Funny Contemporary Romance

So she sat there, with a face full of urine, questioning how long God will punish her. Yes, she's done some shitty things. Making sexual jokes about her priest comes to mind. Stealing a church's tabernacle when she got high on shrooms tickles her memory. She brought it back! 

"I'm a good person!" she shouts at no one in particular. And she's right, of course. Because good is arbitrary and subjective. We all think we're good inside, even the people we least suspect. Ted Cruz thinks he's good, Ian from Delta Pi Alpha thinks he's good. Sure, hundreds of thousands of Texans and thousands of women at Bowling Green would disagree with their assertions, but that doesn't mean they don't believe it. 

Melanie is always friendly to her colleagues. Well, relatively friendly. She's respectful of them. Well, somewhat respectful. Okay, She doesn't hit them! That should count for something. 

Melanie has made poor choices in her twenty-seven years, and she has a few hundred regrets. Now she sits there on the floor, wondering what transpired today and why she is drunk in a colleague's apartment covered in pee. She tries to recall how this day started, and she begins with the early morning.  

It was ten in the morning, and Melanie's boss walked into her office. 

"I need you to team up with Kevin for the Manhattan proposals next week," she tells her. 

Melanie lets out a quiet sigh, and tries to remain respectful when she responds, so she shakes her head and says,

"No. Fucking. Way. No, hell no. Absolutely not." All in all, not her worst response to her boss.  

The boss looks at Melanie coldly and answers, "oh yes, and maybe I'll have to move him into this office for the time being?" She smiles. 

Melanie looks horrified, "that is low even for you," she scolds. 

"I play to win," her boss taps her door and walks away. 

Melanie puts her head in her hands and lets out a quiet scream. Quiet by her standards, at least. The downstairs offices will send security up here to check on her soon, as they usually do. But no homicide has occurred. At least not yet. 

Melanie has no issue with Kevin, despite his heterosexuality, specifically his ESPN notifications sound on his phone. She worked with Kevin for two years near his cubicle, and he finally turned his phone on mute when Melanie threatened to pour bleach into the fish tank on his desk. After a lovely chat with human resources and a "reccomendation," she's since become much calmer. 

It's just that working alone is Melanie's true passion. Being alone in general is a top-tier activity for Melanie. She gets by, knowing she can go home and be one with her plants. It's where she feels safe; because if there was going to be one person who gets hit with a piece of a Boeing 737 engine, it would be Melanie. Her whole life has been trying but failing to avoid disaster after disaster. 

In her final year of college, Melanie's school went under. The year she got a job at her first design company, it went under. When she got her first real boyfriend, he went under. Six feet. To hell, that is, he cheated on her with a Brittney. 

So, maybe you'll forgive Melanie for not having much patience for people or things. Because people and things have historically not been kind to Melanie. 

At around 11 AM, Melanie's new project partner Kevin politely knocks on her office door. 

"Hey there bestie," he says fearfully, still remembering her threat to his fish's life. 

She stares up at Kevin, at his stupid perfect skin and his dumb perfect ass. What? She sat behind him for two years! 

"Can I help you, sir?" She responds, clearly meaning, "can you please fuck off?" 

"Yes!" Kevin exclaims, speaking as if she has a button on her desk that will drop him into a shark tank. 

"I was just wondering if you wanted to come for me" her eyes jump up, 

But Kevin corrects - "come with me, I mean, to my apartment. I have some blueprints we can go off of, and I feel like it'll be more relaxing than staying late here."

"Who said anything about staying late?" Over Melanie's dead body. Because the only place away from home she's staying late is the coroner's office. 

Kevin put's his hand up in defense,

"no one! Only unless you wanted to. It's just, I adopted a puppy last week, so I don't want to leave him alone for long."

Kevin knows Melanie's heart will never refuse a dog's interest. That slick bastard. 

She sighs and looks back at her computer screen, "okay, sure, we'll go at lunch?" She asks him. 

"Perfect." He smiles, a little too much, Melanie thinks. 

