The alarm clock in the dorm room that Dylan and Tyler share goes off at 8:00 in the morning. Dylan wakes up, disoriented from sleepiness. He sees his roommate still asleep. “Hey, dude,” he calls to him. Tyler doesn’t respond. “Dude, get up.”
Dylan throws one of his pillows at Tyler. He groans, “Can’t I have 5 more minutes?”
“No, man, we gotta get ready.”
“Ugh, fine.” Tyler drags himself out of bed and goes to the bathroom around the corner to take a shower. One benefit of having a room so close to the bathroom was that you would be the first one in there, meaning you would be able to shower in the good shower. The other showers make noise and cut off by themselves sometimes, but that one has no defects. Dylan showers at night, so he skips that step and gets dressed.
He throws on a dark blue t-shirt that said “Hollister” in white letters across the chest, tan khaki shorts, and flip flops. He grabs his comb to fix his shaggy mess of hair. Tyler comes in wearing a towel around his waist with his dark brown hair wet and combed straight down. Dylan looks at his alarm clock. It read 9:35 a.m. “It’s about time you got out. Come on, you can’t be late again or Mrs. Fink will kill you.”
“Nah, I don’t think she’ll be mad.”
“You know her policy: ‘Anyone who is late to my class is not welcome in my class.’”
“I got it under control. I’ll be ready. Go to class without me; I’ll meet you there.”
“Alright, fine. I’ll see ya later.” It’s not fair that Tyler gets better grades than I do, and I study my ass off while he parties nearly all the time.
Dylan makes it to class with a minute to spare, with Tyler still not there. Come on, Tyler. She’ll give me that lecture on being responsible for your roommate if you have a class together if you don’t get your ass over here. You know how tired I am of it.
Meanwhile, Tyler is dressed in a Megadeath t-shirt, blue jeans, and black sneakers fixing his hair. He checks the clock to see that he needs to be in class in less than one minute. “Oh, shit!” he exclaims as he grabs his backpack and begins running out of the dormitory. With the class he shared with Dylan being on the other side of the campus, there was no way he could make it.
A minute passes by, and the bell rings. Mrs. Fink closes her door. “Dylan?” she calls. He and 2 others turned their heads in her direction. “Dylan Chatsworth?”
“Yes, ma’am?” he answers. “Where’s Tyler?” she asked him with aggravation in her voice.
“He’s probably either still back at our room getting ready or running over here, but I told him this morning that he couldn’t be late again. It’s his own fault that he runs late all the time, anyway; why do you have to keep putting the blame on me?”
“I don’t blame anyone that isn’t responsible. If one roommate is late, it’s both roommates’ fault, for each roommate shares the responsibility for getting to a class that they have together on time.”
“Well, it doesn’t seem like you’re blaming Tyler too much for it. Besides, it takes forever for him to get out of bed, so I have to wake him up every morning, which still doesn’t help too much and—”
“I’ve had enough of your excuses for the semester, Dylan. If you were the one being so worried about being on time to my class, then you would be the one getting good grades instead of—” the students and Mrs. Fink hear a knock on the door. She sees Tyler’s head in the window. “Well, speak of the devil!” she exclaims. “Remember your rule, professor? Anyone who is late is not welcome inside?” Dylan points out sounding smart. “Don’t sass me, Dylan. Tyler is one of my best students, so I can give him a free pass if he’s late by a couple of minutes.”
“You’re probably fucking him, aren’t you?” Dylan mutters under his breath. A few of the students near him snicker. Mrs. Fink turns her head in his direction sharply, her curly honey-colored hair bouncing over her shoulders. “What was that?” she demanded. “I didn’t say anything,” he said. “I’m not deaf, you know. I could hear a pin drop at a heavy metal concert with my ears. So, don’t think I didn’t hear that snarky comment of yours. Now, get out of my classroom.”
