Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TTU: The NICHE, Chapter One

Sorry for the delay everyone. Here comes the third part of the True Tales! I hope you enjoy it. But be warned. This Tale features graphic violence, sex scenes, drug references and bad language. R16, at least.

By the way, if you decide to read the whole of True Tales, I recommend you don't read this first. Read My Friend June and Patrick Finnegan Lloyd first (their order doesn't matter, really, but NICHE is definitely the third Tale, and the reason why will become clear in one of the later chapters).

True Tales from University: The New International Club for Historical Enlightenment
As told by Andrew Harcourt
Sometimes you wake up to find your entire world changed, and it’s not often for the best…

For the real Niche


Okay, so yeah, I’m a bit of a freak. Wanna make something of it? I thought not.
I’m a geek. I’m into computer games and board games and trading card games and even collectible figurines.
I had to sell most of those when my mother kicked me out of the house. She had gotten way, way too close to my girlfriend at the time, and when I cheated on her, and Mum found out, I was not her favourite son. She was an old school feminist and solo mother. What’s more, I had pretty much just done to my girlfriend what my father had done to my mother. So even though I was struggling with a student loan at the time, Mum kicked me out on my arse.
I rebounded quickly. I stayed with friends for a little while until I found a mate of mine who needed a roommate in his student accommodations near the university. The rent wasn’t too high. I wasn’t happy about it either way, but I needed a place to live.
We were okay for a while. James, the guy I lived with, knew me from high school. He didn’t mind the MMORPGs I played late at night with the volume ear-bashingly loud. He didn’t mind how many boxes of video games and sci-fi collectibles I had in my room. He put up with a lot from me. I totally didn’t appreciate just how much of my crap he put up with.
It reached breaking point when I hit on his girlfriend at one of our parties. He set fire to a whole lot of my stuff, and it was only thanks to mutual mates of our holding him back that I managed to pack a big bag full of my clothes, laptop, and other personal items. I had most of my study stashed in my locker on campus, which was lucky – I would have just left it at the flat if it had been there.
I could have called the cops, sure, but I didn’t. I had a record with them for some stupid things I did as a teenager. I could have tried to get compensation for my stuff which James destroyed. But I didn’t. I felt guilty, for the first time in my life. And I was too concerned about where I was going to live to bother with the past anymore.
I crashed at a mate’s the Sunday night after the party, but I could tell I wasn’t welcome. All my mates were really pissed off at me for my behaviour. Everyone was on James’ side. And why wouldn’t they be? He had put up with my crap. He’d done everything right, except perhaps for destroying my personal property.
I couldn’t concentrate much in class on Monday. It was basic principles of bridge building that day. It was a really bad idea to not concentrate, because the next thing I found, I had to construct a suspension bridge to scale out of nothing but ice cream sticks.
I had no idea about how to proceed, and I didn’t have anyone to help me, because the few mates I had before were James’ mates too.
I tried a couple of diagrams on my laptop before I tried actually touching the materials I was given. I had very little time to do this assignment, but at the same time I also had to sort out my accommodation. The day was dragging on and I was stuck in a place of inaction, unable to complete either of my objectives.
Then the answer came to me. As the night came, the engineering department stayed open. Lots of other students stayed into the night to continue to work on their various projects. As I stared at the materials, jumbled in a pile, and at my laptop screen, searching the internet for a way to cheat on this project, I was reflecting also on my choice to pursue an Engineering Degree. Of course, it was a good choice, and I should be able to get a good career. If I passed. It was not looking hopeful for me.
But the answer to my homelessness problem came to me then as I stared around the slowly emptying workshop. Maybe I could get away with sleeping here for the night? Surely no one would know... And then in the morning I could go have a shower in the university gym, where I had a membership card. I couldn’t see any flaws in my ingenious plan.
I was beginning to think I could get away with it. I was pretty much the last person in the large room. Just as I observed that, a girl walked in.
