Summary: Rob knew there was something wrong with his roommate when he found a sinkful of burnt human hair in the bathroom.
Rob hated crowds. He thought it suffocated him and always made him remember the funeral of his sister, so he would try as much as possible to avoid it. After buying his meal, he walked straight to his room. He never had an intention to eat at the cafeteria.
“Have you eaten?” Asked Dio, his only one friend at the dorm, in the midway.
Rob came to a halt and then lifted the plastic bag in his hand.
“Have a good lunch, then.”
Rob smirked then murmured, “Yeah,” before continued walking to his room.
It had always been like that. Rob, who hadn’t anyone to talk to, would lock himself inside his shared-room, keeping a distance with the world outside his door and building his own world inside his chamber.
Nate liked trailing people. He had been doing it since the day he could walk. His sister, who liked wandering around, was the one he followed every day. So it wasn’t a surprise that he could walk for hours.
Nate rearranged his hat and tightened his jacket. His stern eyes were locked to a man walking five meters in front of him. His feet brought him to a place where the man was going to go. He had promised himself that this trailing could not be stopped; he had to finish his plan.
Rob had just woken a minute ago. His mind was still foggy when he found his room was messy. He thought there’s something weird with it. As far as he remembered his room didn’t look this messy. He indeed hadn’t thrown his food trash nor washed his dirty clothes, but he did nothing to his roommate’s things which previously was put down at the corner of the room but now its content were scattered everywhere.
Rob knew he had a roommate—most people did—yet he had never met the person from the first time he set his feet in that room. His roommate only left a big suitcase at the corner of the room, and he was sure that that person came last night.
Rob got up from his bed and strode to the bathroom. He was going to brush his teeth when he saw a sinkful of—something he sure was—human burnt hair inside a transparent plastic on the sink. He frowned. Did his roommate come back only to rummage his baggage and left this thing?
Rob paced outside. He knew it. There was something wrong with his roommate.
Nate parked his car in front of an abandoned building located near his school. He pulled out an unconscious body which earlier he stabbed with a stun gun from his trunk and took it inside the building. He positioned it on a chair occupied by thick ropes, tied the body randomly then started shaving the man’s hair.
Nate’s prediction was never wrong. He knew there was something off with the man his sister invited home two years ago. As a good brother he did tell his sister and parents about his thought but they didn’t buy his words. When they believed his words, it had been pointless because his sister had died.
Last winter, his parents got phoned by the police—telling them that they had found his missing sister. Unfortunately she wasn’t found alive. Her corpse was found in the bushes five miles away from their home with bald head and knife-slices all over her body. At that moment, Nate promised himself to kill the killer.
“W-who are you?” Asked a stutter voice when Nate was lighting the woods inside a drum.
Nate turned his head, approaching the man whilst clutching a dagger in his hand. “Hello.”
The man startled, “Y-you.”
“Yep. It’s me.” Nate said, “I believe you know what I’m going to do.”
The man trembled when Nate had fully stood in front of him. “Wait. Wait-I can explain everything. I can—”
The man’s words never finished. His neck half-cut to the right side, blood burst from his neck’s vessel. Nate stood still until the blood stopped spurting. Feeling dissatisfied, Nate mutilated the corpse then threw it into the drum to burn it. While waiting the body turned into ashes, he sat on the dry floor, lighting a candle then burning the man’s hair. He wanted to keep it as a reward.
When the clock hit two, Nate had fulfilled his entire urge. The ashes of the killer had been spread into a trash container; the burnt hair of the man’s head was shoved into his pocket. He left the place as how it was.
Nate should come back to his dorm.
Nate had just taken a bath and almost thrown his jeans to laundry basket when he remembered something. He took the plastic and placed it on the sink. Nate was smirking to himself through the mirror when his phone rang. He came to his bed where he left his phone then saw a message from operator. Feeling exhausted, Nate felt his eyes became heavy and he finally drove off to sleep.
Rob knocked Dio’s room impatiently. He had to tell his friend about the short visit of his roommate last night.
Dio frowned seeing his lonely friend standing in front of his door at dawn. “What?”
Rob showed him the plastic, “You know what this is, right?”
Dio took the thing then sniffed it. “Human burnt hair? Like what we burnt in the lab yesterday.”
Rob, terrified, said, “I think there was something wrong with my roommate. You know he never showed up since our first day but last night he came, rummaging his things and leaving this thing inside the bathroom.”
Dio blinked few times. He had been fully awake. His big eyes seemed to poop out from their sockets. “You don’t have a roommate, Rob.”
Thank you to Zodepi for giving ideas; Annisa Hapsari, Netti Rahmawati, and Wisny Ima for proofreading.
– Andriana, Lia Indra. 2011. Khokkiri. Jakarta: Penerbit Haru.
– McGuigan (Dir.). 2010. Sherlock Holmes TV Series. London: Hartswood Films, BBC Wales, and WGBH.
Word count: 973 words