All of a sudden, Dylan blew up, “Fine! I can’t stand being in the same room as you anyway! You’ve been fucking Tyler; I know you have! Why else would a slacker like him get As and high Bs in this class, while I study my ass off and I get low Bs and Cs? You’ve been pulling this shit all semester, and I’m sick of it! If you’re gonna be a favoritist, at least make it either as discreet as possible so you don’t get called out on it, or do it to someone that isn’t liable to call you out on it. Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that you’re married with a 17-year old daughter? How would they react to the woman they love being a cheating skank, especially with a guy that’s close to the same age as her child?
Now, I’m going to go slip an anonymous piece of paper under the dean’s door telling of every account of student mistreatment that has gone on in this classroom since day one, whether it has happened to me or anyone else in this room. A teacher has to treat his or her students with respect, and that’s the opposite of what you’ve been doing. You’ve called us names, yelled at us and even cursed at us on a couple of occasions, and I will no longer stand for it. Have a good day, whore.” All that Mrs. Fink could do was stand there dumbfounded and her mouth agape as Dylan packed his books and walked out the door.
Tyler was still standing at the door. He had a hurt look on his face. “You heard everything that went on in there, didn’t you?” Dylan asked him. “I heard enough. How could you say those things about her? She’s a cool teacher; you just need to try harder in her class, and you’ll be fine.” Dylan had the definition of utter confusion on his face. “I have been studying my ass off ever since the first day, and what have you done? Hardly a damn thing. You think school is all about partying just because we’re at a boarding school. You have to balance out studying and having fun so you can get an education and enjoy yourself while doing it.
Besides, she couldn’t even come up with a good defense for my ‘accusations’. She even broke her most sacred rule so you would be allowed in. She wouldn’t even break it for Jonny Ramirez: the smartest guy in our graduating class, who was only late that one time, and it wasn’t even his fault. To me, that screams that something fishy is going on between you two, and I’m not taking it anymore.” Before giving Tyler a chance to speak, Dylan starts walking to the dean’s office at the middle of the campus. When he arrives, he learns that the dean isn’t in his office at the moment. He slips the paper underneath the door. That’ll teach that dumb whore.
Dylan, then, begins walking back to his dorm room. “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be in class, young man?” a custodian called out to him. She was cleaning up some salad off of the concrete. “Yeah, I am. Mrs. Fink kicked me out because I called her out on her favoritism.”
“Are you talking about Shelly Pope?”
“We went to high school together.”
“Yeah. She was one of the ‘popular’ girls. You know, cheerleader, partied all the time, had multiple partners. Her nickname was actually ‘Slam Dunk Shelly’—” Dylan let out some stifled laughter. “—Yeah, I know it may be funny, but it was true! She lived a wild life. I’m surprised that she settled down and got married.”
“Oh, really? Doesn’t surprise me that she was crazy. She’s still crazy. She’s been cheating on him with my roommate. He’s a complete slacker, yet he gets better grades than I do. I study my ass off while he does nothing.”
“How does he do in his other classes?”
“He’s on the brink of failing most of them.”
“Have you talked to the dean?”
“Yes. I slipped a piece of paper under his door explaining everything she’s done all semester.”
“Good for you. I hope everything works out in your favor.” They hear vomiting in the distance. Dylan shuddered. He hated the sound of someone vomiting. The custodian sighed. “Well, duty calls. Take care.”
“Have a good day.”
Dylan continues walking towards his dorm. He makes it inside the dormitory, unlocks the door to his room, and lies on his bed. He decides to take a little nap whilst waiting on his next class to start. He sets the alarm on his phone to 8:45 and falls into a slumber.
His phone rang an obnoxious alarm that sounded like a bomb was to be detonated. He was scared awake by the noise, combs his hair, grabs his backpack, and begins his adventure to his AP chemistry class. It was his favorite; the people in his class liked him; his professor was fond of him. Plus, chemistry was an interesting subject that he was good at.
The rest of Dylan’s classes seemed as if each one lasted an eternity. He felt great relief reaching his room. He got on his computer and continued working on a paper for Mrs. Fink’s class that was due by the end of that week. She wanted everyone to write a 10-page research paper about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
Tyler comes in and grabs a 6-pack of Budweiser out of his underwear drawer. The cans were painted rainbow colors. He got away with it by saying that it was an art project. “I’m going to the party that Veronica’s having at her dorm. You wanna come?”
