Flatmates

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A short story inspired by the final sentence --'I should have known it was too good to last'.

Submitted: May 25, 2018

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Submitted: May 25, 2018

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Flatmates.

It’s always a bit of a gamble, isn’t it, deciding to share a living space. Even people you think of as friends, who you feel like you ‘know’ can be very different once you spend more time with them. Add in a total stranger and the sky’s the limit in the awkwardness stakes.

So knowing this, why did I go ahead and do it? The reason is simple – rents are so high now I simply had no choice.

Lisa has been a friend of mine since high school. Okay, it was never the ‘Best Friends Forever’ sort of thing, but we could chat, spend time together and would sometimes socialize in a group. She needed somewhere to live and I had two bedrooms going free. You’d think two of us would halve the costs, and it did as far as the rent was concerned but the other living expenses rose, making the savings that bit less than I had planned.

The third bedroom would have to be let out. The question was, who would we let it out too? She did not know anyone in search of a place to call their own and neither did I. We talked about advertising but was that really a safe thing to do for two girls in their early twenties. After all, hadn’t some of the most notorious serial killers seemed pleasant enough people to casual acquaintances.

Her brother stepped in with a suggestion. A couple of years older than her, her brother had a mate at work who’s lease had run out. The landlord had increased the rent so much that he was on the look-out for somewhere else. A room might suit him, especially as he did not spend a lot of time at home. Lisa and I discussed it and decided we’d give it a go.

Jack was his name. He seemed a nice enough guy, but of course, an extra flat-mate meant more sharing with the kitchen, the tv, and most difficult of all, the bathroom. Weekends were not so bad. Jack was a very early riser and seemed to be off somewhere or other both Saturdays and Sundays. Me, I got up pretty early, but he had always already gone out of the door or was just going when I surfaced. Lisa, at weekends was one of those ‘never before midday’ people.

It was the weekdays, the work days, that caused the arguments. We all had to leave at roughly the same time; not only was it tough to fit in times but it was even harder to have enough hot water. And once the disagreements had started, like so often they seemed to escalate. Little things that hadn’t been worth mentioning before were magnified into impossibilities.

The final straw was the fridge. We only had one and we had to share it. If one of us used a bit of something that another had bought did it really matter? Not to me, so long as it wasn’t the last of something. But Lisa and Jack began accusing each other of taking food, and worse, drink. They were absolutely exasperating!

Labels! That was the answer. We each would stick labels on our own things, and we would not touch anything that did not belong to us. Good solution? No! Now we had a problem with space; three lots of everything did not allow for much variety, and none of us could afford to dine out every day or we would not be in the position of sharing accommodation in the first place.

Eventually a compromise was reached. We put in a rota for the bathroom; at least one day out of three we would each be guaranteed hot water. We agreed to share the basics in the fridge, and each had our own space for extras.

For a while things seemed to settle down. We could all exist together in reasonable harmony after all. A week went past and then another; there were no raised voices, no strained silences. And I began to think that it would all work out fine.

But this morning, I hear yelling. Lisa is making accusations and Jack is denying what ever it is that she’s accusing him of. The end of peace then. I should have known it was too good to last.


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