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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2071253-Stuck-in-The-Middle
by brom21
Rated: E · Short Story · Experience · #2071253
In a dorm of three individuals, one feel at odds with the other two.
Rick was in his dorm with his roommates. He glanced at Nick and John trying to keep from hinting at how unconformable he had grown with them. Sure going to college and living in the same dorm had been the dream of all three since high school. Was it just him? They seemed to be loud and boisterous yet they showed no sign being annoyed like he was. Growing up together, Rick had always felt to be the sensible one. It was truly an odd triple couple. How could I, the so called quieter and intellectual one, say I was fed up and tired of living with them? It did not matter though. They were set in their ways. When they were younger he was attracted to their energetic, positive personalities. Likewise Rick imagined they enjoyed his peaceful, empathetic mannerism. The next day he decided to have a private talk with them one at a time.

Okay I have to be gentle yet stern and hope they realize how ardent I am without sounding coarse. Rick thought as he entered the library and took a breath.

Nick sat at a corner computer next to a large book shelf. Rick approached him.

“Hey bud what’s up? I thought you were studying for the environmental science test.”

Nick found it hard to accept things point blank. He had to have things spelled out for him.

“Hey man. Can we chat for sec?”

“Sure bro. Have a seat.” Nick said as Rick sat next to him.

“There is something want to tell you. Remember when I used to complain when John teased me playing basketball? Well I want to talk to you about something like that.”

“Have I been teasing you?”

“No,” Rick said. “It is something else, but it is even more important.”

A baffled look come over Nick’s face.

“It’s about how I feel treated.” He paused. “It’s like when I say something to you and you sort of pass me over. Or when I’m trying to study and you try to talk to me even when I ask you not to.”

Nick looked like I was coming down on him so I had to clarify. “I still like being around you both, you guys just overlook my feelings.”

Nick looked down and played with his hands. “Normally I would say you’re being too sensitive…but I can see how sincere you are. I get you man. From now on I’ll try to be more assertive and considerate. Are we cool?”

“Absolutely!”

It was easier than Rick expected. One down, one to go he thought.

He walked quickly to the football field where John was just over with practice. Rick walked along the bleachers and waved at him. “Yo, John, You got a minute?” he yelled.

Rick knew this would be harder. John was by far the most direct and austere of the three. He did not like petty small talk and was up front and more immovable. Rick realized things could get into an argument. How was he to proceed?

“Yeah sure, be right there,” he answered.

Rick sat down and soon John sat next to him. “John we need to have a serious conversation.”

Immediately he was attentive and folded his hands. “Okay, I’m all ears. What’s up?”

“We need to discuss our living situation.”

“I did not realize there was problem.”

Rick gathered his thoughts. “The way you have been acting since we got to the dorms has troubled me a little.”

“Really? How so?”

“I know it’s you personality, but there are things that bug me.”

“Like what?”

“Sometimes you come across as hard-nosed. For example, last week when you were in the cafeteria and the server ran out of chicken fingers and you insisted she make a new batch just for you to have some.” Rick had to be bold. “…It was uncalled for.”

Rick saw the offended look in John’s eyes. “Is that all?”

“No, when I am trying to study and the PS3 is too loud and I ask you to turn it down, you barely decrease the volume even when I ask you twice.”

“Well that is how college life is like Rick. You have to adapt.”

Rick felt gridlocked. How was he supposed to make his point after a comment like that? He had to be more forceful. “What if our places were switched? How would you react?”

This seemed to affect John. “I see. Does a thing so small bother you so much?”

“Often it is the little quarks that bug people the most. Like when you tease me. Some of the time I know your joking, others it really offends me.”

“Why don’t you say so?”

“You would tell me to man up or get over it. I’m just saying to listen when I say things and don’t belittle them.”

Rick was feeling his friend might be unreachable. Convincing him would be like asking him to change his very personality. Rick was a collected soul and he loathed himself for the anger he was feeling. If he acted on them it would lead to nowhere. Was he wasting his time?

“Why have you not told me this before?”

“We’ve never lived together twenty-four seven,” Rick said. “Hasn’t anything I or Nick said or done that bugged you?”

“Yes, this conversation.”

Rick was hurt. He was pouring his heart out to him and John was disregarding his feelings. Rick would therefor end the talk with a simple desperate ultimatum. “Fine. Until you can speak with me objectively maybe we should not talk. Let me know when you’re ready to listen. I’m applying for a different dorm room.”

Rick had never had such a harsh disagreement with John ever before and he hoped he would turn around. Perhaps this would cause him to realize how much Rick wanted to be at peace and enjoy John’s company.

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