He’d had enough of being teased by the others; always the butt of their jokes, always mocked and teased.
He got it wrong. What an idiot. What a moron. What a dummy.
They’d lived together amicably for a long time now. When they all first met they thought they’d have so much in common, thought it would be great to move in together; they were all looking for somewhere in the area, and they even worked at the same place – what were the odds? In theory, sure, it could have been a perfect match-up.
In reality though?
It meant they could never get away from each other. No escape, no respite, no god-damn privacy.
Like with any relationship based on superficial ties, really; conversation became repetitive, company became irritating, irritation became anger, anger became loathing. This fairytale grouping was never destined to have a happy ending – in no time at all, they were all grumpy.
He put up with things for far longer than reasonable. The pain and fury building up all the while, insidious and snowballing. He was always falling sick -they all were- from a certain housemate’s disgusting lack of hygiene and selfish disregard for how it affected the others.
The doc was no help either; couldn’t help with their ailments, physical or mental. The useless sawbones was always so condescending to them, looking down on them and figuring himself above it all simply because he was older. He turned a blind eye to the name calling, to the bullying. What an idiot! Moron! Get a clue, bird-brain! What’s up, doc?
And the place was a sty. Oh, not just like a pig sty, no no. Like a pus-filled, swollen eye infection. Nobody lifted a freaking finger to tidy up or clean (no surprise that their sicknesses never quite went away). Maybe in year one he could just about keep on top of it himself, but if he accidentally knocked over the mop bucket or misplaced a glass into the wrong cupboard, he would never hear the end of it: You dolt, you absolute imbecile, what’s wrong with you?
He used to have a little help now and again, from just one of them, until the inescapable dearth of their lives together got too much and drove this helper to depression. For the last few years he was no help at all; always sad, always crying, always sleepy. Lazy, that’s what it was, laziness and the assumption that someone else will do it. Layabout waste of space. Slow to rise, but just as quick to join the others in their dirge, Idiot, Fool, Stupid, Clod.
One taunt too far.
It was after work. They had just got home and were alarmed to find the place spic and span. He was just as perplexed and distracted by this sudden change of environment, and would have continued in his usual repressed-anger manner, were it not for the one comment – just one remark, sometimes that’s all it takes to convince a person to jump – from a usually bashful housemate. It was uttered so quietly, so privately. Perhaps the oft-reserved housemate didn’t realise how closely he stood behind; close enough to catch the whisper:
Shame that you don’t do this good a job.
This good a job?! THIS GOOD A JOB?! The bile-infested ingrate, the heedless cur!
The others had gone upstairs, leaving them together.