Engineering is a bit of an old boys’ club. It is rare for women to pursue an engineering degree. They get all kinds of crap thrown at them. I never thought it was really fair, but then again, I never did anything to defend any of the girls in any of my classes. Some of them were tomboys, and managed to work their way into the confidence of the guys. Others who weren’t so social, and perhaps not good looking, got called all sorts of names and were accused of all sorts of gross things.
And then there was this one. I’d asked a mate about her before. She was the hottest woman in the building – no, the university. She was a post-grad engineering student. No one talked about her. We didn’t insult her or insinuate anything. But we couldn’t talk to her. She was so far out of the league of everyone in this building, and possibly the world.
She looked as if she had stepped off a catwalk or out of some chick’s magazine. She always wore skirts and dresses – something unheard of in the engineering department. Every other girl in the department had to wear pants, simply to avoid disgusting insults and sick practical jokes. But this girl was the only one who could get away with it. Today she wore a blood red dress that looked, despite its simplicity, as if it had come from some posh shop. She swung her handbag off her shoulder and threw it down on a desk. She went over to her locker and started digging around in it.
I observed her. She was wearing heels. Not only was that totally unseen before in the engineering department, but it was totally impractical for university. Even I knew that. Despite what you might think about me, I have actually had conversations with girls in the past without everything turning to sex. One thing I learnt from some of my female friends was that wearing heels into campus was about the dumbest thing you could do. It was hilly here, and the ground was dusty, and lectures were often far across the campus from each other, which meant a lot of walking. Their feet would get tired, sore and dirty in heels.
And yet here was the hottest girl on campus in heels, bright red too, and they were the highest damn stiletto heels I had ever seen.
I watched her some more. She looked vaguely Mediterranean, with a natural olive tan underneath the pale translucence of her skin. Her lips were quite large, painted red (how was she not ridiculed in this department?!), and she almost always looked unhappy, or angry, or maybe even arrogant. Her lashes were naturally thick. I couldn’t be sure, but I thought she probably wasn’t wearing make up. All this was just natural. Her hair, thick, long, straight, was brown with a hint of red to it, and was so glossy in the dim fluorescent lights of the workshop.
She caught me staring. My eyes widened and I went back to my work. Looking at her was a daydream in and of itself. I quickly resumed working, trying to find the solution to my disastrous assignment, my head battling to stay on topic.
I heard a purring sound a split second before she spoke. ‘Easy,’ she said, with a smirk on her lips.
I stared at her, not quite believing… well, a few things, really. One, that she was even talking to me. Two, that she had gotten over to my side so fast. Three, that she was even talking to me.
‘Maybe for you,’ I sighed, looking away from her face, shyly, and finding my eyes drawn to her legs. That skirt was so short…
My eyes snapped back to her face as she spoke. ‘Come on. I’ll help you.’
I noticed she had an accent. Something Mediterranean, as I had suspected. But it was only very faint. She walked past me to the pile of sticks I had waiting there for inspiration. I stood up, and folded my arms over my chest. I had no doubt in my mind that she could solve the problem for me. I only felt a little bit put off that I couldn’t do it by myself. But who wouldn’t accept help from a beautiful woman?
She bent right over in front of me, so she could move the sticks better. I found my eye drawn to a certain round aspect of her that was sticking out, almost as if she had purposefully bent over to provoke me. God, she had, hadn’t she? No, I couldn’t assume that. That kind of thing led to sexual harassment cases. But by God, her butt was so close to me and I wanted to touch it.
I ran my hands over my face, shuddered, and moved aside to I could pay more attention to her hands than her butt. I sat down to watch her construct the bridge. She worked very fast. I noticed, almost as fast, that from here I was getting a very good eyeful down the front of her dress. It took all of my inner strength to stand up and draw my eyes away from her.
