the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

  Authors & Artists


Faces & Voices 4
Faces & Voices 5

The Roomate
Candice Jackson
Atlanta, Georgia - International Business

        My anticipation and excitement overwhelmed me as I stepped into the Harriet Tubman Quadrangle for the first time, and prepared to embark on the greatest journey of my life so far; my first day of college. Around me, I could see the same eagerness and enthusiasm in all of the other newcomers as they struggled to lug their belongings from the mass of vans and SUV’s parked on the curb. I walked into the “Quad” (as it is commonly called) and prepared to wait at the end of what seemed like a never-ending line to finally obtain my housing arrangements for the year. After what seemed like an eternity, I reached the front of the line.
        “Sign here, please,” the rather plump girl behind the old table instructed. I bent down and quickly signed my name in the empty space that she indicated. As I was signing the book, I noticed that someone had already scribbled her signature in the space next to my name.
        “You have been assigned to room number 309 in Crandall Hall. Oh, and your roommate has already checked in,” the girl said as she handed me the key.
        Without any delay, I took the key and rushed to find Crandall Hall and the dorm room to which I was assigned. Leaving my family members and luggage behind, I quickly located the hall and rushed up the stairwell to the third floor. In my excitement, I failed to notice a girl coming down the stairs and unexpectedly ran into her. I promptly apologized and then continued to my dorm room. I reached the top of the stairs and walked down the long hall in a hurry. Finally, I arrived at the door clearly marked 309. As I was opening the door, all I could think about was my roommate. What if I did not like her? What if she did not like me? What if we never got along? I instantly put all of the negative thoughts out of my mind, reassuring myself that everything was going to work out just fine.
        I opened the door and the sunlight, which seeped though the blinds, immediately greeted me. I peeked around the door and in the middle of the room stood a very tall and husky girl who was staring back at me.
        “ Hi, my name is Candice. I guess I am your roommate for the school year. It’s nice to finally meet you. What’s your name?” I said as I extended my hand to the girl. She looked at my hand as if it were a foreign object, and then hesitantly gave me hers. Not once did she even bother to look me directly in the face, signifying that I was of no importance to her. Then, as she suddenly got a burst of energy, she began to go around the room, and proceeded to point out certain things that she wanted to make clear to me.
        “ My name is Roberta and I have already selected this side of the room, since I did get here first. Oh, and before I forget, I put some of my clothes in your closet since I definitely cannot fit my entire wardrobe into this sorry excuse for a closet. And since it does not seem as though you are too concerned with fashion, I don’t think that this should be a problem. I have also taken it upon myself to order a Microfridge for the room, but if you insist on using it, you need to pay me upfront. And I hope that you do not plan on inviting your friends over regularly throughout the year. This room is not going to be the party room. Do you have anything you want to say?”
        I shook my head no, unable to even utter a word to Roberta. As she continued to ramble on with her intimidating speech, I completely zoned out. I longed to wake up from this terrible situation to discover it was nothing more than a nightmare. Just as I convinced myself that a mere daydream was the only explanation for what was going on, the sound of my mother’s voice calling me down the hallway brought me back to reality. I soon realized that there was no escaping these circumstances. My expectations for my first time away from home quickly evaporated and I knew that this was definitely going to be a long and tiresome school year.

© 2002 Howard University
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse, Prose & Art, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2002. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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