By Gena Anderson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustration by Megan Kovak
Did something just move? No. There’s no way.
Do I turn on the light or do I just crawl into bed in the darkness? I should turn on the light. There’s nothing in my room.
I hesitated at that point.
There is nothing in the room. Turn on the light and prove it. You will feel better.
So I did. Typically my inner voice is right.
The little light bulb of my desk lamp illuminated my room, revealing a small brown and gray creature with tiny ears, a thin long tail and beady eyes.
But I did scream. Which startled my little roommate, causing him to flee under my bed. At which point I jumped on my bed to remove myself from the same plane as my tiny invader.
I pulled my phone out of my pocket and instantly dialed my closest male friend, Daniel.
I waited for it to ring, but all I got was dead air. I didn’t have a signal.
TRY AGAIN! Text him!
All of my efforts were in vain though. My phone was refusing to cooperate. I couldn’t get my signal of distress out to anyone.
So I gave up. I laid down and curled up amongst blankets trying to fight off tears.
I laid there for probably fifteen minutes, which felt more like two hours, cursing the rat and wishing I had gotten a cat like I wanted to. Then my phone went off. It was Daniel.
I explained my problem, the invader, and begged him to come help me.
Once he got to my house he opened my bedroom door and looked down.
“Yeah, you have a rat,” he said.
The sneaky little invader had wandered back out from under my bed and was chilling in the middle of my room like he owned the place. Daniel scared him and he took off under my bed again.
The thing about the rat is: he doesn’t seem to understand concepts like MY bed or MY room. He thinks he lives there too, which isn’t okay.
Daniel started rummaging around my room making a lot of noise while I was waiting in my living room for him to do whatever manly things men do to handle rodents.
But, instead of him making my problem go away, he made it run out of my room directly towards me.
I jumped into a small chair, the only piece of living room furniture I own, and full on freaked out.
“It’s more afraid of you than you are of it,” Daniel told me.
He’s usually right about most things, but not this time.
The rat disappeared into my kitchen. I wasn’t pleased about that, but I figured kitchen was better than my bedroom. I was able to sleep that night.
But the next two nights – not so much.
Rats make noise at night. I know because I hear him.
They also eat your clothes. I know because I woke up to find my jeans had been gnawed through.
I bought a trap. It is set. It makes me sad though. During the day when the creature isn’t tormenting me, it is a cute little mouse.
I blame cartoons. They taught me mice are cute and friendly. They aren’t.
When the sun goes down and I am alone in my room that not-so-cute little mouse transforms into a hairy matted monster with claws, fangs and diseases.
Cartoon lie No. 2: mice actually aren’t that fond of cheese. They prefer peanut butter.
If the rat and his family ever die, I will move back into my house. Until then, you can find me crashing on the couches of my friends who do not have rats.
If you are one of those friends, or want to be, please contact me!