In time, she straightened up again, tipped her head from side to side, and then nodded. ‘There, it is done.’ I joined her again, finding a perfect scale model of a suspension bridge, made only of ice cream sticks. ‘I could have done better, but then again,’ she said softly, ‘you’re only an undergrad student. I wanted it to be believable.’
‘Wow. What can I say! Thanks!’ I might have hugged her if I knew her, or shook her hand, but I didn’t want to touch her. I didn’t want to be accused of harassment, but by God she was hot. It was hard not to harass her in my mind.
‘The name’s Adrianna,’ she told me, looking at me with a kind of lazy smirk.
‘Andrew,’ I replied.
She came very close to me and said very, very quietly, ‘If you ever need any help, Andrew, I study here most week nights. All you need to do is ask.’
‘Th-thanks,’ I mumbled. She walked away. I turned to watch. That exaggerated sway of the hips. God damn it. Was she taunting me? She knew damn well that every straight male in the world wanted her.
I couldn’t help thinking, God, I’d die just to tap that.
She turned around. ‘Would you?’
‘Uh... what?’ I mumbled. I scratched my head. Shit, had I just said that aloud?
‘Never mind,’ she said sweetly, and turned back, completing her model-walk back to the desk where her study awaited.
Well. Now I had a problem, besides the fact that it appeared I had Tourette’s and had just told a woman I’d die to have sex with her.
Now that she’d finished my project, it was bed time. But with all the time I had spent today ‘working’ on my project, I hadn’t arranged my accommodation. I had been planning to sneak into some corner of this room and sleep. But she had only just come in, and only God knew how long she’d be in here, studying.
I surfed the internet for a little while, just filling in time wait for her to go. Really, I was just trying to find a way out of this predicament. But it was getting really late at night. I needed to sleep. I decided I would have to take a risk. If I went out towards the other exit of this room, there was a small cleaners’ closet I might be able to hide in, if it was unlocked.
I packed up my laptop, stuffed it in my overfull bag, and headed towards the other exit. I doubled back around and found the broom closet. I sighed with relief as I realised it was unlocked. I got in and hoped that, just for tonight, no cleaners would need this place. I wrapped myself in a big winter jacket for a blanket, and used my bag as a pillow.
It was by no means comfortable, but I could sleep anywhere, really. The only things that kept me from falling asleep immediately were the frankly disgusting things I was thinking about Adrianna. I resisted the desire to satisfy myself, though that might have helped somewhat to abate the constant stream of pornographic material in my head.
I must have fallen asleep.

I know I feel asleep, because I was woken up.
Thinking it was just a dream, I stared at her, my eyes big, my mind cloudy. From here I could just about see up her skirt.
‘Silly boy,’ she said, her accent teasing. ‘Get up. Why didn’t you tell me you had nowhere to go?’
She flicked on the light switch, and all hope I had that this was just a lovely dream fled. She had her handbag on her shoulder and a leather jacket on. She must have been about to leave. I looked at my watch. Past midnight. I’d had an hour’s sleep, maybe. I tried to sum up the courage to say something profound.
‘Uh... what?’ was all I managed in the end.
She put her hands on her hips and shook her head, smirking. I swore I could smell the rich scent of her shampoo as her loose hair swayed with the movement. ‘I said get up. You’re coming with me. I’m not letting you sleep in a broom closet.’
I got on my knees, packing my bag up hastily. ‘It’s nothing, really. I only stopped in here for a nap. I’ll go home now.’
‘Bullshit,’ she said, and laughed. ‘Don’t lie to me. You’re homeless. By the fact that you don’t smell too bad, either you’ve only just been made homeless, or you’re exceptionally good at getting free showers.’
Damn it, she was on to me. She could report me, or anything. But wait... she had invited me with her.
‘Where are we going then?’
‘My place. I have a room in an international hostel. I have room for you.’
I stood up and followed her, trying to keep up with the long strides of her beautiful legs. What the hell? Why did this hot chick with a designer dress live in a hostel? She totally didn’t seem the type. International students who lived in hostels tended to look a little more financially pressured than this girl, even if they had mountains of cash back home. But I wasn’t going to argue.
