Study Partners

Will lay in the dark staring up at the ceiling. He rubbed his forehead and released a frustrated groan. Closing his eyes, he could feel a dull throbbing building up in his left temple. I need some goddamn sleep, he thought to himself.

Noises emanating from the other room continued as they had for the past hour or so. Will was tormented, tossing and turning under the covers, unable to sleep. He tried putting the pillow over his head to mute the sounds, but to no avail. Ever so often, another body part would thump against the other side of the paper-thin wall that separated the two bedrooms, jerking Will out of his slumber.

Checking his bedside clock, he cursed under his breath as he saw that it was only 1:00 am and he had to be awake in 5 hours to get ready for classes.

Muffled giggles from a disembodied female weaved their way into his room. Will wondered if she had any inkling that she was the third guest in his flat mate’s bed this week. Erich was always inviting some young lady or another into their apartment, who would remain far too long afterwards. Will didn’t remember “nocturnal activity” being on the lease when he started renting the room from Erich. He didn’t really care that much; he just wanted to get some sleep.

They were supposed to be “studying”, Erich had mentioned, when he introduced her earlier that evening. But this was no study session. Not anymore. Textbooks, papers, and clothing now lay in a small bundle on the floor by Erich’s bed, indicating possible signs of intent, but no completion, of the original act of exam preparation.

A sliver of light filtered through Will’s bedroom window from the apartment parking lot offering minimal illumination to the room. The spacious 15×13 square-foot bedroom housed a full size bed, desk and chair, and a 4-drawer chest. The wall closet secreted trousers in order of style and length and shirts in order of color then sleeve length. All the hangers were of the same make and size so nothing protruded outwards. Shoes were placed in pairs in individual identical boxes and stacked in the right hand corner of the closet in order of color. An empty waste basket remained out of sight on the floor behind the bedroom door.

It was the final two weeks of university and most of the final year students were buckling down for the last exams. Clearly, those two already had all their material covered, Will thought.

He sat up in bed and squinted as his eyes adjusted to the darkness. The steady rhythmic creaking of the bed in the adjacent room seemed to herald the end of Will’s suffering. In due time, the dual crescendo of ecstatic moans finally came to a screaming climax. Then, silence.

Will, now fully awake, listened closely to discern whether the couple would start again, but this seemed to be the final act of their one-night performance. Glancing at the clock he realized his good night’s sleep had again been hijacked for the third straight night. He settled back under the covers with a sigh and made a note to ask Erich to change the orientation of his bed the next day.

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