Do you ever get those instant flashes of insight, where all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place? I had one the other day while washing up. I looked into my flatmate’s cereal bowl and what I saw wasn’t a few cornflakes in a puddle of milk, but smashed seashells in brine. Suddenly I understood why it took so long to get into the bathroom every morning, why my washing always took at least five days to dry and what was really making those strange gurgling noises that echo through the house at all hours. I wiped my hands, walked upstairs and asked him point-blank if he was a mer-man.

He said nothing and by the next morning he had moved out. I wish I’d made it clearer that I wasn’t judging him and that I was ok with whatever it was he was, but I suppose it’s too late. Trying to rent his room is proving to be a real pain.



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