I was invited to Adrianna’s place.
I began to think of all the people I could boast to in the morning. Then I realised, I didn’t have that many friends anymore. My bad behaviour this weekend had seen to that.
Screw them all! I was going to Adrianna’s place. Not in a million years would any of them get a chance like this.
She looked back at me with a disarming smile. God. What did she see in me? Was this all just innocent, or were the signals I was getting from her for real? I couldn’t tell anymore. Usually I could play it quite smooth with girls, but Adrianna made me feel like a fourteen year old again. She was a few years my senior, I estimated by just looking at her, though I couldn’t be sure.
We got out of the engineering building. It was late enough that she had to press the little green button to get the sliding doors to open for us. We crossed the road, and walked silently through the deserted campus. A few cars were driving on the roads, and I saw a homeless guy sleeping under the overhang of one building. I reflected on my good luck that I wasn’t in his position tonight. Five minutes later we were crossing the park. Shit. This girl wasn’t only hot, she was dangerous. The park was dangerous at night, especially for a girl with a short skirt and high heels. But we got through the park without interruption. We headed down the hill into the city, and stopped at a tall, dirty building.
The hostel.
It was so drab, compared to her. We made our way through the corridor with carpet at least three decades too late. The elevator up to her floor was ancient, and had that awful lurch at the beginning and end. I was feeling rather weak and tired by then, and couldn’t wait to get back to her room. Who knew what she had planned once we got there.
No, seriously. She wouldn’t want anything from me. She was just being a kind human being. And yet here I was, accosting her in my thoughts. I reflected on how truly horrible I was. But I couldn’t change the way I thought... could I?
Her room was all the way down a corridor that seemed to go on forever. The lock was badly rusted, and the key was hard to get in, but she thrust it in with anger and turned the rusty lock. She flicked the light on to a very bare apartment, with just a big bed in the middle.
I tried to find another bed. I looked through the only door in the apartment. Just a bathroom. ‘Um... are you sure you want me to be here?’ I asked her. Best to check.
‘The bed is very big, Andrew,’ she told me. ‘You’ll hardly feel me from the other side of it.’
Ha. She really underestimated my imagination.
‘You have the bathroom first,’ she practically ordered me. I walked in quickly, and shut the door. Hardly believing my luck, I quickly had a shower and got into my pyjamas, which were just a pair of old track pants and an ancient t-shirt with the picture, once a band name and logo, almost completely worn out. I brushed my teeth, and even put deodorant on. I didn’t want to make a bad impression after all.
I came back and she pushed past me into the bathroom. I went and sat on the far side of the bed, and got in. I listened to the noise of the shower and imagined her walking out of the bathroom completely nude. Nope. Wouldn’t happen.
When she did come out, I didn’t look. She turned the lights off and hopped into the big bed. The bed frame creaked a little. I looked at her then. She was in a nightie that was dangerously short. ‘Goodnight,’ she said sweetly, and turned her back to me.
‘Goodnight,’ I replied. It wasn’t going to be a good night at all. I spent maybe an hour more fantasizing about the woman in bed beside me. I did nothing, but God did I want to.

I don’t know if it was a dream. Oh who am I kidding? Of course it was a dream. Hot chicks don’t need to trap random guys in their bed for sex.
That night, when I finally got to sleep, I dreamt. Naturally, since I had been thinking about her for all that time, I dreamt of Adrianna.
The first thing I remember of the dream was the feeling that my tiredness was lifted, and it became something else all together. It was like I was paralyzed, but paralyzed with euphoria. I couldn’t move, but I felt fine about that.
I felt a cold hand run down from my shoulder to my hip. Then, the hand slipped between my pants and my skin, and began to stroke me. I rose to the occasion – who wouldn’t? I was still quite paralyzed still, and could only lie there, on my side, moaning in ecstasy.