“No, thanks. I have a lot of homework to do.”
“Whatever you say. You know where she’s staying at, right?”
“Okay. Whenever you get your homework done, you should come by. I heard it’s gonna be bomb as hell!” Dylan chuckled a little. “Come on, man. Lighten up. Have a little fun.”
“I’ll be there when I get this paper done. How about that?”
“Works for me. See ya later!”
While Dylan was looking at the description of Abraham Lincoln’s murder as perceived by witnesses, he was also looking at urban legends due to his fascination with the subject. He came across the urban legend “The Automatic 4.0”. Intrigued, he read an article discussing it. The article said that if a college/boarding school student’s roommate were to die, the surviving roommate would be granted a 4.0 grade point average for the semester as a condolence by the dean. He looked at other webpages discussing the myth, and they all said that this legend was in fact true.
Later on that night, Tyler came in through the door. His eyes were droopy, and he reeked of alcohol. He had no sense of coordination whatsoever. He was drunk off his ass. “Heeeyyyy. Why weren’t you at the party, mannnn?” he asked Dylan, his voice slurring.
“Apparently, that whore of a teacher didn’t want us to write about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. She wanted us to write about Abraham Lincoln’s killer. You know, about his life and what made him want to kill Lincoln and whatnot. So, I had to do the entire thing over again.”
“Wait, what paper?”
“The paper than Fink assigned us, like, 2 weeks ago that’s due on Friday?”
“Oh, shit, I completely forgot about that…”
“Of course you did…” Dylan muttered under his breath. “I’m gonna go take a bath. I’ll start on that after class tomorrow.” Tyler grabbed a towel off of his bed and stumbled to the bathroom around the corner.
Tyler stripped himself of his clothes and put the towel on a toilet near the tub. He laid in the lukewarm water and relaxed.
Meanwhile, Dylan was thinking about the articles about the automatic 4.0. An overwhelming feeling suddenly comes to Dylan. Kill the bastard! Kill him! Get him while he’s down! Dylan gets some aspirin out of one of his drawers and swallows 2 pills dry, thinking that these strange thoughts would go away if he did so. Get Tyler! Get him! Dylan clutches his head and plops onto his bed. KILL THE FUCKER! KILL HIM! KILL HIM!
Dylan puts on some socks, for they make the least amount of noise, and sneaks to the bathroom. He peeks his head inside. No Tyler. He makes a right turn, then a left. He sees Tyler lying naked in the bathtub. Tyler looks like he’s sleeping. Probably still feeling the effects of beer coursing through his veins. Dylan reaches into the bathwater and places his hands over Tyler’s face. He pushes his head under cautiously for fear of flailing limbs all over the place. However, when Tyler’s head was fully submerged, he didn’t move a muscle. Dylan didn’t question it and just continued drowning his roommate. Two minutes later, Dylan lifts his hands out of the tub to see that Tyler was not moving. Dylan checked his pulse. There wasn’t one. “I can’t believe it… He’s dead.” Dylan dries his hands off on Tyler’s towel and walks back to their dorm room.
He checks his alarm clock. 11:05 p.m. “Wow, I should get to bed.” Dylan changes into a gray t-shirt and black sweatpants. He climbs into bed, thinking about how easy that was and drifts off to sleep.
Somewhere around 7 in the morning, Dylan is awakened by screams of terror coming from the bathroom. “OH MY GOD!” “AAAHHHH!!” “WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?”
Dylan gets up and drags himself to the bathroom. He sees police tape over the entrance and cops surrounding the area, inside and out. There are a group of at least 10 boys crowding around with shocked and worried expressions on their faces. “Back away, young man,” a cop warned Dylan, pushing him back.
“Dylan Chatsworth, come to the Dean Trawson’s office. Dylan Chatsworth, come to Dean Trawson’s office,” announced the intercom.
Dylan walks out of his dorm and hauls himself to the office. He peers into the door. “You wanted to see me, Dean Trawson?”
