Rob Does Words
Treating fiction poorly since 2019


There was a lot to get used to with Dan. Not that that was a bad thing, of course. She did like him, it was just that she wasn't prepared for how much of himself he’d kept hidden until after they’d started dating.

Take, for instance, his allergies. Not a deal breaker, by any stretch of the imagination, but Dan sneezed. A lot. Like just now, while he was waist deep in the cupboards under the sink. She had to admit, though, it was funny hearing his muffled sneeze then the ringing dong sound as his head hit the bottom of the sink. What she found irritating about his allergies – not that she’d ever say anything, of course; it wasn't as if he could control them – was the towels.

See, a few minutes after his sneezing fits, he would grab a towel, or some toilet paper, if he was near enough, and blow his nose loud enough to scare the cats. From time to time, when his allergies were acting up particularly bad, he’d keep a towel within reach of where he was at the time, which meant that right now there was one near the bed. She hated it and was trying to make it so the towel never came on the bed and made it to the laundry hamper each morning, but it was hard to break these habits he’d had for so long while he was single. But she was stubborn and wasn't about to quit.

She was also reasonably sure he forgot she had a key to his place. They’d been dating for a few months when he surprised her one day with a key on the end of a necklace she thought shed lost. He told her he’d found it while cleaning and thought he’d add a little something to it.

Now, though, almost half the time she came over unannounced, he was either mostly naked and playing video games with his buddies or about to leave and started to give her the ‘If I’m not here, you can’t be here’ speech before she could interrupt and say she had a key.

Still, she had to say she was better off than before they had met. She no longer was ribbed for being the single cat lady. Now she was ribbed for having a tall lanky boyfriend who, quote, would start a fire if he rubbed up against you, unquote.

She watched the cat stick its head out from the bedroom door, checking to see if the sneezy monster was still around and whether it was safe or not to come get some food. She leaned off the side of the couch and clicked her fingers at it, and it came bouncing over for attention. “Good kitty,” she said as it purred into her hand.

He could hear Missy in the other room, playing with the cat or something. He rubbed his head where the sink had callously attacked him and cleaned up where he had left all his tools and the cleaning stuff he had pulled out of the cupboard so he could fix the leak. He thought about calling out to her to tell her it was done, but he knew she was reading and wasn't a fan of being interrupted while there was still work to do, which he knew, to her, meant cleaning up after he’d finished. She was odd like that.

"If you make a mess," she had once told him soon after they had first met, "you get to clean it up. Unless its dinner, in which case, if you cook you don’t clean." He went along with this, because he was a pretty good cook and had cooked for her a number of times leading into them starting to date date. She kept her word too, which he wasn't used to and ever since they had met, if he had cooked for her, he never had to raise a finger to clean. He reminded himself to not take this for granted as he closed the cupboard and wiped the bench tops down.

He thought back to the day when she first realised he could cook. This was back when they worked together; where they met. She had come in one night while he was on night shift and had caught him in the middle of a large home cooked dinner. After she had done what she had come in for, they talked for a while and when it slipped out that he had cooked this dinner for himself, she made him promise to cook dinner for her sometime, which he eagerly did; it wasn't often he got to cook for others and he did like it when people realised this weird quiet guy knew how to cook a decent meal. He wasn't a fan of how much salt she put on her food, but he figured if that was the worst he had to complain about, then he wasn't doing too bad.

The cat came swaggering into the kitchen and wrapped itself around his legs. He bent down to scratch its ears, but it scampered off to its food bowl before he could reach which got a small giggle from the half hidden face of Missy who was watching from the other room.

“He has favourites,” she said.

“Yeah, food, you, everything else, me.”

“Pretty much. You done?”

“I think so. I'm just running the tap now to see.”

“Cool, thanks for that.”

“Sure. Beats spending hundreds on a plumber.”

“Ugh, I know. Can't palm that off on to the landlord.”

“Not when you are the landlord,” he agreed. “You working in the morning?”

She nodded sadly. “You can still stay if you want.”

“Like you could stop me,” he said and jumped onto the couch with her.

“Like I would want to,” she replied wrapping her arms around his neck. “But first,” she decided. “You need a shower my stinky tradesman.”

Pretend tradesman,” he corrected, restarting a game they had played a few hours back when she had brought up the leaky basin thing. “Come join me?”

“When you’re not so stinky,” she grinned playfully.