Picture the scene. It is 4AM. It is my new flatmate’s 3rd night in the apartment. Suddenly, I am awake. I hear him talking loudly on the phone, but because it is 4AM and he is speaking in tongues (aka Spanish), I have no idea what he is saying. I sneak a peek out of my door and see my other flatmate there.
“Apparently the whole building is being robbed!” she exclaims, surprisingly chipper.
They fill me in and we all anxiously wait for the police. New Housemate runs from room to room, pointing to where he sees the intruders. We see nothing, but whatever, it’s dark, it’s 4AM. We have no reason to doubt him.
The police come. He points to places. They go to investigate. After a while it is silent. The police have left.
We start to question whether there were ever really any intruders.
He keeps calling the police (I find out the next morning, he called them eight times). He can’t sit still or calm down, and is constantly signalling and telling us where he sees people. Every time we ask for clarification, such as which balcony he’s pointing at, or which floor, or even if he’s talking about our actual building, he ignores us and runs to another window. His story changes from ‘a group of black men’ to ‘people in ski masks’ (but all of this was in Spanish, obv). He is struck with fear over seeing a group of people tie a poor little old woman to a chair. We still see nothing.
There are no intruders.
The sane flatmate and I decide we should go to bed. He won’t shut up about the intruders, or sit down, or even breathe. Sane Flatmate tells him she doesn’t see any intruders and that he should go to bed too. He does not react well to this. I push my chair in front of my door, just in case.
It’s impossible to sleep because he is running around the flat, opening and closing blinds, banging doors, stepping onto the balcony to find the mystery intruders.
About an hour later, only twenty minutes of which I was asleep for, it’s now 6:50AM and there’s frantic banging on my bedroom door. I open it in case it is Sane Flatmate saying New Flatmate is brandishing a knife or something (it seemed likely at the time). No, it was New Flatmate. He blurts something out in rapid Spanish, barges past me, sits on my bed, and stares out the window. The window which had the shutter down and has the exact same view as his bedroom window. I just stood there, half-asleep and dumbfounded. Before I can react, he runs out again and I shut the door, barricading it once again. I hear him talking to someone. He decided to wake our building manager up because he’s still convinced someone is in the building. It’s completely light outside now.
An other hour passes and he finally seems to have shut up and I get a glorious three hours sleep.
Sane Flatmate tells me the next day, that in the beautiful twenty minutes of sleep I stole, he managed to lock himself in her room with her and claimed that there were twenty men on the patio. Those twenty men turned out to be twenty plants.
To keep the mystery going, later that same day, New Flatmate disappeared. We think he went to Barcelona and we had no idea when he was coming back. For the next week and a bit, we flinched at every noise, waiting for the day he would return home and probably try to murder us. When he finally does return, he says nothing. Apart from one incident when he chased me out of the apartment whilst screaming ‘why are you running?’, no other incidents have occurred. We start to believe that he is actually 100% insane and question why our landlord hasn’t evicted him yet.
Eventually, he assures us that he ‘took a little bit of meth’.
Oh, alright then. That makes it so much better.
TL;DR: I’m moving out at the end of the month.
As a side note, whilst New Flatmate had disappeared, a New New Flatmate moved in. He is 40 years old, married, has 3 kids, and has never lived outside of his parents’ house before. If you ever move to Madrid, please make sure your landlord gives you some say in who moves in with you (or, y’know, actually tells you someone is moving in before you awkwardly meet them in the hall).