After living that dorm life freshman year, I decided that it wasn’t for me. So, for the first semester of sophomore year I moved back home and worked two jobs to save up enough money for an apartment. During winter break, right before spring semester started, I found a room in a four bedroom two bathroom duplex within walking distance from my school for the low low of $400/month. Each room was leased separately and two girls were already living there in the lower level which left me on the ground level with my own bathroom.
One of the girls, to this day, I have never actually seen. I know she was there because he name was written on all her food and her laundry detergent and occasionally I heard her giggling with our other roommate, but I have no clue what she looks like or when she moved out. This piece is gonna focus on the other girl, let’s call her Shanika (You may have noticed by now that I’m using fake names in this series and, while I’d like to say it’s to protect identities, I actually just don’t remember any of their real names *insert shrug emoji*).
Of all the roommate that came and when during my 3 years in that apartment, Shanika was honestly the only nice when. When I moved in she introduced herself and welcomed me, offered to share her food, and whenever we were both in the kitchen at the same time, she always chatted with me. I’m the type of person that can live with strangers in complete silence so, what I’m now learning about myself is that, I need to be paired with people who are more extroverted (not invasively so) than me to actually have a healthy living situation. Or I just need to stop living with strangers.
The first incident I had with Shanika was during a party. She informed me ahead of time that she was throwing a party/barbeque which was fine, I would be getting home from work late that night anyway. When I did get home, the door to my room was locked. Shanika locked it as a precaution so none of her guest would venture inside. Great, thoughtful roommate thing to do. However, I did not have a key to my bedroom door. I was told that there were no keys to the bedroom doors but apparently that wasn’t true. I called a friend who knew how to pick locks and Shanika said I could chill in her room while I waited for them. Cool.
So, as I’m sitting alone in this girl’s room waiting for my friend, a group of white kids (literally all of the white kids at this mainly Black party) come in. One of the guys says, “Hey, Shanika said it was cool if we do this real quick in her room. You mind?” I shook my head and this nigga pulls out a little scale on which he pours a white powdery substance. Now, I’m not a fool. I was raised in the hood. I’ve seen the movies. I know immediately what this shit is. Crack Cocaine! These white people are in MY house selling and doing COCAÍNA right in front of my face.
I’m about as edgy as a butter knife and 19 year old me was even less edgy. I didn’t party or drink or even smoke weed at the time so watching these whites folk selling coke had me shook just a smidge. After they left the room I took a second to sit with what just happened and then I promptly got up and went to a nearby friend’s house.
Now the next wild thing to happen actually occurred after Shanika moved out. Both her and the other shawty were gone now, so I had the entire place all to myself. One of my biggest regrets will always be that I didn’t have sex in all the empty bedrooms when I had the chance...but I digress. Anyway, I had the spot all to myself so imagine my surprise when one day, while I’m in the bathroom, I suddenly hear my front door open and MULTIPLE voices in my living room. I step out into the hallway that leads to the living room to see Shanika and an older man talking and laughing with a BOOTED CAR TIRE laying on the floor between them.
From what I can gather from this scene and their conversation, Shanika’s car got booted and this gentleman helped her remove the booted tire and replaced in with a spare. Regular degular illegal hood antics. My question though (again) was, why is this happening in MY home? Like, why the fuck is there a booted car tire in the middle of my living room floor? Why is a girl who doesn’t live here anymore still have keys to my place? Why is this happening to me????? Anyway, Shanika apologized for the commotion and then said she had a favor to ask me. She asked if it was okay that she crash in her old room every once in awhile because she worked or had classes or something up here that got out late and her new place was kind of far. This girl isn’t even supposed to still have keys to this place!
Now I complain a lot about the roommates I’ve had (hell, I started this whole series to complain about them) but, to keep it a buck with y’all, most of these situations are my own damn fault. I don’t like to talk to people, especially strangers, I don’t establish boundaries, and despite how volatile people seem to think I am, I actually try to avoid conflict at all costs. Even at the risk of my own self. So...I reluctantly allow this girl to continue having access to my home.
Now the next part I’m highkey embarrassed to even admit. After a few months of her randomly staying over I decided I didn’t want this anymore. Instead of doing the simple thing and tell her to scram, I go complicated and put in a maintenance request to get the locks changed. Of course the maintenance people then ask me why I want to do that, so I say, “I think a former roommate might still have keys to the apartment.” A few days later I get a call from a confused Shanika who got a call from my landlord asking if she still had keys and it was a WHOLE thing. I’m such an idiot. I came up with some shit story to cover my ass and luckily a few weeks later new tenants started moving in and I didn’t have to deal with that situation anymore.