The hand left and I was disappointed for a split second. But then my dream succubus rolled me onto my back. I finally managed to open my eyes in the dream, but I still couldn’t move anything else.
Looking haughty, majestic even, her expression so smug, Adrianna was nude, and was straddling me. I tried to open my mouth and speak, but I couldn’t. It didn’t matter so much. She ran her hands under my shirt. Her hands were so cold, but it felt good. I could see her only dimly, but as she moved a bar of light entered from between the curtains and highlighted slim sections of her one at a time.
She started to make out with me and grind against me. She murmured things to me in her native language. Naturally, I had no idea what it was saying, but her voice sent shivers through me.
In time, she pushed the elastic waistband of my track pants down, and grabbed a hold of me. Slowly, she fed me into herself, and rose up and down on top of me in slow, delicious movements. Still paralyzed, I couldn’t reach out and touch this dream vision. Perhaps it would have faded if I had managed. But it didn’t matter too much – everything felt so good.
Breathing heavily, Adrianna lowered herself down so her torso lay on top of mine. She nestled her head on one side of my neck, still moaning as her hips moved up and down. She began to lick my neck in languid movements. Her tongue was warm, but her breath was ice cold as it hit my wet skin. I shuddered, fighting to hold on. It was too good, it was going to end too soon. One of her hands moved away the long hair at my neck. I was in desperate need of a haircut, but that was the last thing on my mind at the time.
Then, without warning, she bit me. There was pain, and then it went back to bliss. One disturbing change: I lost my erection, and stayed soft inside her. She suckled on my neck, and her moans indicated that she didn’t realize I was soft. In fact, she wasn’t grinding anymore. Instead, she was fixated on my neck. She grabbed my head with both hands and moved it so she had my neck stretched out as far as it could go (without breaking it, that is). As if she were a greedy little piggy at the trough, she lapped at my neck, no doubt trying to give me a major hickey.
Part of me was trying to tell me that it hurt. But that was a lie. It was bliss. It felt just like the time my friends and I had tried a certain drug I won’t mention. All my muscles relaxed, and I gave into the sensation of her tongue lashing around the raw skin that she sucked at.
Eventually, she rose up, and wiped her glistening mouth. Gently, in an almost motherly way, she tenderly stroked my neck where she had been suckling. It hurt when she touched it with her freezing hands. She licked her fingers and rubbed the area, and the pain at her touch gradually faded away. Even as it did, my dream began to fade away, as if I were losing consciousness. In a daze, I saw her rise off me, dress again, and climb back into bed. The dream vanished.

Morning came. I could feel sunlight hitting me through the curtains that waved back and forth. It took me a few seconds to re-orientate myself. Adrianna’s room. Shit, was I going to have a story to tell the guys. Well, not that anyone wanted to hear about me anymore.
I kept my eyes shut as the distant memory of the dream came back to me. I felt a surge of different emotions all at once. I felt kind of embarrassed. I also felt aroused, and satisfied at the same time. And I felt as if I’d had a really, unusually restful sleep. That was a reeeeeeally good dream. I was particularly embarrassed about rolling over and opening my eyes. Would she read on my face the dirty dream I’d had? I had to get up, but damn, how I just wanted to lay there all day.
I opened my eyes eventually, as the beeping horns and sound of traffic from outside wafted through the open window. I rolled over slowly, and my hand hit a rustling thing by my head. I picked it up. A letter. I looked around. Adrianna had gone. She must have had an early class. I read her note.
Dear Andrew,
You’re a well mannered guest and you don’t snore when you sleep. That pleases me. I’d be happy for you to stay here. There’s a spare key on the table by the door.
Love, Adrianna
It took a while for me to tear my eyes away from the perfumed note with its beautifully curved script. Holy shit. The hottest girl on campus wanted me to live with her.
