It’s a dusty, 12-foot-by-12-foot little room. It’s got cockroaches in the summer and asbestos year round. The tile is cold and grimy and so is the furniture. Two windows that don’t open all the way and a door that likes to slam round it off. It sounds disgusting because it is. But it’s one of my favorite places in the world, and I’ll never see it again.
I grew so much in that nasty little dorm room. I learned to be myself, to express my emotions, to love and to let myself be loved. That room was filled with laughter and people at all times. My roommate and I watched chick flicks and rearranged our furniture and attempted microwave cooking together in that room. My other friends and I talked about faith and relationships and working out. I hung out with people I barely knew in that room. I did so many new, exciting things.
It also lived through some not-so-nice things, like the week he and I almost broke up. Like the months my roommate realized she was in the wrong major and had no idea what to do with her life. Like the times friends came in crying over boys and grades and life.
That room represents true friendship. My first family-that-is-not-related. It represents the struggle of learning to balance school with social life. It represents learning to confront people. It represents growth.
That room has seen many late nights. Just one very memorable all-nighter (Truth or Dare is still a thing in college). It’s seen many sleepovers with girls piled on the floor in sleeping bags and blankets. Many deep discussions. Many more very stupid discussions. (Like what if toes were people? Would they be little families?)
That room witnessed the first time someone asked me out. It heard the many conversations about my misgivings and insecurities. It saw my very first kiss. It listened the first time he whispered, “I love you.”
Only two of us lived there, but numerous lives were squished into that room. We supported each other, annoyed each other, and made each other laugh — really, really hard. We created our own family for ourselves even though we came from many different backgrounds. We were comfortable there in that room, surrounded by a place that was often just the opposite. It was home.
That room is gone now, with its cozy nooks and rusty desks and slug-shaped paint splotch on the ceiling which I dubbed my pet, Fred. Those cinderblocks, that knew many, many people intimately, are being replaced by safer drywall. That floor, on which we spilled coffee and nail polish remover and remnants of our hearts, is now being re-tiled. That bed, where I did homework and cried and held the boy I love, is being moved out in favor of a newer, streamlined model.
But I hold on to that room. I became myself in that room. Over the years, I’ll forget the details of how it looked and what all we did. The colors will grow fuzzy and the windows murky. I won’t recall what happened when someone asks, “Remember that time when…?” But nothing will change the fact that I gave a part of myself to that room. Nothing will change the fact that I added my life to those walls.
If those walls could talk, oh, the stories they would tell.
In response to the Daily Post prompt “Places.”