I didn't want a new roommate. My previous roommate, Darren, had been just fine-- a football guy, like me, captain of the school team. But alas, he'd been a senior the previous year, so when I came back to Aerial Prep for my eleventh year, it was somewhat sobering to see his half of the room completely bare, excepting the school-issued furniture. Sitting in my own bed, staring at where his blue-and-white-striped comforter had been, I frowned.
I frowned a little more and turned to the door when I heard heavy footsteps coming down the hallway, and my frown turned into a full-on scowl when I realised that the heavy footsteps had stopped right in front of my door. The lock clicked, and the door opened.
The first thing I saw of my new roommate was the steel toe of one platform combat boot. It was immediately followed by ripped black jeans and a black-and-purple sweater with thick stripes, then black-to-purple ombré hair and black lipstick. Multiple piercings, and dark eyes to go with the dark hair, not to mention pale skin to finish off the whole thing.
Ugh, I thought to myself. He's such a textbook goth.
He was bobbing his head to some music that I could hear through his headphones but didn't recognise, and he was carrying two absolutely overflowing boxes of black, grey, and purple stuff, and a laundry basket of what looked like bedding. After he set all of the stuff down, he took his headphones off and turned to me, as a representative of the school-- the office attendant, Mrs. Rue-- finally followed him into the room.
I could hear his music clearly now, though I still couldn't recognise it. It sounded extremely emo, all scream-y. I caught the words 'death' and a lot of curses.
"This, Mr. Preston," Mrs. Rue told me, "is Ezra Abramov. He'll be your roommate for your two remaining years of school, if everything goes well." She then turned to Ezra. "This young man is Joshua Preston. He's been known to be quite a nice roommate, all things considering. His past roommate gave him shining reviews."
Ezra smiled, though it looked like it had malicious intent behind it-- I couldn't tell. "I'm sure we'll get along great," he assured her, smoothly. It bothered me how... unaffected he seemed by this. We were going to be living together for two years! Didn't he have a problem with it?
Mrs. Rue left us alone, and Ezra finally turned off his abhorrent music. Setting the headphones on his desk, he started making his bed.
We were both silent while he put the bottom sheet on.
As he was tucking in the top sheet, he asked a question, in that voice-- god, his voice, I couldn't describe how smooth it was. It gave me the weirdest sensation of having my blood replaced by liquid chocolate. His question was, "So, what're you like?"
"I don't follow."
"Oh, he speaks!" He laughed. "I was starting to think that you were mute."
He shot me a look over his shoulder, one I couldn't read. "I can tell. Anyway, what are you like? What is your personality like? Tell me something."
I wasn't inclined to, so I kept my mouth shut.
Ezra sighed heavily and stopped making the bed, heading over to my bed and looming over me, hands on his hips. "If you won't tell me about you, I'll tell you about me. I'm Ezra Abramov, I'm Jewish and I consider myself goth. I'm somewhat short-tempered. Some of my favourite things are chocolate and death metal. I honestly hope that we can get along."
I was only a little bit intimidated by this skinny, short young man leaning over me, and I pushed him back as carefully as I could. "I don't want to get along with you. You're not like me." He wasn't. "You're nothing like me." He really wasn't. "Stop trying to be friendly. We're just going to make it through these two years by ignoring each other, okay?"
There was a pregnant pause.
Then, Ezra mumbled, "Okay."
He turned back around and continued making his bed.
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