Day 235: Just Another Quiet Evening
It’s another quiet evening. Just like the last, just like the next one will be, just how Nicole likes it. Outside, the crickets have already awakened, even though the magic hour light still glows. Kids chatter as they ride their bikes around the block, over and over, not daring to cross the invisible barrier that their parents put up. The creepy guy across the street is still being the creepy guy across the street. He’s already taken his spot in the window to do his nightly stare at the back of Nicole’s head. With a sigh and an eyeroll, she gets up to close her shades, but steps in a puddle in the process. Cold, chunky and lime green, she opts to use her sock to clean up the mess and throw it right in the trash. She grabs a blanket to tuck her bare feet into and settles back in her chair. Ah, yes. Just another quiet evening.
There’s nothing on TV. There’s never anything on TV, but the truth feels a lot truer tonight. She keeps clicking between Law & Order marathons and Law & Order: SVU marathons. Why they need to have separate marathons, she’ll never understand. Ted rests peacefully on the Ottoman, his head down and tan paws pressed together. She uses her remote-less hand to give him a good petting. He purrs softly and then jolts awake. Panicked, he hangs his head over the floor. His torso contracts. It’s happening again. Nonchalantly, he spews out more green bile, licks his lips and goes back into his resting position.
As she struggles to unwrap a new roll of Bounty, she can hear her phone ringing. It’s probably Mom, wondering why there’s two different Law & Order marathons going on. She ignores it to clean up the mess, but it keeps ringing. To her surprise, it’s not Mom. The caller ID reads, “UFO COPS”. She tries to ignore it, but it doesn’t stop, somehow bypassing the voice mail. With a pukey paper towel in hand, she reluctantly picks up the phone, but doesn’t say anything. She can hear the wind blowing and some light chattering. Suddenly, a voice crackles:
I’M A COP!!!
Hello? Freeze! I’m a cop!!!
Not knowing what to do or how to play along with what’s clearly a prank, she responds:
Are you…UFO Cops?
I’m a fucking cop!
From the bathroom, she can hear Ted puking again. She hangs up, throws the phone down and tends to the situation. Ted is appearing to be a bit more concerned. He paws at the puddle and sniffs it. Something is definitely wrong. But he can’t tell her what. Because he’s a cat. She wipes it up with toilet paper and flushes it. As she leaves the bathroom, she can hear water pouring onto the floor behind her. Not again. She doesn’t want to turn around. She has to. It won’t go away if she ignores it. As expected, she turns around to see water flooding from the toilet. Ted tries to fend it off by batting at it, but to no avail. Slowly backing up, he pukes again out of stress. The phone keeps ringing. The water keeps flowing. There’s a loud rustling outside her window. Getting her priorities straight, she eases Ted into the carrier and gets the hell out of dodge.
The August air is both thick and dry at the same time. Inside the 24 hour clinic, the climate isn’t much better. All of the windows are open, signifying a broken AC unit. The TV in the lobby plays the Law & Order marathon. Or maybe it’s the SVU marathon. Or maybe it’s just Bones. The receptionist sits, half asleep, and suddenly perks up when the doctor opens the door. Nicole gets up and leaves the carrier behind. The whole thing is now covered in bile. Probably not the best idea to put Ted back in there. He’s gonna have to ride shotgun home, whether he likes it or not.
And surprisingly, he likes it. He climbs up on the dashboard to get a full view of the dark world around him. The vet had told her that Ted had consumed chocolate. She’s perplexed about how that could have happened. Did Dad feed him some when he came over to mow the lawn? Did he somehow break into the marshmallow santas from last Christmas? She doesn’t really keep sweets around the house, how did Ted eat chocolate? But alas, he seems to be back to his old self. And when he walks into the house, something startles him and he runs straight down into the basement. Suddenly, the lights in the kitchen turn on.
SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYYY!
There stand her old friends, Durrdurr, Buttsniffer and Jessica. Holding deflated balloons and appearing to be way too excited to see her.
You should have seen the look on your face!
What are you guys doing here?
Does this sound familiar? “Eyyyy, I’m a cop! Eyyyy!”
Did you also clog my toilet?!?
Of course not! We wouldn’t break into your house to clog your toilet!
But we DID mangle your pipes…
Yeah, we definitely did that…
What the hell is wrong with you guys? Did you poison my cat?!?
We told Jessica not to do it, but you know, she’s the wild card, and uh…
And hey, it actually got her out of the house! So it worked!
BUT WHY WOULD YOU DO ALL THESE THINGS?!?
So we could surprise you, duh! Happy birthday!
My birthday’s in May…
There stood an awkward silence. Durrdurr and Buttsniffer look at each other in concerned confusion. The crickets chirp louder. Some kids ride by on their bikes. The TV is still on in the living room. Just another quiet evening. Just like the last, just like the next one will be, just how Nicole likes it.
I’m calling the cops.
GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!
Happy belated birthdayyyyyyy!