Melanie takes her shoes off as she enters Kevin's apartment. Because she was raised that way. Mother always said the only people who wear their shoes inside the house are homicide detectives. Mother never was always fully there. 

She neatly sets her heels to the right of the door. Kevin leads her to the kitchen and warns her, "oh, be careful where you walk because the dog isn't pot-" he turns around as he's talking and sees Melanie in slow motion.

It appears his warning was just a bit too late. Because as Melanie sets her right foot on the carpet, she feels a warm substance on her sole. She thinks, hopes, prays that it's just a really, really soft and warm chew toy. It is not, though she knows this almost immediately. 

"tty-trained," Kevin finishes unnecessarily. 

His face is full of horror, and he's unsure what to say next.

"I am so, so sorry," he lets out. 

Her eyes close; she opens them slowly and lets out a breath. 

"It's fine," Melanie assures him despite the pure disgust on her face. She smiles through her teeth and continues,

"Really, it happens! I'm just glad I'm wearing sock-"

She looks down at her foot. She is not wearing socks. 

Melanie looks up slowly; if her face could look like an action, it would be when you put your keys in your apartment door after a long and frustrating day, and as the key goes into the hole, it falls to the floor. Then as you go to retrieve the key, the bag you're carrying on your right shoulder falls too. 

That is what Melanie looks like.

She looks over to Kevin, smiles faintly, and asks,

"Do you have any alcohol?"

He looks confused. 

"I, yeah, I, I mean it's 11:30 in the morning and -," Melanie interrupts, 

"Kevin, respectfully, I have a foot full of your dogs shit, so I think I deserve a fucking beverage." 

Kevin looks at her, surprised; then he nods his head and says, 

"Yeah, no, you have a point there." He goes into his fridge and pulls out two Corona's. He hands a beer to Melanie and places his on the counter; she's still standing on the dog poop next to the counter, though Kevin is too scared to ask if she wants to move. 

"Thank you kindly," Melanie says as she takes the beer and offers a fake smile. Kevin goes into his cabinet to get a bottle opener, but Melanie has already opened and downed most of hers by the time he turns around. When he gets back to the counter, Melanie has taken his beer and starts drinking that one. 

Kevin slowly puts the bottle opener back into the cabinet and walks over to the counter. Unsure of what to say, he attempts a joke, 

"what a shitty week, eh?" Either Melanie will laugh or perpetrate a felony. She has yet to decide. But after a moment, she begins to giggle. Kevin is relieved, and he smiles. 

"Thank god you found that funny I was concerned for my life for a moment,"

"Aww," Melanie says while patting him on the shoulder, "you still should be." 

Kevin closes his smile and stares at Melanie, waiting for her to say, "just kidding!" She does not. 

"Where is your drink?" Melanie asks him, almost annoyed. 

"I don't want to do this alone."

Kevin, confused, answers,

"I, I had a, you, yeah let me go get one." He goes into the fridge and grabs another beer; as he's about to close the door, Melanie clears her throat oh so subtly, the universal language of "get me another, bitch." So Kevin grabs another and walks back to Melanie. Who, he can't help but notice, still has shit on her foot.

"I should probably go get this off, I suppose," she says, looking down at her foot.

"Oh, I forgot about that!" He says, like a liar. 

By the time Melanie gets back from the bathroom, she's ready for another drink. So she heads into Kevin's fridge and takes out another bee- scratch that, an entire case. 

Kevin looks back at her,

"Oh, are we doing this?" he asks, kind of hoping they are. 

Melanie nods her head.  

"Yes, it's bonding, it'll actually be great for building rapport," she smiles. 

So the two drink, and drink, and drink. They talk about their jobs and their shitty colleagues, their desires and politics, and their favorite type of protein- Kevin brought this up, and Melanie was too drunk to roll her eyes. 

They laugh, argue, fake hit each other, and Melanie 'fake' punches Kevin, and Kevin 'fake' screams "ow," and he 'fake' rubs his arm and 'fakes' putting ice on it, and Melanie pretends he's faking it. Then their beer is gone, and Kevin grabs the vodka he'd forgotten was in his cabinet above his fridge.

