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At the second day of Miniclasses here at New College, I was sitting in my new living room in Goldstein with my friends Nicolas and Holly. We were having a conversation when I noticed that Kathy, my third roommate was looking slightly off as she was fumbling with her keys at the door. I asked her if anything was wrong and she spilled her story: her bf had been caught stealing food from Walmart and had used his one call to tell her to go and pick up her car (which he had been driving) from the parking lot. Did any of us have a car?
Holly spoke up and offered to drive her there. I volunteered to go along and as they waited for me to grab my purse, a packet of tissues for Kathy, who was quite upset, and a pair of shoes. (Shoes tend to be optional here at New College. I generally wear a pair of flip-flops unless I’m feeling adventurous.) We also collected my other roommate Megan to come along. I knocked on our other roommate Tiffany’s door to tell her that we were going out.
We all collaborated on the ride over to distract Kathy from her woes, telling funny stories about our families and situations we’ve been in. I was concerned for Kathy but was confident that she would be alright. There was this mindset in the car that this was an adventure. One that could bond our motley crew of roommates?
I am a Natural Sciences person, and am fairly sure I’m going to be a Biochemistry Area of Concentration (AOC). Kathy is a Math AOC. Megan has a double AOC - German Studies and International studies with a focus in East Europe - and is currently a thesis student. Tiffany, the roommate left at home, is a Marine Biology AOC and also a thesis student.
So we got to the Walmart parking lot and found Kathy’s car. I volunteered to accompany Kathy back in her car. We got out and Holly and Megan drove away. As we got into Kathy’s car, my main goal was to not upset the driver and support her as we drove back. But when Kathy turned the key in the ignition - nothing happened. Flat battery? We’ve been left there and Megan isn’t answering her phone. We are officially stranded.
So we go into the Walmart to see if anyone there could jump-start the battery. Their Auto Repair shop was already closed for the day. Kathy was freaking out a bit at this point so I started looking for a person to give us a jump. A man in a shirt saying “Auto Parts”? Perfect candidate!
He indeed did have jumper cables and was willing to give us a jump. As we go outside, it’s raining cats and dogs. Kathy’s car hood is completely blocked by cars all around her in the parking lot and despite pushing, her car wasn’t about to roll anywhere. The Good Samaritan can’t get close enough for the jumper cables to work. So, we thank him and he drives away. 15 seconds later, the car to the left of us and the car in front of us both drive away. Damn.
Well, we’ve called Megan’s phone several times, to no avail. I call Tiffany to ask for a ride, which she is kind enough to come and get us. On the way back, we tell the story of the Good Samaritan and realize that if he had been in a position to give us a boost, someone likely would have been electrocuted in the pouring rain. Tiffany had tian, a French dish, in progress back in our apartment and Holly and Megan were just finishing up baking a pseudo-Peach Cobbler downstairs as we got back.
Back in the car, when we were sheltering from the rain and waiting for Tiffany to show up, I had promised Kathy that one day, this adventure would be viewed as the day that we all bonded. She replied that if this was an adventure, she felt more like Bilbo right now than Frodo. As we were all walking up the stairs, following the delicious smell of Peach Cobbler emitting from the pan that Megan was carrying, I asked Kathy if she still felt more like Bilbo? She replied, “I’m feeling more Frodo-ish right now.” We all got in the room and had warm Peach Cobbler and vanilla ice cream in mugs. Kathy and I changed out of our wet clothes into warm fuzzy bathrobes and PJs.
We all started talking and Holly started telling amazing stories and it was generally awesome. Roommate bonding achieved. Moral of the story: pick your roommates carefully and they will take awesome care of you and feed you warm desserts after you’ve been wet and cold for an hour.