Today was no different.
Brooke was a party girl while Sarah was studious. Brooke liked loud rock music and a different man every waking hour. Sarah was still a virgin and spent her Saturday nights either listening to classical music or at the library studying.
If their different tastes weren't a paradox then their group of friends were. Sarah's best friend, Naomi, was roommates with Brooke's best friend, Tiffany. Despite their differences, Tiffany and Naomi got along splendidly.
The day started normal enough. Sarah was rudely awoken by Brooke who was trying to vacuum her side of the dorm room and blaring Marilyn Manson. Naturally this lead to an argument.
Their arguing didn't stop there. They bickered the whole way to class but were silent throughout the lecture but then immediately continued their disagreement out in the quad after class.
“You don't respect me!” Sarah wailed.
Naomi and Tiffany exchanged looks. Together they stood up and quietly left the quad while Sarah and Brooke continued to duke it out.
“You think you're better than me!” Brooke accused. “You walk around like your shit don't stink and I'm fed up with all your holy then thou bullshit. I'm outtie.” With that she turned on her heel and stormed off.
Sarah sighed. She made the decision to ask for a new roommate. She couldn't go on living like this. She packed up her bag and made her way across the campus to the library.
She pulled out all her papers and books and began researching her next topic: Urban Legends.
When Sarah emerged from the library it was night. A full moon shone brightly over the quiet campus. She walked along the path, glancing over her shoulder every time she heard a noise.
“Stop it,” Sarah scolded herself. “There's no one out here besides you.” She blamed her sudden case of paranoia on spending the last several hours reading about urban legends. She had even dared herself to call on Bloody Mary, but after the forth time she said her name, Sarah chickened out and closed her compact. She really didn't need to piss off a vengeful spirit.
Whistling aloud to keep herself sane, Sarah turned into the quad. The shady trees, which she loved so much during the day, looked menacing now.
Sarah hurried along the path when a noise behind her had her grinding to a halt. She turned, her eyes searching the darkness. She couldn't see anything.
When she turned back around, she came face to face with Naomi.
“Fuck me!” Sarah cried, her hand on her heart as she felt it leap from her chest. “Jesus Christ, you scared the shit out of me.” Naomi apologised and smiled sweetly, asking whether or not Sarah had heard her calling out to her. Sarah shook her head. She was probably whistling at that time while she imagined some weird stranger lurking in the bushes.
“A few of the guys are heading over to Campus Perk,” Naomi said, lighting up a cigarette. “Care to join us?”
"Will the bitch be there?” Sarah asked.
Naomi shook her head. “No, I swung by the room and Brooke said she was going to have an early night. She said after the epic battle you two had, she could feel a headache coming on.”
Sarah rolled her eyes and snorted. Bitch, she thought. She smiled at Naomi. “Sure, I'd love to come. Let me go back to the dorm and drop these books off and grab a sweater then I'll head right over.”
Naomi smiled. “I'll walk with you. It seemed like the darkened campus was giving you the wiggins.” Sarah blushed. “You noticed that?” she asked as the two girls walked back towards Stevenson Hall. Naomi chuckled but said nothing.
Pulling the key out of her pocket, Sarah opened her dorm door. It was dark inside and Sarah could barely see.
Feeling her way along the wall, her hand brushed over the light switch. For the faintest of moments, she felt like switching the light on and blinding Brooke, but decided against it. No matter how much she detested Brooke, Sarah was never that mean.
She dumped her books on her bed and grabbed a jacket from the back of her desk chair and made her way back to the door. Sarah was proud that she had not only found everything in the dark, but she had also avoided making any sound.
Biting her lip, Sarah began to hop towards the door. She had just stubbed her toe on the corner of her bed.
Naomi laughed as Sarah hobbled into the hallway. “Stub your toe?” she asked innocently. Sarah shot her a look as she let the door close behind her.
Four hours later as Campus Perk was closing, Naomi and Sarah made their way across the campus for the second time that night. Having Naomi by her side made Sarah's fears disappear. They chatted loudly, laughing occasionally about the stupid things Tiffany's boyfriend, Dom, had done that night.
Their laughter was cut short by the flashing lights of the police cars and ambulance that were situated outside Stevenson Hall.
“Ohmigod,” Naomi said, her hand covering her mouth. Swarms of students crowded around to see what was going on. Naomi and Sarah pushed through the crowd just as the ambulance crew wheeled out a body on a stretcher.
As they were lifting the stretcher down the front steps of Stevenson Hall, the sheet fell to the side to reveal the body of Brooke.
Forgetting their rivalry, Sarah pushed through the crowd with Naomi right on her heels. “Brooke!” she cried. “What happened?” she demanded as the ambulance crew loaded Brooke's body into the back of the waiting ambulance.
“I'm sorry, miss,” one young man said.
“Don't 'Sorry Miss' me,” Sarah snapped. “She's my roommate and I want to know what happened!”
The crew shared a look. “You're her roommate?” the young man asked, arching an eyebrow.
The young man placed a hand on her shoulder as he lead her into the dorms. They got to the door of her room.
Police were everywhere. Sarah felt sick as one officer approached her. “I'm Detective Raymond,” he said. “Sarah Kidman,” she replied, shaking his hand. “I live here.”
Detective Raymond nodded. He asked her some standard questions like where was she tonight. “I was at Campus Perk. But before that I was at the library, then Naomi Preston and I came back here to get my jacket and drop off my books. Then we headed over to Campus Perk,” Sarah answered truthfully.
“You were here tonight?” the detective asked. Sarah nodded. “What time was this?” Sarah shrugged. “About seven,” she replied.
“And your roommate was asleep?”
Sarah shrugged again and explained that Brooke said she was calling it an early night on account of a headache. The detective looked thoughtful. “Maybe you can make some sense out of this then,” he told her, as he ushered her inside the adjoined bathroom.
Scrawled on the wall in Brooke's blood was the threatening message Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn On The Lights.
Sarah felt sick to her stomach. She began talking softly, blaming herself for not turning on the light when she returned.
The detective signalled to a nearby officer who took Sarah out of the room. “This is all my fault,” Sarah muttered over and over again. The officer patted her back tenderly. “It wasn't. Sarah, you have to understand that if you had of turned the lights on, you could have been sprawled out next to your roommate,” the officer said.
Sarah nodded, not really hearing the officers words. Her eyes landed on Naomi in the crowd. She rushed over to her, wrapping Sarah up in her arms. The officer made sure Sarah was alright and Naomi said she was welcome to crash at her place.
Linking her arm through Sarah's, Naomi lead her past the crowd of people and down the dark path towards Crandall Hall.
“There was so much blood,” Sarah said. “I never knew a person could bleed so much.”
Naomi nodded, unsure of what to say. She hugged Sarah tighter as they walked.
Sarah suddenly stopped walking and tilted her head. She heard a noise in the bushes. Naomi heard it too. But before either girl could move, Tiffany emerged from the bushes. She grinned at her friends, knowing full well that she scared them. Sarah rolled her eyes as Tiffany gave her a hug.
“By the way, Tiff, I loved the little message you left me,” Sarah said as the three of them walked arm in arm. Tiffany's grin widened. “I thought you might,” she said teasingly as the bright moonlight shone upon her face. On Tiffany's cheek, plain as day, was Brooke's blood.