The Cost of Roommates

by Celine P


The Cost of Roommates
Celine P.
Anticipating and Discovering
Robert Smith sat languidly at his cheap, linoleum desk in Alabama County High School, sighing at the incorrectly formatted citation pages of his students’ history papers as dust-brown leaves fell onto the ground. The new school year already arrived, yet the dull students continued to mess up their citations time after time. Robert made a mental note to reprimand his class the next day.

As Robert drove home after a long day paired with a meager lunch, he longed to rest in his squat, cozy home. However, something seemed off when Robert stepped up to the door. The air brought upon an ominous scent.

Robert scrutinized the keyhole then noticed that someone had already unlocked the door. With trembling hands and a drum for a heart, Robert slid into his house like a mouse. But no thief appeared. Instead, Robert encountered his very own brother.

The Unpleasant Surprise
Dobert, or Dobs, lounged nonchalantly on Robert’s scratchy sofa while munching on half the contents of Robert’s pantry. The house key rested next to him; after all, Dobs had found it under the doormat and used it to break in.

Robert began to annoyedly question his brother. He learned that Dobs fell into bankruptcy due to unemployment; as a result, he resorted to depending financially on Robert since no one else could help him. Robert impatiently ordered his brother to leave soon since he had neither the time nor money to take care of them both. However, Dobs refused.

“Nope, I think I will stay. It’ll work out, don’t worry so much,” Dobs countered indifferently.

Robert understood that throwing his brother out of his own house would prove difficult.
Missed Shot
Full Effort, Meager Outcome
A blur of days passed, yet Dobs still lazed around the house like a half-asleep turtle. Robert resolved to kick him out through helping his brother gain financial independence. Consequently, he began to strategically place job advertisement pamphlets around the house in an effort to persuade Dobs of the benefits of employment.

Above the grimy fireplace sat an ad for construction workers, atop the discolored dining table lay an ad for gardeners, and upon the bookshelf perched an ad for janitors. Pamphlets shrewdly positioned themselves everywhere.

It took Dobs some time to decode the situation, but once he did, a crabby Dobs tore up every single pamphlet like a paper cutting machine. The whole house smelled of construction paper and resentment.
Full Effort, Meager Outcome
Still, Robert refused to give up. He decided to trick Dobs into going for a job interview at the local cafe. 

“Dobs, I understand what I did upset you, so I sincerely apologize. Why don’t we go out for some fresh air and distract ourselves a bit? I heard about the new circus in town, it sounds truly exciting,” lied Robert.

“Whatever, sure,” replied Dobs unenthusiastically.

Everything went according to plan, and the ride
proceeded smoothly. They arrived at the cafe, and Robert revealed to Dobs that the reason they came was because of the job interview. Dobs refused to leave the car after arriving. Despite the coaxing and bribing of Robert, his brother remained a statue in the back car seat.
Immovable and Unstoppable
Coming to a Halt
Robert could not contain his frustration anymore; he reached his boiling point. As soon as they arrived back home, he called the police to evict Dobs. He believed that this was the only way to teach his younger brother a lesson about the real world. With sirens wailing in the distance, a desperate Dobs finally reveals his true thoughts.

“Please, Robert. You know I can’t get a job. I’ll mess it up! I failed high school, dropped out of college, and each company I applied for rejected me mercilessly. I will never amount to anything,” cried Dobs wretchedly.

Robert, in contrast, remained un-swayed and sensible.

“Dobert Smith, I will not condone your financial incompetence and self-pity anymore. You need to get a job or leave.”