Story by Caitlin Manocchio
I’ve never felt more alone, yet I’m living with two other people. It started, last year when I decided to live with my roommate and a close friend in an apartment for the 2014-2015 school year. I was terrified of the prospect of the third wheel syndrome, but I reassured myself that it wouldn’t happen with us.
I couldn’t be more wrong. The bond developed between my two roommates and I was left awkwardly in their picture. I would enter the living room and their lively conversation would cease as the silence echoed in. There would be the uneasy exchanges of “hellos.” The happy days of freshmen year filled with trips to the mall and movies were gone. It was as if I were a stranger. The tensions of the apartment continued to fester. Eventually I broke down. I just couldn’t deal with the situation any longer.
When the conversations on how to fix the problem would happen, both would admit that things weren’t the same. I would ask what I could do because more than anything I wanted things to go back to normal, but according to them there wasn’t anything I could do. It was all of our problems and no one’s fault, but it sure felt like mine.
As the semester dragged on, I would spend my days crying. I didn’t know whom I could confide in. We have the same friend group and the last thing I wanted was a war of sides to breakout. My health started to decline rapidly. It was an unhealthy situation and the best I could do to avoid it was minimizing my time in the apartment. I would mark down the days till Thanksgiving and winter break.
The first week of interterm I found the latest installment of my nightmare on the living room floor. It was my roommates’ plans for their apartment next year and not to my surprise I wasn’t included. I was heartbroken and fueled with anger over their insensitivity. “They couldn’t have even talked to me first,” I thought. It would be hours before either of them returned and I decided that I would kill them would kindness until they broke the news.
Four weeks later it happened, conveniently mentioned to me the night before a weekend where none of us would see each other. Silence occurred after the news that maybe we shouldn’t live together next year.
“I know,“ I said nonchalantly, “I saw it in your notebook four weeks ago.”
Pure shock resonated on their faces. They began to plea for my forgiveness and said they still wanted to be friends. I asked them to leave. When I texted them that they could come back, I said that I would consider continuing their friendship, but after a weekend of time to myself I decided their friendship was over a long time ago.
It’s unbelievably difficult living with people who have hurt you. Social gatherings have become incredibly uncomfortable. I’ve just tried my best to remain civil. Next year, I’m living on my own and as for them in the words of Rhett Butler, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”.