It was a strange arrangement, part of my mind was trying to tell me. Why the hell would Adrianna want me to stay with her? Was she some weird Christian chick who went around doing good deeds or something? Was it part of her religion to take in strays? I looked around her extremely bare room. My rational mind pointed out that it was so strange, seeing the lack of personal effects. Even the most boring people had something to furnish their rooms with.
But that part of my mind was the minority. The rest of my mind was divided up into the part saying Holyshitholyshitholyshit over and over again in amazement, part of it was thinking that this was a sweet deal, having somewhere to live, and the other part was… well I was thinking with my other head by that point.
I flopped back down to lie on the bed and stared up at the ceiling, amazed. There was no way in hell I’d say no. She had asked for no payment. She was hot, and we got along well enough. We were students in the same subject, even if she was heaps better at it than I was, as well as several years ahead.
And the dream… had it been a dream? Well, yeah, it had to be. Chicks just didn’t do stuff like that. Even if it was just a dream, it was a pretty damn sweet dream.
I got up, had a shower, and got changed into my work uniform. I left the bulk of my stuff in the room, tucked under the bed, and took only a backpack with the usual stuff I needed for the day. I had a few hours of work at the petrol station just a few blocks from the university, and then a class in the afternoon. I grabbed up the key to the room just before I left, treasuring the little bronze coloured key.
I grabbed an energy drink and a big energy-muesli bar once I got to work, and scoffed those down, as my excuse for breakfast. It was just a small station, not one of the big chains, and we prided ourselves on still offering to fill the cars up ourselves. The station loved to hire young guys like me, with all the energy and basic car knowledge and enthusiasm. I wasn’t often recognised by the patrons there, and for that I was glad. I worked there during the weekends and a few hours during the week when I didn’t have classes on. Sometimes I was sat behind the till, but most often my duties were outside filling peoples’ cars up.
I kept thinking about the dream all day, though I tried to avoid thinking about it too much, lest people catch me pitching a tent at work. The details of the dream were a little confusing. I had felt very satisfied in the dream, and yet I had gone soft and I hadn’t finished. The whole bite thing was weird. I’d never been bitten by any of my girlfriends or one night stands before, so there was no precedent for it. I never dreamed of being bitten, except for that last night, and I couldn’t remember seeing it in a porn movie or something, and thinking oh, I wouldn’t mind that. Biting just wasn’t something that occurred to me as sexy... well, until last night. I felt just above my collar, a little bit behind and down from my ear. My hair was covering that part of my neck. The skin didn’t hurt there, so I couldn’t have a hickey, but I felt some little bumpy bits. Maybe I had some pimples on my neck or something. So the dream couldn’t have been real, otherwise I would be quite bruised there... right?
I considered asking a workmate to check my neck but then I changed my mind. That might be a little weird. And if there was a hickey there, they’d think I was boasting. Or worse, they’d see some pimples there and laugh at me.
I finished up at work and walked to uni. I started to feel embarrassed about the dream. What kind of weird guy dreamed about going soft during sex, and yet enjoying it? Even though I was the only person who knew about the dream, I looked around at everyone I passed, paranoid, as if they knew. What the hell was wrong with me? No one knew. How could they know? It was just dumb.
Class was pretty boring. I handed in my project, expecting compliments for work that wasn’t even really mine. But Adrianna had done such a good job at making it look average that my tutor hardly commented.
I went into the city, grabbed some dinner, spent some time in town just wandering through shops, and I played some games in the arcade. Then I headed back to the room after sundown.
Adrianna wasn’t there, so I got into my pyjamas and stayed up studying for a while. Adrianna stayed out really late. I found my eyes pulling down. My body was begging for sleep. I bookmarked my textbook and pulled the covers up. I left my watch by my pillow in case I woke up and I needed to see the time. I had an early class in the morning. The plastic runners of the curtains made little ticking noises in the gentle wind that blew through the window, carrying the sounds of the city night life with it. I was soon asleep.

