The Suicide Room. That's what they called room 666 - as if I didn't have enough to worry about on my first day as a freshman. We had assigned to dorm room 667 which, it turns out, wasn’t one of the nice add-on rooms in the south hall. No, we found ourselves in the older wing of the building on the 6th floor. I wasn’t too bummed out, though; at least they’d honored my request to room with my best friend. Lydia and I spent most of the morning moving ourselves in. By the time our Resident Advisor came by I was taping up posters and Lydia was reading.
"Hi girls, I'm Beth!" chirped the bubbly blonde girl as she bounded into our room. "I'll be your RA this year."
"Hi," I nodded at her.
"Wow, you girls really work fast,” she said taking in our made beds and hung up clothes.
“I know our hall isn't as new as the south hall but trust me, there's a lot of history here. This building is almost 60 years old."
"Yes, I can see that." I said looking around. "The rooms are pretty small."
"Well, people were smaller in the 50s." Beth shrugged.
"Really?" Lydia said flatly.
"Yep, really." Beth pursed her lips and just continued to stand there, while the room filled with awkward silence.
"So," I said, "the corner room next to us - 666, is it? It looks a lot bigger than our room. Is anyone assigned to that room or could we maybe-"
"Oh, you don't want that room.” Beth interrupted. "There were a couple suicides in there. A hanging and a jumper if I remember right. They’re not assigning anyone to that room. Anyway, I'd just like to remind you that this is an all girls floor and guys are not allowed up here after 11."
Before we could reply to her Beth clapped her hands and with a quick "well, nice meeting you" she skipped out of the room.
Lydia dropped her book on the bed and stared out into the hall. "I hate her."
"Did you hear that bomb she dropped?"
"I'm going to call her Blockhead Beth."
"Lydia, seriously. Suicides?"
"Oh, Becca, relax. Every college campus has a few suicides."
"Yeah, but in the same room?"
Lydia sighed. "Really, who cares? It's not our room."
"Yeah, I guess." I turned to study the little window in our room. "Can you imagine climbing out of that tiny window and jumping? You'd be alive for at least five seconds before you hit the ground."
"Becca, can you not?" Lydia glanced at the window and visibly shuddered. "You know I hate heights and just talking about that is raising my blood pressure."
"We could always move into the suicide room," I teased her, "That one has a window on each wall."
"Okay, okay. But seriously, think about it. It would take a lot of commitment to squeeze out of that tiny window."
"Yeah, well, remember, people were apparently smaller back then." Lydia mumbled as she pushed her bed further away from the window.
Since Lydia was an outgoing and friendly person, we made friends at lightning speed. There were a lot of parties in those first few weeks, at one of which Lydia inevitably met a guy. I'd known the girl since we were in diapers so I fully anticipated her having a boyfriend by the end of September. His name was Mike and he wasn't anything special; just your standard frat boy.
After about a month on campus the novelty of college started wearing off. Lydia and I found our stride and we spent more weekends studying than drinking. Midterms were coming up in a couple weeks and I was determined to maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout my freshman year.
One night in early October I was woken up by a loud, grinding sound. I sat up in bed and strained to hear it again. Lydia was also wide awake and listening.
What the heck? She mouthed to me.
It wasn't unusual for there to be noise in the hallways since other people came in at all hours of the night. But this sound had definitely come from next door - the corner room.
"Yeah," Lydia whispered. "That's the window next door."
At Lydia's insistence, we kept our window closed at all times. However, there was no mistaking the sound of…