Written last year ..and completely true.
After a few random hours of joking around with my new roommate, I made my way over to bed around 1 am. Exhaustion was fresh and thriving throughout me, but I held on to whatever energy I had left so I could get some much needed Arabic revision. Classes were starting within a few weeks and all I had remembered to say was “La arif” or “I don’t know”.
Story of my academic life.
After hitting the fourth chapter of the Arabic textbook, my eyes wandered over to my radio which now read 2 am. No longer able to restrain my exhaustion, I turned off the lights, and fell onto my bed with sleep striking as soon as my head had met the pillow.
I woke up. My eyes struggled to see in the encompassing darkness around them. I heard someone talking outside. In my drowsy stupor, I looked behind me, where my new and bare window stood a mere foot from my head.
My heart stopped. My eyes fixated. My throat dried.
There, behind my naked, curtainless window, stood a shadow staring down at me. His hands were spread around my window, searching. With my sleepy haze quickly fading into complete horror, I croaked “H-hello?”
He stopped fidgeting.
“What..what apartment is this?”
“208” I replied like a frozen idiot.
“Shit. I’m sorry, I live on the other side yeah uh when I sometimes get locked out I use the fire escape to find my window. My window doesn’t have a screen so I was confused as to what the hell this was doing here. Sorry.”
He turned to walk up the fire escape.
My heart had not continued it’s beating. I remained staring at the window where his shadow had spoken to me.
And then he returned. He rested his arms on my window sill. I could not move. I remained in my position, with half of my body still in bed, the other half contorted facing the well-built shadow. That was perhaps the most terrifying aspect of the whole night: thanks to the aid from the moonlight and lamp posts, he was able to see what I looked like. However, for the same exact reason I was unable to see any of his features. He remained a shadow.
“Listen, I’m sorry,” he said to me in a quiet, alcohol drenched voice, “I really hope I didn’t freak you out. I’m here now talking to you to make sure you’re okay.”
My disbelief rose to the point of delirium. With my husky-just-woke-up voice I replied “Yeah, yeah I’m okay. Uh, yeah. I just moved from a really sketchy area and you standing in my window at 4 am isn’t exactly the most calming sight. I should go back to b-”
“Are you working tomorrow?” He interrupted.
I was confused, given that ‘tomorrow’ meant a Sunday. However, at the same I understood the tone his voice had now taken. “Yes,” I lied.
“Whenever. Probably late evening.”
A short hesitation ensued. I could hear him think. Hear him debate. He then, making use of the remaining liquid courage within him, said, “Listen…I’m thirsty, and you’re probably still freaked out. Do you want to, I don’t know, grab a drink of water together or something?”
My eyes bulged in complete shock. Not because of the fact he was hitting on me, but because of the size of balls he was carrying with him. He had the audacity to ask me to a drink of water after trying to come through my window at 4 am on a Sunday morning. Trying to diffuse the situation further, I nervously chuckled and replied “No thanks, I need to get back to bed. I’m not thirsty.”
But he persisted, “Well..I am. Let’s grab some water.”
“No. Seriously. You should go now.”
And with that he left.
What a charmer.