Jenny slams the door shut, collapsing on the couch. I look at her, smirking. “You weren’t always the type to get worn out after parties, Jenny.” I say, picking at a hangnail.
She glares at me, or tries to, but her bright green eyes are dull with drowsiness. “Shut up, Vivian. It’s been a while since I’ve hosted a party. God, and we still have to clean up.” she groans.
“Let’s go to bed. We can clean up tomorrow.” I reply, pulling off my dress and bra and throwing on some nightclothes.
“Okay.” Jenny puts on her pajamas and we both retire to our separate bedrooms.
I’m exhausted, so I go out cold.
When I open my eyes the next morning, morning light is spilling into the room, and when I blink, the light is thrown off my eyelashes. I glance at the clock, and I can see it’s 11 in the morning. Ugh. Today we have to clean.
I get up, go to the master bathroom attached to my room and relieve myself, and then put on an old T-shirt and faded blue jeans. I put up my long brown hair in a messy ponytail and wash my face, but don’t touch my makeup bag.
I stumble out of my small bedroom and mash the buttons on the coffee maker until I hear the noise of coffee burbling.
Then I tiptoe, quiet as a mouse, into Jenny’s room, to watch her sleep. My roommate’s sleeping face is relaxed and peaceful, and there's still a smudge of blue around her eyes from her eyeshadow.
Her breathing is quiet and even and so very peaceful. I hear the coffee machine beep and say softly “Jenny the coffee is ready. I know you like it nice and warm.”
She makes a soft noise and replies “Okay I’m coming.”
I walk out of the room and fill up a coffee mug, taking a long slurp.
When Jenny is up, and we’ve procrastinated for as long as possible, I take out two garbage bags and hand one to her. “So it begins.” she says dramatically.
We go to the living room and I say “You take the left and I’ll take the right.”
So I pick up a stack of four red plastic cups to start off and drop them in my trash bag and three minutes in, I hear Jenny laugh out loud.
“Look! It’s a shoe!”
“What?!?! Let me see!” I cry, whipping around.
Sure enough, Jenny is holding up a bright red Miu Miu high heel by the strap and laughing.
“Oh.” I say, giggling. “I bet I can find something crazier, while also cleaning up.”
“You’re on.” Jenny puts the shoe on a table and tosses a pizza crust in the trash bag. “Ew. When we’re done cleaning up solid things, we should wipe down surfaces and vacuum.”
We are silent a few more minutes, until I cry out “Ooh! Look! It won’t beat the shoe though.”
I turn around, holding up the object, laughing. “It’s a shark tooth!”
Jenny laughs, dropping a smashed Dr. Pepper can into her bag. “Weird!”
I move over to another part of the room, picking up a small stack of beer caps. I throw a dirty napkin into my garbage bag next, holding it in between two fingers in the corner.
“Oh gross!” Jenny says, her voice laced with disgust.
“Let me see!” I say, turning around, my light brown bun bobbing precariously.
Jenny is holding a dirty Band-Aid the same way I was holding the napkin moments before, her face twisted.
“Yuck!” I shriek. “Throw it out!”
She drops it into her bag. “Look! This room doesn’t have any more loose trash, and we can vacuum and wipe-down at the end.”
I nod, sighing. “To the kitchen.”
“You take the right and I take the left.” Jenny says, inching to the other side of the room.
Swell. The fridge is on my side of the room. God knows what I’ll find in there. I take out the overflowing trash bag from the trashcan in this room and take it to the alley before putting a new trash bag in it.
Then I open the fridge, and squeal. “Ew!”
“What?” Jenny says, her voice sounding amused.
“There’s a bra in here! It’s black and lacy. Golly, it’s a nice one too.”
Jenny laughs. “What size?”
“D-cup. Okay, I’m taking it out and putting it on the counter. That has to win!”
“Fine. Currently it holds the crown.”
We’re silent for a little while, and I resume cleaning. I throw out a pile of dirty paper plates and sigh. “Okay I finished my side.”
Suddenly, Jenny cries “Oh gosh, this is weird!”
“What is it?”
“Hand sanitizer, but the scent is ‘Bloody Abyss’. Wait I’m gonna smell it.”
“What does it smell like?”
“Metal and….blood. Okay that’s tied with the bra.”
We finish cleaning the kitchen, and the bathroom and dining room are fine.
“Alright, Jenny.” I say seriously when we’ve thrown out our two bulging trash bags.
“I’ll spray and you vacuum, okay? I can sweep as well.”
I grab the pink antibacterial spray and a paper towel roll and attack the kitchen first, furiously wiping down every surface until it gleams. Then I sweep the floor and mop it for good measure.
Then Jenny starts vacuuming the hallway and I wipe down the coffee table and end tables.
Then I clean the bathroom, and we both meet up in the dining room. Jenny starts chasing me around with the vacuum and I squeal, giggling.
“Augh!” I shriek playfully.
Then she smiles, resuming her steady pattern across the beige carpeting. I spray down the wood table and then we both collapse on the couch.
“Phew. I’m exhausted. We’ve been cleaning for three hours!” I say, closing my eyes.
“Yeah. Want to order burgers or something?”
“Sure. Can you do it?”
Jenny laughs tiredly. “Of course.” She pulls her phone out and within seconds says “Okay, I got two burgers and fries.”
After a little while, the doorbell rings and I heave myself up, opening the door. I grab the paper bag and hand a 5 dollar tip to the waiter. “Thank you. You have no idea.” I smile, shutting the door.
I hear the TV in the living room and hand a burger to Jenny, unwrapping my own warm calorie bundle.
We devour our food and fries before it has a chance to cool and fall asleep on the couch, the TV still blaring in the background.
On the end table drawer we’ve stashed the shoe and bra and for a second, everything is peaceful.
Cleaning up kind of sucks, but it’s for the better.