It's almost five o'clock when they're entirely out of alcoholic beverages. Kevin offers to go to the liquor store, and Melanie responds, "my hero, my king, my savior, my favorite thing."

Kevin grabs his keys and closes the door, leaving Melanie alone with a Saint Bernard puppy and her overthinking mind. She wonders if she's really having a good time. If things are actually going well. She smiles and looks down from her stool to see Pancake wagging his tail. She leans down to pat his little butt, which's unfortunately just a bit too far away because as she leans down, she feels her entire body fly off the chair. Melanie slams onto the kitchen floor and screams. "FUCK!" She yells to the world. She refuses to get up, refuses to submit to another misfortune. 

Pancakes walk over to her and lick her face. She feels just a tad bit better. She watches Pancakes as he sniffs around her and walks by her. Then she sees Pancakes lift his leg. She wonders what that silly dog is doing. Then she realizes what that stupid dog is doing.

"No, please" is all she gets out. 

Pancakes, locked and loaded, relived himself for what seemed like minutes. 

Melanie closes her eyes and yells, "this was not what I meant when I said I'd be open to a male peeing on me!" She shouldn't have opened her mouth. She really regrets opening her mouth for a few reasons. 

One, Kevin had just opened the door with a bag of booze to see Melanie lying on the floor and screaming, "I said I'd be open to a male peeing on me!" He had missed the crucial first part of that sentence, as well as the entire context, as Pancakes had finished his gift as soon as Kevin stepped into the apartment. 

The second reason Melanie shouldn't have opened her mouth was that, well, let's just say she now has a first-hand account of why you shouldn't eat the yellow snow. 

Kevin puts down the heavy paper bag and looks at Melanie on the floor, where he finally realizes that she must have fallen to the ground. He runs to her and kneels right above her. It's a one-bedroom in New York City, so it's not so much a run as it is taking three significant steps. 

"Are you all right?" Kevin's voice is full of panic. 

Melanie can hardly speak, or move, or think. Not because she's hurt, but because she's so fucking over it. She's over the constant "I guess it's not my day today" days or the "this couldn't get much worse but it always does" days. She just wants a "today was fine" day. A day where there's nothing to ride home about, but you can ride home without getting hit by another taxi. 

Melanie, with a cute man kneeling above her, starts to cry. She can't recall the last time that's happened. She sobs and doesn't stop because she knows she can't. She submits to the tears. She feels calm. She feels comforted. She feels a hand—a hand rubbing her neck. "I swear if that's pancakes," she mutters. 

"What?" Kevin asks, slowly moving his hand to wipe the tear on Melanie's cheek. 

Melanie looks up; she get's a horrible feeling in her stomach. The "why did God make me attracted to men" kind of feeling. A good sense, some would argue. Melanie knows better; she knows it'll only lead her to pain. Yet she can't rid that damn butterfly; if only there were a metaphoric fly swatter.

Melanie starts to laugh. At what, she's not sure. But she can't stop laughing and crying. Kevin is oh so confused and a little bit turned on, but mostly confused. He only hopes the pee thing didn't get him going. 

"Thank you," Melanie whispers as she raises her hand to touch Kevin's cheek. 

Kevin shows a big smile, though the one inside is far bigger. They look at each other, Kevin feels himself getting closer to her, and Melanie feels herself gently tugging him to her. Kevin goes in, his lips gently touching hers. And for once, Melanie is quite thankful for her poor luck. 

After a few passionate kisses, Kevin leans back and smiles like a Tik Toker in the emergency room. He's going to cash in with this one. They stay that way for a few seconds when Kevin starts to lick his lips in curiosity. Melanie's eyes go ghostly because she recognizes that face. 

"God my Chapstick is gross, I'm sorry," Kevin tells her.

"Oh it's not that, don't worry, it's just urine."


June 17, 2021 16:58

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