I've put this off for a long time now, mostly because I knew that it would take a great deal of time and energy to write this particular post. My intention is to explain, as much as one person ever can, the phenomenon that is Number Four. Sit back and get comfy, this is gonna take some doin'.
We begin at the beginning. Shortly after Pamala moved up here to go to UCSB (she and I were both transfers, so no dorms for us), she met Paula through Hillel. At first, Paula is nondescript and seems nice, if a bit slow. This is misleading, a trap if you will, because Pamala quickly realized that Paula is quite possibly insane. But not kill-you-in-your-sleep-insane. At some point, Pamala mentioned that she lived in Santa Ynez (campus owned apartments) and didn't know who she was going to live with the next year. Paula chimed in that they should live together. Pamala agreed, not knowing how deep the crazy went, and also because, in spite of herself, Pamala is just a nice person.
Flash forward about seven months. Pamala and Orly have met and become friends for life, and I have just met both of them through our mutual friend and my neighbor, Anna. Anna thought that Pamala, Orly and I, all living in Santa Ynez and wanting to continue living there the next year, might like to all move in together. We hung out a bit, liked each other, and it was settled. Pamala mentioned that her best friend from home would also be coming to UCSB the next year, and perhaps she could move in with us too. We agreed, seeing no problem with that.
Then one day Pamala came to us with the following problem. It turned out that Paula had taken that idea that wasn't really ever formalized at the beginning of the year and stuck with it, and would now be without a place to live if we chose Pamala's best friend from home over her. At this point, Orly and I had both met Paula and seen that she wasn't quite right. Having no desire to live with her, we told Pamala that we would prefer not to, but that it was ultimately up to her. In the end Pamala chickened out and caved in to Paula. Not what I would have done, but not everyone is a cold-hearted bitch like me.
This concludes Part One of the Number Four Saga. More to come.