My freshman year of school, a stroke of unfortunate luck landed me with a roommate who was—for lack of a better word—an addict. The substance in question? Pure, unadulterated sex.
Though I'm usually not one to judge a book by its cover, the first time I met Beth, her sturdy frame, bushy hair, and nondescript garb didn't exactly do much to scream "seductress." In fact, as she unloaded her boxes of physics and calculus textbooks the first day of move-in, "sex-addict" was possibly the last label I would have ever branded her with.
Though Beth and I were paired together courtesy of our school's blind housing system, a bit of Facebook research revealed she and I to actually have a few things in common—namely, that we were both Texas natives, musicians, and aspiring scientists—so I had high hopes that the match would be a good one. As she was my first ever roommate, I wanted to do my best to ensure that we had a smooth and perhaps even amicable relationship. And for the first few weeks of classes, we succeeded. That is, until she met Rafi.
That day, she came home late, smiling coyly as she glided into the room and collapsed on her bed. I didn't have to ask what happened because at once, she turned to me eyes alight with satisfaction and said simply, “I met someone.” At the time, I thought this news was spectacular. And it was. I considered Beth a friend and was happy to see her succeed in the shark pool that is the college dating world.
But to say their relationship progressed quickly is an understatement. That very next day, Beth came home even later than she had the night before. And this time, she stumbled into the room giggling. I took this to be a positive sign and smiling, I prompted, “So I assume you talked to Rafi again today?”
“We didn't do much talking,” she responded as she dissolved into a fit of laughter. I chuckled nervously, not really registering the connotation. Then, she dropped the bomb: “But the police did give us a citation for doing it in the park.”
I stared at Beth in utter astonishment as she continued laughing. And I was still staring in shock when, a few minutes later, she spilled the contents of her large backpack bag onto her bed to reveal upwards of about 80 condoms. My draw dropped to the floor. “Are those…?” I gasped, pointing at the gleaming pile on her mattress.
“Yes!” She responded, excitement animating her plain features. “They had the flavored ones in the Student Center today! But there were barely any left when I got there...” She added, clearly disappointed. I balked, taking in the condom pedestal that was once her bed. Then, with an expert sweep of her arm, she pushed the mound into her nightstand drawer (where dwelt her burgeoning dildo collection) and clicked off the light.
It stunned me how she could take her situation so lightly. I admit I'm somewhat of a Chicken Little when it comes to anticipating worst possible scenarios, but I was imagining Beth's impending expulsion, housing eviction, eventual career failure, and angry children who grow up to become drug-lords or strippers—or even worse—drug-lord strippers... Needless to say, my mind was racing. But hers... wasn't. She was fast asleep. And for the first time, I began to wonder what kind of person my roommate really was.