There once were three girls, who had never met, and a dog named Katie. In August they moved into the basement, luckily made friends, and lived through an entire first year of college. Angie and Grak and Caity; they studied together and joked, they watched TV shows and looked at clothes online (if only they had the money to buy from JCrew or Anthropologie), they took distorted pictures of each other and only very rarely stocked fellow classmates. They listened to songs that Derb should never know about and reviewed lectures and were quite heretical, I’m sure. Friday nights found them in jeans and sweatshirts, kneading dough and stretching pizza crust. Friends would come over with pepperoni and cheese and sit around until it was late, talking and laughing.
The basement had it’s own special qualities. The microwave threatened to explode anytime the Start button was pushed and the washer leaked a lake, but only once in a while, and the sink…well, that faucet was persnickety—turned on low and it dribbled, flipped on full blast it was like a fire-hose. There was no in between. Even stranger was the basement’s aptitude for collecting other people’s possessions (a pair of shoes, a towel, an empty purse, a pair of kid-snowpants, and a book, to name a few). The guests never claimed them, but every now and then one of the items would disappear, I assume to find a new home.
What a year they had, had: early morning classes; cinnamon rolls and coffee, greek yogurt and chocolate chips; a broken trashcan and dim flickering lights; one mouse and just a few spiders, on the whole, the eight months they lived in the basement were not too bad. They even missed each other over the summer.
After a few months of break, only one of the three returned. Grangie, as the two inseparables were tenderly called, moved away leaving the house practically empty. The faces were different this next year and the number of words spoken per second grew to tremendous heights: this little corner of E and Howard was not the same. There were now four roommates: the Asian one, the hockey one, the tall one, and Caity; Mr. Burnett called them his sorority. It’s was not as perfectly neat-and-tidy, nor as coldly lonesome; the counter tops were perpetually cluttered with tea and coffee mugs and there were at least two curling irons plugged in at any given time. Pictures and paintings made their way onto the walls and spread to the fridge too, covered with magnets and papers and notes. Books no longer stayed in their designated spots on the shelves and pots and pans seemed to leap out of the cabinets. Evenings were spent “studying,” playing games, and crying through smiles, a commonplace book kept to record all their unfortunate quotables.
And now one more year has almost past. The constant bubbling of excited stories and retelling of school drama animated those dreary days of that sophomore year.