Mark didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. He didn’t want to believe it.
“Guess my nerves got the best of me,” Mark said with a hesitant chuckle.
“Don’t worry Mark, these things happen all the time,” said the R.A. with a wink.
Mark began to become paranoid. He worried that this would happen again if his mind got the best of him. He couldn’t allow that. He had to control his thoughts.
“I’ll make your bed Mark, don’t worry,” his mom said as Mark composed himself.
“You going to be ok Mark?” asked the R.A.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Thanks,” replied Mark.
“Alright then. Our records show that your roommate won’t be moving in until tomorrow so for tonight you’ll have the room to yourself. If you need anything I’m just a few doors down. Don’t hesitate to knock on my door. I look forward to seeing you around,” said the R.A. before he left.
As Mark’s mom made his bed, Mark unpacked the rest of his belongings and tried not to think about what had happened. He hoped it had only been some kind of freak incident and that he would be fine. He did know that getting some sleep would not be easy when the time came. Thankfully his mom had left him a sleeping pill just in case.
Before Mark knew it he was hugging his mom goodbye and then he was alone. He wondered what his roommate would be like and if they would get along. He had expected to have met him by this time and was disappointed that he had to wait to meet him.
Throughout the remainder of the night Mark talked to his friends online, enjoy the food his mother had left for him and watched some television. He began to feel better about being at school and being in a new place. He knew it would be good for him to be in a new environment and meet new people. He was anxious for his new beginning.
Mark decided to take the sleeping pill his mother had left him so sleep wouldn’t be an issue. He wanted pleasant dreams that didn’t involve bedbug attacks and waking up completely terrified.
“Mom! Can you please turn this crap off? You know I hate Country.”
“We are happy to report no incidents of infestation yet at this institution. We take a lot of precautions to ensure that any bedbugs would be isolated and quickly and efficiently eradicated. No vacuum sharing, plastic covers on the mattresses, and the welcome watchful eye of a friendly R.A.”
"What happened? What happened? You ran over to the blankets, took one look at them and then fainted for 10 minutes!"
These words echoed in the silence that was Mark’s dream. His body began to tense up. He knew this wasn’t going to be good but he couldn’t wake himself up.
Suddenly the voices stopped and the tension left Mark’s body. There was silence and images from home. His big white house at the end of the street, his 13-year-old Golden Retriever Gunner, and his record collection and record player were some of the visions he had.
Mark smiled in his sleep as he saw the girl from home whom he was secretly in love with. Susan was her name. She was two years older than Mark and he had never gotten the courage to talk to her before he left for school. She was in Mark’s room at home. She sat on his bed petting Gunner and listening to his records. She made herself comfortable on his bed and closed her eyes as she fell asleep.
Not long after Susan's’ eyes had closed, Mark noticed she was not alone in the room. There they were. The bed bugs. They soon completely covered Susan.
“GET OFF OF HER!!!” Mark screamed out in his dream.
There was nothing he could do. He was helpless. He knew it was a dream but again he could not wake himself.
Susan screamed at the top of her lungs as the bugs began to bite her. Blood dripped from Mark’s bed to the floor. Susan was no longer moving. She was dead.
Mark sprung up out of his bed frantically. Sweat was pouring down his face and his short brown hair was soaking wet. He sighed as he realized it was only just a dream.
Then, Mark heard an I.D. being swiped in the door followed by the beep and the door began to open. It was his roommate.