I had lots of distractions this weekend and so, thank God, I didn’t spend that much time in my now empty flat.
I was working all weekend. I was meant to go to “Bearovision”, an event where larger, hairier gay men watch the Eurovision Song Contest together. What a horrendous concept. When the friend I was meant to go with suggested he may not be on time, I used it as an excuse to get out of having to go at all and watched the show at home.
After the result had been announced, I went out to get an ice-cream. As I was coming back (around 11:30 at night) I noticed a light on upstairs in our flat. I don’t think it had been on before. The boys were all gone. What was going on?
I went upstairs to check. My bedroom is one of seven downstairs and there are another seven upstairs. I hadn’t been upstairs since the boys left.
The lights in the stairwell were switched off, as were the lights in the corridor. Was one of the boys back? Was there an intruder?
I stood in the darkened corridor outside the room that had its light switched on. I called out the name of the boy whose room it had been. There was no answer. I gulped, because at that moment I realised that I was in an actual horror movie.
I called out “Hello?” my voice quivering. I timidly knocked on the door. No answer. You don’t want to know what was going through my mind at this stage, but it involved me discovering a body and/or an escaped convict.
The door swung open in response to my gentle knocks and I froze. There was complete silence. I went in. There was no one (alive or dead) in there.
I looked around the room. It looked sad and empty. There was nothing there that suggested the existence of the boy who’d called it home for nine months. Nothing except a few animals, made out of paper, on the bookshelf.
The other noticeable thing about the room was the absence of a mattress. Whoever had left the light on, had taken the mattress from the bed. I felt violated on behalf of the room.
I left the room and went exploring. Another one of the upstairs rooms was unlocked, and this was also missing a mattress. I checked all the bedroom doors. None of the others upstairs opened, but one more downstairs was open, also without a mattress.
Since this, I have been quite scared alone in the house. My rational brain knows that there is unlikely to be a crazed killer mattress bandit on the loose in Hall, but my rational brain does very little of my thinking.
Now, every time I go to the toilet, or the shower, or even just walk along the corridor, I make sure I’m playing loud music on my phone. Saturday night spooked me.
A friend of mine worried that I’d be so lonesome for the boys that I’d stay alone in the flat “rubbing against their bedroom doors” (her words, not mine). And of course I miss the boys, but after Saturday night, I can’t wait to get out of the flat. I spend as little time as possible here. I’ll be moving on Friday, into a flat with other postgrads.
By the way, I solved the mattress mystery this morning when I was in reception. There was a list hanging behind the desk, headed “Mattresses destroyed”, along with a list of about 15 room numbers including the three I’d discovered in my building.
Before I move into my new flat, I’ll have to clean one or two things here to make sure me and the boys get our deposits back. The only big job they left for me was the freezer, which I’ll have to empty and defrost. I had a look at it this morning. It’s full of food. Full. One of the drawers seems to be dedicated to ice-cream.
There are three (fairly empty) tubs of ice-cream in the drawer. There are also four spoons in there. In the freezer.
I can’t quite figure it out. But here, as I see it, are the possibilities:
A) Cleaning up after dinner one day, one of the boys absent-mindedly flung the spoons into the freezer and forgot about them.
B) Someone was hiding their spoons from the other boys and then forgot them.
C) The freezer is much nearer to the kitchen table than the cutlery drawer. The boys kept the spoons with the ice-cream, so they wouldn’t have to stand up and walk to the kitchen sink or cutlery drawer when they needed ice-cream, leading to the following sub-options:
C.1) After they ate ice-cream, the boys would throw their spoons into the freezer, so they could get them easily the next time. They didn’t worry about germs because the freezing process would kill any bacteria.
C.2) They each knew which spoon belonged to which boy and so germs weren’t an issue.
C.3) After eating ice-cream, the boys would wash their spoons. Then they would pop them in the freezer for ease of access at dessert time.