“Come in.” Dean Trawson made a hand gesture inviting Dylan in. Dean Trawson was a rather large man who was balding and wore glasses. He reminded Dylan of a fat version of Charlie Chaplin mixed with Garfield the cat. “As you may be aware by now, your roommate, Tyler Rippe, died last night.” Dylan tried to make his act of surprise seem convincing, with his mouth agape and eyes widened. “Are you serious?”
“I wish I wasn’t. He was found dead in the bathtub near yours and Tyler’s room.”
“Do you know what happened to him?”
“It appeared that he drowned in the bathwater. They’ll get back to us with an autopsy report at least by Thursday. As of now, since there are no students currently in need of roommates, you’ll be having that room to yourself for a while.”
“Is that it?”
“I’m afraid so. I’ll call you back in here when I have more information.” Dylan’s face grew a little disappointed. “Okay, thank you.” Dean Trawson reached over his desk to shake Dylan’s hand. “You take care of yourself, all right?”
“Yeah, I’ll try,” Dylan said solemnly. The dean patted Dylan on the back. “Have a good one,” Dylan said to him. “Same for you.” Dylan walked out of his office in silence with his head hanging down.
2 days have passed since the Tyler Rippe incident. His social circle is still in mourning for their friend. Dylan must admit that he was okay, but he got on his nerves most of the time. Dylan doesn’t feel remorse for what he did.
Dylan is in his AP Chemistry class working on a test when the intercom calls for his teacher. “Yes, ma’am?” he answers. “Can you send Dylan Chatsworth to the dean’s office?”
“Um, we’re having a test—” the teacher turns to face Dylan. “Are you done?” he asks him. Dylan nods yes. “Dylan said he was done; he’s on the way.”
“Okay, thank you.”
Dylan hands Mr. Fender his test and his answer sheet, grabs his stuff since it was almost the end of class, and heads out the door.
5 minutes later, he approaches to Dean Trawson’s door. Knock knock. “Yes?” calls Dean Trawson. “It’s Dylan.”
“Oh, okay. Come in.”
Dylan steps in the office and shuts the door behind him. “So, Dylan, I have more information on Tyler.”
“Oh really? What happened to him?” Dylan tries to ask in a concerned manner even though he wasn’t concerned at all. “It appeared that he had a hefty amount of alcohol in his system. Too much for a 14-year old boy to handle. They ruled his death due to alcohol poisoning, and then drowning because he had water in his lungs as well.”
“Wow…” Dylan responded quietly with little emotion. Dean Trawson looks at him sympathetically. “I know it’s hard losing a roommate, even if you didn’t like them very much. Not saying that you and Tyler had a rivalry going on or anything, but I’m just saying that it gets better. Okay, son?”
“Okay. Thanks, Dean Trawson.”
They shake hands, and Dylan leaves the office in silence.
7 years have passed since Tyler Rippe passed away. Dylan completed his 1st 4 years of college, majoring in biochemistry and minoring in French. He is currently working on searching for a decent medical school to enroll in, but is having no such luck. After 3 months, he finally gets accepted to one in Utah. When one of his classmates learns his name, it turns out that she witnessed the night that Dylan drowned Tyler. After school the next day, she goes to the police department and tells them of the event. Dylan is arrested and has a trial set for the next month.
At the trial, she testified that she was walking in the boys’ dorm to visit some male friends of hers when she heard water splashing around. She crept into the bathroom and peeked around the corner and saw that Dylan was trying to drown Tyler. She claimed to have never said anything back then because he blackmailed her, saying that if she did, then he would shave her head in her sleep and rip up all of her clothes. This was completely untrue, but the jury believed it.
When Dylan was asked of the motive, he gave the truth, saying that he heard of the legend of the automatic 4.0 and believed it was true. Plus, a contributing factor being that in the class he and Tyler shared, he was the favorite even though all of his grades were very poor. He said that hoping to plea insanity, but they didn't buy it and gave him 65 years in prison with no chance of parole. The judicial system believed that people like Dylan belonged in prison and should not be released into society ever again.