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Earlier this evening I received my first knock on the door. Against the excitement of having unannounced guests, I was apprehensive in opening the door as I was bra-less, in Chesire Cat-esque fleece pyjamas and had my freshly laundered undergarments strewn across my bed. A beautiful blonde stood before me and for some reason I instantly recognised her to be Anna, the girl who had occupied this room six months prior to me.

She was looking for her little lost dog and although she meant a childhood plush toy, I couldn’t help but feel like the hulking green ogre who had stolen a furry friend from Little Red Riding Hood. Never mind that I was very, very much shorter than her and that I just butchered about three different fairytales. For whatever reason, it was kind of weird seeing her face to face after only hearing about her from corridor mates and seeing her name plastered on the mailbox, fridge and freezer. I think I was instinctively possessive of the room, the way a new girlfriend is in the face of a significant other’s old flame.

We both began to search my bed, her only at my insistence as I had done my own thorough search and yielded nothing. She might have stood in my room but I could see her drawing away from everything in politeness, to not assume possession even though this room was hers less than two weeks ago. As we rummaged I thought about the way she impacted everyone as she lived here and the unfortunate comparison I continuously emptied unto me. I hadn’t heard a great deal except that she was really nice. Was I nice? The room was left spick and span and with the minimalistic but functional set up of the dressing table to show that a girl lived here. Was I messier than her?

She left and I promised I would tell her if I saw her dog. We shook hands at the doorway and I told her my name. This entire post might just be me being sentimental, but I felt something symbolic about her standing outside her adventure nearly over and me standing inside mine just about to begin. Anna wished me the very best, telling me that exchange was one of the greatest experiences of her life. And then she left. No one had lied. She really was very, very nice.

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