I had the dream again that night.
This time it was a little different, but the basic elements were the same. I must have heard the door click open in real life, because in my dream I rolled over and found Adrianna staring at me. She looked at me hungrily, and threw her handbag down on the floor. She unstrapped her high heels and climbed onto the bed, straddling me again. She kissed me, rubbing up against me, for quite a long time. She drew her clothes off and we had sex again. It was exactly the same as the night before. For a while she rode me, and then, I went soft again as she bit my neck.
Sharp pain, and then, bliss.
I lay there in a daze once she had finished with me. She walked away and slammed the bathroom door.
I remembered I had left my watch just by my head. I managed, despite the same paralysis I had last night, to turn my head.
My watch read 2:55.

It happened again and again, every night that week and the next week. I saw her a couple of times in the engineering study rooms, and she even helped me with another project. But other nights I didn’t even see her at all, except in my dreams. That was fine by me. I was embarrassed around her. I was paranoid, thinking she knew exactly what I had been dreaming about. Surely she would hear my moans in the night, while I slept.
Towards the end of that fortnight, a conversation happened, which at the time didn’t seem so important to me, but on later reflection, I realised it was very significant. It was the smallest little thing, but it was a sign I shouldn’t have ignored.
I got very tired during those two weeks. Karl, one of my mutual friends with James, also an engineering student, picked up the courage to actually speak to me, even though it seemed to be the consensus amongst the others that I was to be ostracised. ‘Hey mate. Are you okay?’
I thought he was talking about me getting kicked out, of course. ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m fine actually. I’m staying with this chick.’
‘Oh, that’s good. Are you sure you’re okay? You just look really pale, man.’ If only I had seen then what he had seen. But I didn’t get it then. He smirked and asked, ‘Has this chick you live with been keeping you up all night?’
I smirked knowingly. Since he was talking to me, I decided to spill the truth. ‘Well, actually, you know who it is I’m staying with?’
He shook his head, and looked expectant. ‘Who?’
‘Adrianna,’ I said boastfully.
‘Uh... who?’
He hadn’t heard her name before, but I knew he would have seen her before. ‘You know? That post grad engineering student? The hottest chick in the world?’
At first his face was normal. Then his eyes almost popped out of his skull. ‘Shit. No. You’re kidding me,’ he said, disbelieving.
I just shrugged, my smirk saying it all.
‘Shit! Dude! That’s freaking sweet! Dude, have you? Seriously?’
‘I don’t kiss and tell, mate,’ I lied. God, I didn’t even know if I had or not.
Karl was practically doing a little jig, he was so excited for me. ‘So, is it true about her?’
‘What’s true?’
‘You know, about her and sunlight.’
I looked at him quizzically. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Dude, hasn’t she got that rare condition?’
I looked at him weirdly. I had no idea what he was talking about.
‘She’s got that thing where she can never be exposed to sunlight. She’d blister up the second she goes outside.’
I blinked at him, taking my turn now to look shocked at him. ‘Wait... what? That can’t be right...’
‘Have you seen her during the day then?’
I opened my mouth to say I had, but I realised I hadn’t. I had only ever seen her at night. ‘Wait... how can she be a student then?’
‘She has a special arrangement with the lecturers. Apparently her parents are loaded, or something like that. She gets privately tutored here, and now that she’s a post grad student it’s easy, they just supervise her. And apparently she’s really smart. So they agree to her terms. I mean, they couldn’t really refuse her. It’s a disability, and she could sue the university if they didn’t agree to teach her.’
I was lost in thought now. She was allergic to sunlight? Then where did she go in the daytime? There was no place she could hide in her apartment. She always left the curtains open too, lazily. So she couldn’t be in the room. Where the hell was she then?
‘Anyway dude, I had better go,’ Karl said. ‘Seriously man, you need to eat better, or sleep more or something. You are as white as a sheet. Go fry on the beach or something.’
