Everyone has a crazy story about their cousin’s best friend’s brother’s college roommate. The story literally made your jaw drop when you first heard it. Stolen stuff, keyed cars, the whole ordeal.
But fewer roommate horror stories sound worse than my own.
It all started when I transferred to the University of Georgia. I didn’t know many people, so when I saw a friend of a friend needed a third roommate, I decided to live with her.
Miranda had already signed a lease with a random girl she found on the UGA Facebook page, but she assured me that she was cool and it would all work out.
For the first few months, everything seemed great. Miranda, Victoria and I hung out together, and went to pool parties and bars together. The living situation felt comfortable and friendly.
Around October, things changed. Miranda and I started noticing that some of our food would go missing, or that entire bottles of alcohol were empty and put back in the pantry. Just little things, but the three of us talked about it and it was over.
Other things began to bug me in the house, but I tried to let it roll off my back. I had two jobs and zero pets, yet I stayed up late cleaning up after Victoria’s dogs. She also rarely brought her key with her. If she arrived home to a locked door, she climbed in the front window, letting the entire sketchy neighborhood know that our house was easy to break into.
For Christmas break, I bought a combination lock for the latch outside my bedroom door so that I could secure my room when I left to my hometown. I returned few weeks later to find things from my room went missing. I brought it up to her. She called me crazy. I assumed I was just paranoid and let it go. The tension cooled down after a few weeks and not much else happened.
Fast forward to May. I left to study abroad for about three weeks . When I returned to the house, Victoria’s friend Ashlee had basically moved in. There were at least seven dogs in the house. The couch that I contributed to the living room looked ruined. Plants were growing in my shower like some kind of greenhouse. There were drugs all over the place. Random people were crashing in Miranda’s room while she was away. More things were missing from my locked bedroom. Again though, I kind of let it go. I didn’t want to stir the pot because I needed a place to live for the summer so I could keep my jobs.
The next week was my 21st birthday and Victoria was going out of town. I had some friends over, one of which Victoria was not a fan, before going out to celebrate. We posted snapchats and insta-stories. It was all very stereotypical “21.”
Here’s where the real drama starts.
Victoria came back from her trip and accused me of letting “her enemies in her house while she was gone.” Her friend Ashlee—you know, the friend living at my house for free while Miranda and I paid rent—accused me of trying to kill her dogs because I moved the plants that they were growing in my shower to the living room. The entire situation was chaotic, and I was pretty sure it was drug-induced.
After asking Victoria for the things she’d stolen out of my locked room and informing her that she was breaking and entering, she walked out and slammed the door, blocked my number and all my social media profiles.
I walked to the living room and asked an inebriated Ashlee if she could convince Victoria to come home and just give me back the stuff she took. This, I guess, was a catalytic request. Ashlee jumped up off the couch and cornered me against the back door. (An important detail here: I’m 4’11 so I was not about to attempt to fight back against any sort of drug-induced rage.)
She informed me that Victoria simply “borrowed,” my stuff. As she’s blocking me in a corner, screaming in my face with her under-aged booze breath, she told me how crazy and dramatic I was. At this point, I was over it. “You can take yourself, your seven dogs and your drugs, and get out of my house, or I will call the police,” I said.
She thought for a moment. “Funny that you think you’ll get that far when I have a gun upstairs,” she threatened. With that, she pushed past me, flung open the door and stormed down the stairs.
I stood there for a minute, dumb-founded. Then the anger hit. I called my dad, shaking with anger as I walked to my car. Though I didn’t know where I was going at 11 p.m., I knew I wasn’t going to sit there and wait for her to come back and threaten me more.
I told my dad I wanted to go to the police station and file an incident report. As much as I hate to admit it, I genuinely felt afraid. In some sort of endorphin rush, I emailed Victoria and told her that I was going to the cops about Ashlee’s gun threat but would leave her name out of it if she just returned my stuff.
My dad talked me out of going, saying it was just girl drama, so I went to sleep at a friend’s. I forgot all about the email when I crept in the house the next morning to shower. When I finished my shower, I heard Victoria stomping down the stairs. She banged on the door, screaming about how Ashlee didn’t threaten me. I opened the door. “You weren’t even here, how would you know?”
The backdoor flies open: Ashlee. She starts screaming about how she never threatened me and how there was no gun. Then they both stomped upstairs. I was not about to wait for these girls to come back down with a gun. I grabbed my bag and ran out the door.
As I get in my car, I get a text from Victoria. “We’re calling that cops and telling them you stole our gun.” WHAT? First I got threatened with it, then it didn’t exist, then I stole it?
I call my dad again, on the verge of a minor mental break down. I updated him and heard my mom in the background asking if I was on a reality TV show. These girls were seriously trying to get me in legal trouble after stealing from me for months and threatening me. With that, I drove to the police station.
I walked in—wet shower hair, bleach stained t-shirt and all—and told some nice burly cop man my story. He was shocked. He told me he I was able to press felony charges.
I felt that was a little steep. Yes, I was angry and honestly afraid, but I just wanted her out of my house for the summer, not behind bars. I decided against pressing charges and tried to file for a restraining order of sorts. The judge who heard my request said it sounded like “when his roommate from law school drank all his orange juice” and that the process for a restraining order was not worth the trouble.
So, with that, my dad and my friend Max moved all my furniture out of my house the next day. My manager transferred me to a location near my parents’ house. The crazy girl who threatened me got to live rent free in my house all summer because the landlord wouldn’t uphold his end of the lease.
The entire situation was infuriating and frustrating, but I learned some important lessons: 1) choose your battles, your roommates and your landlords wisely and 2) never trust a combination lock – they are apparently easy to break.