Roommate For Sale

Everything changed the day I called that number.

It was just a plain printed page stuck on a telephone pole on the street I walked down every day to get to work. You know the kind, the type with little tabs cut along the bottom with the phone number. You can tear one off and tuck it in your pocket, forget about it, run it through the laundry, and then wonder the next time you wear those jeans what the little balled up wad of paper pulp used to be.

I didn’t forget it in my jeans though, not that one. I thought about it all day at work. “Roommate for Sale,” it said. “Rescue your relationship, preserve a peaceful home, salvage your sanity,” it promised. I couldn’t figure out how buying another roommate would restore the peace with my current one. Maybe the idea was to replace my hard to live with roomie with a new and improved one, or maybe some sort of roommate exchange with some other unfortunate soul who had had enough of theirs. Puzzled though I was, I was desperate enough for the promised peace to give the number a call when I got back home. Tensions were high and patience was running pretty thin between me and my roommate ever since the first lockdown. Just too much time cooped up together, I guess.

The conversation left me with more questions than answers, but for a lousy $5.97 I was sure going to give it a go. I did the etransfer and gave them my address and they assured me I would have delivery in 5-7 days. When the courier arrived after lunch on Friday, he handed me a small cardboard box. What was this? Inflate-a-roomie? I thought then that I’d been taken for a ride, but boy was I wrong.

The box contained a small instruction booklet and nothing else. I know for sure, because I turned it upside down and shook it, but nope, just the instructions. It read:
“Congratulations! Your new roommate’s name is Cheryl. She’s here to save your friendship, your sanity, and basically your life. Here’s how it works.
Dirty dishes left in the sink? Cheryl’s fault.
Somebody didn’t change the toilet roll again? It was Cheryl.
Garbage not taken out? Cheryl forgot.
The last piece of cake disappeared? Cheryl took it.
Your favourite mug has a big new crack in it? Dropped by Cheryl.
Works for every scenario. Your increased peace and happiness guaranteed.”

I know, I know, it sounds pretty flimsy. But seriously, since Cheryl moved in my roommate and I are getting along like we did before the quarantine. No more quarreling, no more stink-eye, no more fights over whose turn it is to [insert household chore]. We’re closer than ever, and we agree 100% on one thing. That Cheryl is THE WORST!

Published by Aly Writes

I bake. I write. What goes better together than a good story and a delicious fresh-baked pastry? Nothing. And I can give you both. Grab a hot cuppa and join me.

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