Because I Hear the Voices

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Teething Problems

I calmly sipped my chamomile tea at the kitchen bench as I awaited Devlin’s return from the bathroom where he had spent three quarters of an hour primping in front of the mirror. It’s amazing how little you know about a person that you’ve known practically all your life, until you live with them, and let me tell you, Devlin had been full of surprises.

Now I’m not saying that I am a clean freak, because let’s face it my bedroom would prove that I was lying, but Devlin’s has his own unrecognisable brand of slob, which he claims comes from years of restrictions, having to have a house look like a display home in those flashy magazines, but I know different. He’s been spoilt rotten, with maids and housekeepers following him around to pick up after him. Wet towels were left on the floor of the bathroom, cups and saucers never found their way back to the kitchen and rubbish piles had begun to spring up in many areas all over the entire house.

We had decided that since I couldn’t cook, and since Devlin could that I would be in charge of the general tidying, and it wasn’t for the first time in these last three months that I scanned our abode with dread and disgust, while I waited for Devlin to finally emerge from the bathroom.

You see the unfortunate business about sharing a bathroom with someone who has never had to share anything, let alone a bathroom with anyone before, is that you are often locked out for hours at a time, especially if the person in question behaves like a sixteen year old girl in front of a mirror.

Finally I heard the sound of the door creaking open and I was up and inside before he had a chance to discover that he’d left something behind him again. I grimaced slightly at the saturated towels at my feet and the steam that choked my breath, but I was too desperate to care, and for the one hundredth time since I moved into the house I swore to myself that tomorrow I would wake up early to beat him here.

“Hurry up Sean we have to be out the door in ten minutes,” Devlin bellowed from the kitchen earning a feral growl from me in reply.

Exactly eight minutes later I emerged from the claustrophobic bathroom and dashed into my room across the hall to slip on my favourite Billabong shirt that I have owned since grade nine when Devlin and I used to go to the Billabong factory seconds sale down the Coast and wait in the line for hours before the place opened. I pulled on a pair of faded blue jeans, and a pair of brand new sneakers, threw my new Billabong backpack over my right shoulder and managed to slip out the front door with bare seconds to spare, under the watchful gaze of my overbearing room mate.

“Don’t spend so long in the bathroom if you want to be on time then princess,” I sneered before making my way over to the passenger side of the Ute, allowing Devlin the fun task of locking up behind us.

Devlin waited till he had reached the car to flick the button to open the doors, which grated on my nerves, slipped into his seat and without a cursory glance in my direction to see if I was settled in my seat comfortably, turned on the ignition and began to edge down the driveway.

“I’ll drop you near the library and pick you up from the same place at exactly three this afternoon, try to be on time for a change will you?” Devlin sneered as he took the turn to the left without checking for oncoming traffic.

“Since I have to be at work at four I don’t think that will be a problem mum,” I responded with a sigh.

Looking back over the last few months, it’s no wonder that our friendship has become strained of late. We’d never spent so much time in each others company before now, partly because I was never allowed to sleep over anyone’s house before nor allowed to have others over for the night at mine, and partly because unlike me, Devlin had managed to accumulate friends wherever he went, and often spent a lot of his free time with a diversity of people. Since high school had finished and what with moving out and all, Devlin had lost track of people and was in desperate need for socialisation, something that I myself have personally never been too good at. Which is why I was delighted that university had finally started so he could meet new people and stop moping around the house.

“Did you pack your uniform so I can drop you directly at work?”

“Yep.”

“Tonight you take over supervising don’t you?” Devlin enquired, trying to get our moods back on even footing.

“Yeah, finally after four years of polishing the lanes and retrieving jammed ten pound balls I finally get to control everybody from my cushy job behind the counter, handing out shoes and assigning lanes. Ah the power,” I declared as I chuckled evilly and rubbed my hands together with glee.

“So are you sure that you’ll be able to start every afternoon from four? I mean you don’t even know your timetable yet, and then there is getting there. I mean I’m not going to be able to drive you every afternoon.”

“No worries, there’s a bus that runs from here to just around the corner from work and it leaves at 2.30 so I’ll get there in plenty of time, since its not during peak hour traffic and I know that if I can get the tutorials that are on exactly after the lecture I’ll have no problem whatsoever,” I replied proud that I had managed to do all my homework without the help of anyone for a change.

“And what if those groups are full?” Devlin enquired as the voice of reason.

“Well I sent an email to the Dean and he said that to make sure that when I sign up this week I am guaranteed my preferred times I should also include a note that work gave me declaring my position and the hours from when I am required,” I answered smugly as we rounded the corner into the lane where Devlin was to drop me off.

“Well then good luck mate.”

“Yeah you too,” I responded before alighting from the vehicle and hastening to the long line of people awaiting entrance to the tiny overcrowded campus bookstore where I had to purchase all my books for the coming semester.

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