During my first year at University, I lived with a menagerie of unique people but the cherry on top of the crazy cake was a sad and strange girl by the name of Candice. When we first met her, it was even apparent from her posture and awkward body language that she was far away from her comfort zone. It is true that we were all experiencing a new chapter in our lives as we begun our first couple days of University, but with Candice, it was an entirely new world. She didn’t really respond to normal social graces like the rest of us, and by the end of the first week, we jokingly came to the conclusion that she must have either had absolutely no friends in high school or she was, in fact, born yesterday.
I know that appearances are not important, but I feel I should at least give a brief description in order to paint a virtual picture of this girl. She had a body like none I had seen before; if I were to do an elementary outline of her, it would resemble a square skillet with a handle. Her legs were average, along with her arse but then from nowhere the upper part of her body transformed into a giant block – the same width and height. It was as if her jeans would have been a size 8/10 and her tops were a 16/18 – with no waist whatsoever. Her head was then positioned directly on top of this block of a torso with no neck either. Although she was naturally a blonde (I think), she had further bleached her hair to the point that it was scorched into a frizzy straw-like mop. Finally, she suffered from Rosacea that created almost perfect blotches on her cheeks that made her look like a permanently painted marionette – and this only worsened when she got embarrassed or upset.
When she arrived, it was like she had done research on what a “University student” should have or should do – maybe she watched a combination of Saved By The Bell: The College Years and Sex and the City – who knows. The first thing she did was to take out a Pink Floyd poster and put in on the wall in the common room. When we were done with all our different tastes, it was as if the walls were covered in a mishmash of pop culture vomit, so the Pink Floyd poster fit in just fine. She also broke out her “grannie smokes” or “bitch sticks” (super light and slim cigarettes) and awkwardly lit one; it was as if it was the first one she’d ever had. When the coffee had brewed, she added at least 3 heaping spoons of sugar (I lost count after 3) and milk.
Now, most of this might not seem too unusual, except shortly after, it all began to change. It had been about a month when a group of us were hanging out in the common area, smoking and listening to the radio. “Money” came on and one of the guys turned to Candice and mentioned, “Hey, you must love this song!”
She looked confused and replied, “Why?”
He then equally looked confused and answered, “Um... because it’s Pink Floyd? Aren’t they your favourite band?”
Her red blotches quickly erupted as she got flustered, “Oh, ya, r-right... of course.” I could tell right away that she had no fucking clue that it was a Pink Floyd song... the most FAMOUS one as well. I don’t know shit about that band, and even I knew that song. We eventually learned that she bought the poster because of some guy that worked with her dad had a Pink Floyd tattoo – and then after more digging, we learned that he was like FORTY and also married. Eww. Weird.
We were only able to get this information because she had taken a shine to one of our other housemates – to put it lightly – and had begun to reveal herself in all her glorious weirdness. This other housemate was very bubbly, pretty and friendly with everyone and I think she was the first person that ever showed Candice any form of comradery in her life. She began to follow Andrea around like a little puppy dog. She switched to the same brand of strong cigarettes as her, and started drinking her coffee black – just like Andrea. Now, if you have ever had coffee, you will know that switching from triple sugar and milk to black is HUGE; I shudder at the thought.
Andrea wasn’t without her own issues, and she pretty much ate nothing but microwave popcorn – so Candice also changed her diet... during the day, anyway. At night, usually after Andrea had gone to bed, she would binge eat as if she was a starving, savage animal. It was disturbing to watch – especially when she would actually lick the leftover chicken fat right off her plate! She never even noticed us or cared that we stared at her in horror while she engaged in one of these scoff n’ snort fests.
She also dyed her parched hair a darker golden blonde... surprise... to be more like Andrea’s colour. It then turned up a further degree of creepiness when she openly started to develop a crush on the same guy as Andrea – as if she and Andrea fused into one person. The transformation happened faster than we could say “Single White Female”!
By the Christmas break, it was obvious that Andrea had a serious stalker issue on her hands, but she was too nice to do anything about it. Sometimes, we often thought that she actually enjoyed having a “pet” – a certifiable pet, but a pet none the less. Candice started to become openly rude with the rest of us. We gathered it was because we were also friends with Andrea – and the time that we spent with her interfered with her special one-on-one time where she could have Andrea all to herself.
One afternoon, she had brought home 3 targets. Apparently, she had gone to the gun range with her father and those targets were her results. Um... so... what do you think she did with them? She friggin’ hung them over her friggin’ bed! We joked that when her door was closed, she put one of our faces on each of the 3 targets – but in reality we were getting nervous. For the first time that year, we started to lock our bedroom doors at night. If we ever wanted to go out for drinks with Andrea, we would plan to leave separately and meet up in the parking lot – so she wouldn’t know that we were going together – and Andrea would feed her some bullshit about having to run errands so she wouldn’t want to go with her. It was immature of us, but since we were all afraid of confronting her (especially since she had a gun club membership), we just did what was easiest.
We danced around her obsession for the remainder of the year and soon exams distracted us with more important things. We kept locking our doors at night and definitely looked forward to getting away from her – but not as much as Andrea was, I’m sure of it. Oddly enough, Candice was from the same small town as that fucked up guy that always came over to our place to take a shit! Coincidence? I’m thinking a big fat NO! (See No Coffee? No Cigarettes? No Entry!)
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