!”

I ran to the door, shoved my key into the lock. I thought I was about to stumble on an attempted rape. Addison didn’t exactly hang with the best crowd – and she had a posse of frat guys that followed her like bees after honey.

“Addison, are you okay?”

She was alone.

Just lying there, crumpled on the bed, all by herself. When she heard me, she whipped around in surprise. “Oh, sorry, I must’ve fallen asleep,” she said. She sat up and stretched. “Sorry, what were you saying?”

“No, just… I heard you yelling. Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. Must’ve been talking in my sleep… haven’t done that since middle school.” She let out a little giggle.

Sleeping…

My eyes fell on the bed, where her phone lay.

It was mid-call with someone. I could see the little phone icon on the screen, see the numbers timing the length of the call.

“You were on the phone with someone?”

“No, I was asleep.”

I stared at her. “Um, okay.”

I decided not to press it. Maybe it’s just a fight with a hometown boyfriend or something. Or her parents. But then why did she say get out? No one was in the room with her.

The next week went by without anything too exciting. My classes got a bit harder, and I spent more and more time over at the engineering school. Every night, by the time I got back to the dorm, Addison was already asleep. I could hear her light snores coming from across the room, see her cross necklace dangling from the jewelry hook on her dresser.

On Friday night, I got home a little earlier than usual. I didn’t have a problem set due until Tuesday, so I figured I’d relax a bit.

As I walked down the hallway, it was dead silent. The light flickered overhead, and I felt a chill course through my body.

I’ve never seen the building this empty.

I immediately shook my head, trying to extinguish the thought. There’s nothing wrong with a dorm being empty on a Friday evening. People go into town, hang out with their friends. Some even take trains into the city for the weekend.

The light flickered again.

And besides, there probably are people here. They’re just sleeping, or on the computer, or something.

My footsteps softly thumped across the carpet. The gold 21 screwed to our door came into view. I pulled out my keys with a jingle and put them into the lock.

I twisted the doorknob.

The room was dark. Addison out partying, as usual, I thought to myself with an eye-roll. I set my backpack down against my dresser, unhooked my bra, and climbed into bed. I pulled out my phone, scrolled through reddit, sent off a text to my mom.

The silence remained. The minutes ticked by, and I realized I hadn’t heard a single sound in almost twenty minutes.

My heart began to pound. A prickly, uncomfortable sensation crept up my arms, up my neck. Something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong.

I looked up from the phone.

The dim glow of the screen lit up the room in a soft glow. The shadows were black and blurred; but as my eyes adjusted to the dark, they came into view.

There was something on Addison’s bed. Something long, stretching up to the ceiling…

I squinted in the darkness.

It was Addison.

Standing on the bed, her head almost touching the ceiling.

Staring down at me.

I yelped and jumped back. “Addison, what are you doing up there?” I shrieked. “You nearly gave me a heart attack!”

She opened her mouth. It seemed to stretch wider than ever before, in a sunken O-shape that was blacker than the shadows around her.

“I already got the others.”

I ran out of the room, down the hallway. I could hear the thump, thump, thump of footsteps pounding behind me. I raced down the stairs; the lights flickered.

I swung open the door.

Then I collapsed, gasping in the cold, crisp air.

***

They found the bodies the next day.

17 people total. All of them found dead in their rooms. Cause of death? Asphyxiation, even though none of them were hanging from ropes or showed any signs of being strangled.

Addison, herself, was found dead in our dorm room. Splayed out across her bed.

The cross hanging from her neck, upside-down.