Shawn stood at the stove, fry pan in hand as warmed-up yet another of James’ impromptu dinners. The man had a gift for taking leftovers and whatever else he could find and conjure up deliciousness. It was the only way to get a decent meal in Shawn sometimes. He let work keep him up all manners of hours and a proper meal oft fell by the wayside in the process. James made sure he ate.
After three other roommates had come and gone in a two year span. James signed on. They gave each other a million reason to walk away from being roommates. Yet in a short few weeks of living together there had been a marked difference in the daily routine of the place. Holly claimed it was like the apartment had a cold draft that someone finally sealed and the place was warm again. Shawn knew the draft was him and the warmth was James. He was always the mar, the blemish, the thing wrong in the equation. Until James that is, who arrived with his own issues. His temper being the worst.
Normally Shawn would use the microwave, but he had conducted a food experiment that had not gone quite as expected. James understandably had refused to clean it this time as he had all the other times, but the man was a hard-wired germaphobe. Shawn would often just wait it out knowing James would cave in and do it. Still, every now and then the man would raise a brow and get a stubborn streak. And it would be like sand in his shoe he couldn’t seem to shake out until it was resolved. This was three days later – that was a record. Shawn knew he really was going to have to do something about it. He couldn’t stand it if James employed the silent treatment again.
Over a year ago, the first and last time Shawn made a huge mess and didn’t clean, James absolutely did not speak to him. Being petty, after a week, Shawn had moved the sofa to block the front door, delaying him when he knew James was running late. Shawn sat at the desk on his, earphones on, acting engrossed on his laptop. He looked up just in time to see James eyes turned stormy as he glared at Shawn. He still said nothing as he lifted the couch, flipped it over where it landed on the side table smashing it and went on his way leaving the door wide open. Holly, their landlady heard the crash and came running upstairs, passing a furious James along the way. She walked up to him and smacked on the back of his head so hard he saw stars ordering him to fix it. He knew she did not mean the table. Shawn was not in the least surprised when the cost of the table was charged to his share of the rent. By then he had cleaned the apartment, apologized. He almost cried in relief when James very efficiently and justifiably proceeded to curse him out.
Somehow they made the worse seem better in each other. Now at nearly two years together it was so much improved. James made him do better. No James made him want to do better. Shawn knew James learned to better manage his temper from dealing with him. They balanced each other.
Shawn sighed looking back at the microwave with guilt. He turned off the stove and got the cleaning supplies.
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Music Challenge #24: “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga
The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #342
Mar, Draft, Stormy, Sand, Charge, Silence, Fry, Star, Wired, Manner, Gift, Guilt