I waved to him, but my mind was taken up with thinking about Adrianna.
After a few minutes meditating on the strange information I had just been given, but my mind turned again to the thing that had been weighing on my mind for the last two weeks. The dreams, again and again, every night. What did they mean? I had once had a girlfriend who was all into that spiritual bull crap and used to analyse peoples’ dreams. I usually didn’t believe in that stuff, but here I was, faced by a reoccurring dream that was beginning, just a little to disturb me. And I say that in the vaguest sense: only part of me felt weird about it, because I was basically dreaming about my flatmate every night. The rest of me felt fine. Forgive me – I’m male.
I thought about it for a while, and I thought I came up with something pretty good. I felt good about staying with Adrianna. She was sexy, and I wanted to have sex with her. But, during the actual act, she would bite me, and I would go soft. Even before that, she practically had me paralyzed. So what did that mean? I decided it meant that part of me – my subconscious or whatever bullshit – felt as if I was being emasculated by her. I couldn’t be even with her because I was basically freeloading off her. She hadn’t asked for rent and I hadn’t offered it. I felt like I wasn’t living up to who I was as a man.
So I decided to offer to pay half the rent, hoping the feeling would go away.
That night, I sat up and waited for her for a long, long time. It wasn’t until about two in the morning that she came back. I was going to pay for it in the morning, but I didn’t want to be asleep and not get the chance to talk to her.
She came in and took a step back. She looked disappointed. ‘You’re still awake,’ she said, sounding almost angry.
‘Yeah, I was just studying,’ I told her truthfully.
Still looking angry, she came in and moved around the room, sorting out her things. ‘Hey, Adrianna.’
‘Is it true you have that thing where you can’t go in the sun?’
She spun around and glared at me. ‘Who told you that?’
I almost shrank in her gaze. ‘Ah, just a friend. Don’t answer me if you’re uncomfortable.’
She huffed angrily. After a moment, she answered, ‘I have a slight allergy to the sun, yes. It would be painful if I exposed myself, but I wouldn’t die.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that.’
‘Don’t be,’ she said bitterly.
‘I’m not pitying you or anything. I think you’re doing really well, achieving things that others might not be able to with your condition.’
She shrugged, and was about to step in the bathroom.
‘Hey, wait, Adrianna.’
‘What?’ she practically snapped.
‘Um, I was just worried... um... can I pay half of the rent? I feel bad staying here and not paying.’
She shook her head. ‘No. Absolutely not.’
She slammed the door on me.
I could fight it no longer. I had to go to sleep.

My dream that night was not good.
In a haze, I saw her come back out of the bathroom. The mist coming from the bathroom looked like the fog hanging over a swamp. Her hair was wet, and her teeth were big, sharp and exposed. Even though she was naked, she looked like some kind of hideous hag. Her beauty was totally transfigured by the way her lips were drawn right back, exposing those animalistic teeth. Her body was cold as she climbed on top of me.
Her hand went down my pants and wrapped around me, too tight. My member was soft, and though she frigged it violently, she couldn’t get any response out of it. How the hell could she – she was terrifying! Eventually she slapped it back down against my skin and snapped my waistband back up, missing in her fury and haste, pinging me in the genitals. Oh man. The pain was so real. This was no dream.
It was a nightmare.
I writhed, no longer paralyzed, the pain breaking the spell. But she screamed like a banshee, and with incredible strength, her arms, with her claw-like nails digging into me, pinned me down. She stretched my neck roughly, pulling my long hair, and she bit into my neck. It sounded disgusting, the lapping noises she made. Why the hell was she giving me a hickey?! It was like she was trying to kill me or something.
She threw me back down to the bed like a rag doll, and she vanished from the room. I couldn’t see what direction she had left in.
All my energy was drained. I cried, for the first time in a very long time. As the dream faded away, I knew one thing for certain.
I could not live here anymore. My subconscious wouldn’t give me peace until I moved away from this strange woman.

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