There is somebody else living in my room and I don’t know who it is.
Sometimes last month before the New Year holidays I woke up to find strands of hair on my rug. Even though just a few, I could tell it belonged to a girl: Caucasian from the look of it as the hair strands were brownish (maybe blonde), and not so long. After my unusual discovery, I brushed off the strands of hair and thoroughly vacuumed the rug in my room, considering that maybe the last occupant of the room was a girl and probably still had some of ‘herself’ left behind. Then a few weeks later I discovered a hair clip by my reading table – a place where I spent most of my time and I was more than convinced that if that clip had been there, I ought to have found it in the four months or so that I have spent here. The case of the stray strands and creep clip is not the only worry I have in coming to a conclusion that there are more than one of us in my room, the ghost dweller still unknown to me. On more than one occasion I have heard sounds from my toilet as if someone was there in the ensuite restroom and every time I open the door or swipe back the shower curtains, I don’t see anyone – not that I expect to, because if I do I will probably faint, but the spookiness has increased over the past few weeks as I begin to discover more personal effects under my bed and at times wake up in the middle of the night thinking I heard a voice. Even though this may appear as a joke at first glance, I have decided to take it a bit more seriously and find the answers to what may be responsible for these apparitions.
Being someone with an adventurous mind, I have come up with a few hypotheses.
First is that, probably the loneliness of my hermetic lifestyle is getting to me and I need to go out more often since I spend 4 out of my 7-day week locked up in my room either sleeping, reading or writing. This hypothesis is probably the sanest one I can come up with since from a psychological perspective, my mind can be the one projecting the thoughts and images of a roommate on my consciousness and making seemingly ordinary events seem surreal. This assumes that indeed there is no mystery visitor, that the last occupier of the room was female and no matter how cleaned out the apartment was when I moved in, there will still be some of her left behind in the room for me to discover.
My second hypothesis is more out-of-sync with normalcy but it still remains a hypothesis. It is a possibility that there is indeed another roommate who lives in with me but not in the physical and every time this character crosses the boundary between the spiritual and the physical, she leaves a clue behind, much like a rabbit hole trail into worlds beyond the four walls (or rather six walls) of my abode. The typical representation of this is in ghost stories where someone may have died in the room and its unsevered spirit still manages to call the room home seeing me as the intruder instead. As far-fetched as this may sound, real life ghost stories of real people that I have read proves to me that mysterious things do happen and inexplicable events, defying scientific or logical explanation somehow manage to interlace into the fabric of everyday life every now and then. No artistic work has captured this hypothesis so beautifully as the movie, The others, by Nicole Kidman. Being one person who is open-minded I believe this is a possibility.
My third hypothesis is in one way connected to the first and in many more ways connected to the zillions of films that I have watched and still find time to watch alongside my hectic school schedule and it is this: That it is possible I have a dual personality disorder and happen to have a friend in my somnambulist world, that when I am in the mode I am currently in as I type this, I can’t remember who she is or what she looks like. Yet, every time I see trails of my Hyde-world friend, I am unable to explain how I came about harbouring those trails. This Jekyll and Hyde personality syndrome is perhaps the most clichéd hypothesis and to counter this hypothesis, I will quote a great friend of mine who says diseases like dual personality disorders, anorexia and allergies are not diseases of black people. In her opinion, they are devices of people who do not have to worry about the bare necessities. I do not think somnambulism and DPD is something I can contract as I am able to account for all my daily hours barring none. However, if there is something I have learnt in my short stay here, it is that you don’t dispose a hypothesis until you have thoroughly disproved it and even then, you simply put it aside as ‘one trial, more to go’. So in that spirit, I am willing to still give DPD a shot in my spooky spells with Mrs nobody.
If you think my hypotheses are an attempt to fill in space in my diary, think again and consider all those spooky things you have had to simply describe as “Impossible!” or dispel with “Blood of Jesus!”, and try to explain them; then you will have walked a few metres in my shoes as these thoughts are thoughts I bandy with from time to time in my solitude and try to make meaning of. Meanwili, I need not bother myself so much, as all through next week I will be having discussion classes with friends and library meetings in preparation for the exams and whoever my mystery visitor is; he, she or it, has open access to my stuff until after exams by which time I will have located a Prayerman here in the UK who will come along with holy water to cleanse my room and its surroundings. At least that way, I get to rule out the spiritual dimensions of my hypotheses and stick to solving the physical.