I no longer have a roommate.
Hillary’s headaches steadily grew worse. By Thursday night, she had tried all her medications and slept ridiculously long hours without any improvement, and skipped several classes. She needed a doctor. So Friday morningshe drove home to Bakersfield to see her doctor.
I texted her on Saturday: “Are you ok?”
On Sunday night, I finally received a reply: “Not really.”
And, of course, my imagination leapt onto California Screamin’ and I called my mom in tears of uncertainty and frustration.
“PRAY,” she said, always the lone candle flame of reason. “PRAY HARD!”
So I did.
Monday. I glanced at the clock. 12:25. Hillary has a class in five minutes, I realized. She’s not back yet.
Minutes later, as I was about to rush off to lunch, I heard her key in the lock. She hurled herself and all her stuff into the room and asked when I’d be back.
“Not until at least 6:30,” I said. “I have my seminar tonight.”
She nodded. “Ok. We’ll talk when you get back.”
I finally returned, exhausted, at about 7 pm, after an insanely intense Torrey discussion and an insanely boring first year English majors’ seminar.
Hillary had her back to me as I plunged into our room. She turned and said, “I suppose you’re wondering what I’m doing.”
I hadn’t been at all—I had been gingerly setting down my backpack and making a beeline to the baño—but now I noticed her stuff was everywhere, a highly abnormal thing for such a tidy person. I saw a suitcase. Boxes. Stuff strewn about; other things missing. But on a Monday evening, I am quite slow. “What are you doing?”
I don’t know how long I stood there. Yes, that’s very cliché, but it’s true. I stood there, blinked a dozen times, and said something intelligent like, “Leaving leaving?”
“Yeah, I’m going home.”
“What about school?” You love Biola! I don’t understand!
“I’m going to community college at home.”
“So…I take it the doctor’s appointment didn’t go well.” But you were able to drive home…and back here…I thought you were gonna be ok! I don’t understand!
“Yeah…I need to take better care of myself. I need to be home.”
“I’m so sorry.” Why hadn’t I seen this coming? Why hadn’t she told me? Maybe I could’ve done something to make it better for her! Oh, why did I ever complain to my mom about her!? She’s been a decent roommate! And she loves Biola! Why does she have to leave! I’m such an awful person… God, why couldn’t I have loved her better?
Between carrying her stuff down to her car, moving everything around, vacuuming, moving more stuff, vacuuming some more, and so on, I did no homework for at least 24 hours. Not good. Moreover, I received an email from the Housing Department “reminding” me that I could have another roommate at any time. A commuter could randomly decide she wants to live on campus and be assigned to my room. I could come back from class one day and have a stranger with strange belongings in my room. Or I could come out of the shower one morning and have a stranger in my room. Or I could be taking a nap one afternoon and have a stranger come into my room.
Needless to say, the uncertainty is unbearable. As I told Hillary just before she left on Tuesday, “This is quite an experiment in trusting God.”
She nodded with a sigh. So for both of us, please pray.