For those who have asked how my family is doing: my sister's 9 year old daughter has developed unexplained elevated intercranial pressure. She had an emergency MRI on Tuesday. Tomorrow she's having an MRV (magnetic resonance venogram) and on Monday she's going to have a lumbar puncture to find out what's going on and why.
I feel like my brain is being pressed out of my skull.
I don't get it. I really don't. I tried everything. Not flushing the toilet. Not cleaning up my messes. Bringing in girls at all hours. Loud music day and night. Nothing made Winchester budge. My roommate. He was supposed to give up after a couple days and ask to be reassigned so I could have the place all to myself.
But he didn't budge. He didn't even flinch. It was like I was invisible. It was like he'd been used to that kind of thing his whole life. He never made any comment at all. What was I doing wrong?
A week passed. Two weeks.
He spent all his time studying, doing homework, doing papers. No girls, no dope, no booze, no fun.
He didn't budge.
Maybe if I got bossy.
"Hey, this is Toni and she doesn't like a crowd. You'll have to make yourself scarce." I told him one night. Truth was, Toni loved a crowd but I wasn't telling him that. He only looked bored and stood up.
It wasn't like I didn't know how tall he was, but I never noticed how short I was until that minute he stood up from the couch. And up and up and up. But he wasn't leaving. He leaned over me.
He didn't budge.
"If you want privacy, I suggest Toni's roommate get scarce." He said. And then he stood there, looming over us like the Wrath of God, and we went back to Toni's place.
Another week passed.
One day, when he was gone to class, I snuck into his bedroom to see if he had some money to 'loan' me. I opened the dresser drawers. Nothing. Just some clothes, socks and underwear. I looked in his desk drawers. A couple of pens and highlighters. I opened his closet – and a heavy plank of wood that must've been leaning against the inside of the door fell out and whacked me on the head. Hard.
When I could see straight again, I put the plank back and shut the door and left his room.
He came back from class and gave me a passing look and then a double take. He looked at my forehead and the bruise probably blooming there.
He didn't say anything though and I never went looking through his stuff again.
A friend of mine said maybe I should pretend to be involved in black magic and that would scare Winchester away. Sounded good, so I looked up some spells online and one morning, when Winchester was standing at our kitchenette counter waiting for the coffee to be ready, reading a textbook, I told him.
"You don't need to study – I know a study spell that makes you know everything!" and I theatrically intoned the words to him.
He only looked bored and turned the page in his book.
He didn't budge.
"That's a spell to cure hemorrhoids and you've got the pronunciation all wrong. In Latin, 'A' sounds like 'AH', 'E' sounds like 'A', and 'I' sounds like 'E'."
I didn't ask how he knew all that. I didn't want to know.
I was getting desperate.
He was always pretty scheduled, usually got back from class at the same time every day, so I decided to pull a 'prank' on him one day when he was getting back to the dorm. I borrowed a fright mask and a fake huge knife from Bitsy in Theatre and waited on a chair behind the door to jump Winchester and give him a good scare as soon as he walked in.
Sure enough, right on time, he came through the door and I pounced.
I'm pretty sure I was still in mid-air when the guy coming through the door behind Winchester grabbed me and spiked me like a football on the floor. Then he dug a knee into my kidneys, twisted my arm into a backwards pretzel and ripped the mask off my face.
"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?"
I looked up at Winchester, hoping for a little help or compassion, but he only shrugged and kept walking to his bedroom.
"That's my roommate." He said to the guy trying to dismember me. It was only after he was in his room and called back, "Dean, let him up," that I got released from the headlock and I dragged myself to my feet, muscles aching, tendons shrieking, to come face to face with a snarl that would've scared my Dad's Rottweiler.
"Try anything again with him and you'll be snotting my boot out of your nostrils until you graduate. Do you understand me?"
So, okay, maybe I didn't need a dorm room all to myself. Not if meant I might have to give up some body parts. I could live with not losing any body parts. I left off trying to annoy Winchester in any way, shape, or form.
Then one morning, less than a week after the guy – Sam's older brother it turned out – bounced me off the floor, I was out admiring the sunrise with oh-so-obliging Olivia in her father's vintage MG. We were in the middle of nowhere, getting to know each other a lot better, and Homeplate was within reach when a monster truck pulled up beside us.
Out there, in the middle of nowhere.
Okay, not a 'Monster' monster truck, it didn't have the huge wheels. But - big and black and loud and rumbling, it loomed above us so high that when the driver's door opened, at first all I saw were boots.
Stepping down from the truck.
Right next to my face.
No way was I waiting around for the big reveal. I turned, intending to claw my way over Olivia – and not for my original reasons – and run screaming when a big, huge, iron-vised-grip dropped onto my shoulder and dragged me back around.
Every horror movie I'd ever seen flipped through my head like a montage and I expected Freddy or Jason or the Bloody Valentine Guy to pull me out of the car and drag me to a bloody, agonized death.
But it was a guy. A scary guy, but only a guy.
He was as all in black as his truck, boots, jean, shirt, jacket. His hair was dark, his five o'clock shadow looked like it could scrape paint off a car, and all his focus was focused right on me.
"You're going to go back to campus –" He said. He got right close into my face. "You will request an immediate change of dorm room. You'll use your Daddy's money if you have to."
As scary as he was without saying a word, what was even scarier was how he spoke low and calm, never raising his voice. Just sounding like he was telling me how to adjust the flame on a Bunsen burner, never mind that he was trying to dig his fingers through my clavicle and burn me to ashes with his glare.
"As soon as you do that, you will move to your new dorm room. After that, you will never – ever – be within twenty feet of Sam Winchester again. Because if you do –"
He leaned even closer to me but the vice of his hand crushing my shoulder kept me from leaning farther away from him.
"If you do – you'll feel my boot up your butt until you graduate. Do you understand me?"
Oh crap oh crap oh crap. This was Winchester's father. Oh crap oh crap oh crap.
I was busy trying to get my brain to remember how to get my mouth to open – and how to keep other parts of my alimentary canal closed – but he wasn't even waiting for my answer. He stood up, pushing himself up off my shoulder. He glanced away from me over to Olivia, who was staring at him with what looked a lot like lust in her eyes.
I think she was actually drooling.
Then he glared at me again and my brain and mouth finally reconnected.
Then he was gone back into his truck and his truck was gone back down the road and Obliging-Olivia was straightening her clothes and starting the car and dropping me at Student Housing.
She left me there with not even a goodbye.
As I watched her drive away, that big black truck drove past me, going in the other direction. It slowed down as it passed me, revving its motor and shrouding me in exhaust.
I was out of the dorm before the afternoon.