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What’s yours is mine, what’s ours is broken

Illustration by Karla Engdahl

You’re woken up in the early hours of the morning to a loud thumping outside your room. After a few more seconds, you hear the voices of your housemate and his friends next door. Checking your phone, your confusion grows when you see that it’s 4am, and a Monday morning. Then again, this is the housemate that you haven’t seen go to uni since you moved in, so you’re pretty sure his status as a student is just a cover for something.

Managing to get back to sleep, you’re again woken too early because some asshole has decided to turn on the central heating, when the sun’s already warming up the house. Cheers for that. You try to sleep for a little longer, but your room is slowly becoming an oven, and the amount of work you’ve got to get done propels you out of bed.

As you get dressed, the floordrobe well and truly in action, you think about what you’ll have for breakfast. You’d prefer eggs, but somebody stole your carton the other day, so that plan’s out the window. You instead decide to continue demolishing your huge box of cheap cereal. In order do that, you need a bowl, all of which are on your desk. Stacking them atop each other, you know that your future self would love it if you washed them all now, but when the time comes to head out to the kitchen, you only take one. It’s okay, you’ll clean the others later.

In the kitchen, you’re irritated to find that your full bottle of washing up liquid, instead of residing on your shelf, is now next to the sink and half empty. When you put it back in its rightful place, you throw a tea towel over it so nobody can ever find it again. Fool-proof plan.

Not long after breakfast, you make your way over to uni, where you’re thrilled to find not just one free sausage BBQ, but two. That’s lunch sorted, and thank fuck, because rent’s due later this week. After your classes are over, you head back home, vowing to get some study done before work.

But, as it turns out, that was a little bit too idealistic, because your housemate next door is watching Game of Thrones. To cancel out the (admittedly epic) noises, you put on some of your own tunes. Unfortunately, your ace taste in music makes this more of a distraction than a solution. But never mind, there isn’t a lot of time between uni and work, so you weren’t going to get much study done anyway.

When you leave for work, there is only one other car parked in the driveway. When you return, there are three more, none of them belonging to other housemates. The house is silent when you come inside. There are some things you just shouldn’t question.

It’s past dinner time, and, feeling like a treat, you heat up one of the frozen meals your mum gave you last time you were home. With your food, laptop and discarded plates all positioned intricately on your desk, you kick back and relax with your favourite reality TV show. Except, you don’t actually have a TV, so you’re live streaming it on your laptop, which is rubbish quality. But hey, it’s better than nothing. All the while, you can hear your housemate’s music next door, and despite yourself, you actually enjoy listening to it. It makes your current situation seem a little less depressing.

You feel the guilt creep up on you when you think about all the readings and other work you haven’t done, but it’s way too late to start studying now, you wouldn’t have gotten anything out of it. Besides, you deserve a break every now and then. For this incredible epiphany, you reward yourself with some ALDI ice-cream, because even the fifty-cent cones from Maccas are a bit steep these days.

A noise sounds from somewhere in the house. Jesus, what now? You come out to find a splintered floorboard and a guilty housemate. Not to worry, everybody in the house decides, we’ll just pull the rug over this one, in the literal sense. Now you’re all trapped playing your two favourite games; ‘Don’t Tell the Landlord’ and ‘Don’t Stand on That Part of the Floor’.

Still, the incident causes the night to spiral, and you find yourself sitting with three other housemates as they share stories about everything that’s happened in this house, or rather, to this house. You feel like you’re learning about an ancient and precious history, one that few have the privilege of knowing. You’d rather keep it that way; tell the wrong people, and you might end up getting a knock on your door from the police, or worse yet, the landlord.

And, as weird as it sounds, you’re all in this together. You hold this strange bond that you believe can only be forged by uni students in a dodgy sharehouse, a bond that vows protection as you all hurtle towards a certain death.

After a shower, you head to bed. The last thing you see before you turn out the light is the steadily-growing pile of plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery on your desk. You don’t worry about them too much, though. You know you’ll clean them tomorrow.

Tags : housematessharehousestudent
Lot's Wife

The author Lot's Wife

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