======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
“If you two are such good friends,” she belted out in their Uber home, “then why don’t I know who she is?”
Todd’s elbow rested on the ledge of the window behind on driver’s side. After an immediate attempt by the driver to strike up a conversation with the two, he soon became aware of the argument that was taking place after Todd’s encounter with a girl he had seen at the Halloween gala earlier that night.
Todd audibly sighed, partially because of frustration and partially to show her that he was frustrated.
“Is that all you’re going to do?” came out of her wine-stained mouth. “Just sit there and sigh?”
Todd passive-aggressively checked his phone to see what time it was. He looked across the backseat at her and gave a look of, “Really? We’re doing this here?” Her legs remained crossed pointing opposite of him while she stared blankly out the window that collected rain while they sat at a red light, blocks from their apartment.
“Okay, never mind,” Todd huffed. “There’s nothing I can say at this point that will change your mind about being pissed.”
It felt like they were hitting every single light on their way back to their apartment. Had it not been raining, surely one of them would’ve gotten out of the Kia Sorrento and walked the remaining blocks home. But as they finally pulled up to their apartment, the conversation had completely stunted and their driver hesitated to wish them well as they went out their separate doors.
She entered their apartment lobby ten feet ahead of Todd. As Todd walked by the nighttime doorman, he received a look that said, “Just one of those nights.” She approached the elevator and pressed the up button and stood a foot from the door with her arms crossed while Todd peered up at the display which showed the elevator slowly creeping downward from the 16th floor.
When the doors finally opened, another couple attempted to exit only to be forced to turn sideways so she could enter and pound the 22nd floor button. “Good luck,” the guy leaving the elevator (also with this face painted as a sugar skull) mouthed to Todd.
As it climbed the floors, they both stood in the same position with their arms crossed looking straight forward without saying a word. Todd caught her eye looking at him in the mirrored door, but they both immediately looked away in an attempt to show the other that they didn’t care. When they finally got to their floor, she exited the elevator first and walked quickly down the hall to their door. She couldn’t find her key in her clutch and backed away from the door so Todd could open it.
Immediately upon walking into their apartment, she sternly asked, “Is this what we’re doing? We’re just going to walk around not talking to each other? Real productive, Todd. Real healthy.”
Todd stood in the kitchen with a wet rag attempting to wash his face off. “Seriously,” he said with frustration, “What can I say right now that will make things better?”
“Nothing,” she snapped back at him. “Your actions spoke louder than words at that party.”
“I talked to her for all of five minutes before hanging out with you, Katie, and Finn for the rest of the night,” he explained with his face over the sink.
She stared at him from across the island. “Can you just, like, look at me while we resolve this? It’s so rude how you just have your back to me.”
He turned around with his face paint smudged all over his face. “Okay, fine – can I do anything right at this point?”
“Nope,” she responded, “You proved that when you started talking to that whore at the bar.”
“Okay,” Todd hesitated, “She isn’t a whore.” He immediately realized that defending the honor of the girl that got him in trouble was the last thing he should’ve done.
“You met her, like, what? Six months ago?” she asked. “And you’re still keeping in touch with her?”
Todd rolled his eyes and, again, immediately regretted his decision. He walked towards their mini bar with a tumbler in his hand and poured a drink.
“Yeah, greaaaaaaaaat idea, Todd,” she mocked. “Pour yourself a drink, that’s totally going to solve this problem.”
He set the drink down on the bar and walked back to the island to ask, “Do you want to keep arguing, or do you want to realize how pointless this is and go to bed?”
She looked at him with her mouth open while he brushed his hands through his hair in defeat. Shaking her head, she delicately thought about what to say next.
“I do not appreciate being patronized right now, Todd,” she responded sternly. “The way she hugged you was way too friendly and I can’t believe you think I’d be this stupid.”
Todd wiped his face with both hands. “I can’t believe this, we met forever ago and haven’t seen each other since. It’s not like she’s in town to see me, she’s just here with some friends.”
“I don’t even care anymore,” she said. “Courtney? Carrie? Whatever her name was. I’m sure you two will be very happy together.”
“Are you serious right now?” he pleaded.
She walked into the bathroom and slammed the door before she took off her dress and began washing her face. Todd sat in the kitchen with the drink he’d retrieved from the bar and finished it in three gulps. He approached the bathroom door only to realize it was locked with the sink running.
“Can I at least brush my teeth?” he asked.
“After I’m done washing this paint off my face,” she yelled from the other side of the door. “It might be a while.”
His frustration built as he took his bowtie out from underneath his collar. And after waiting for the longest three minutes of his life for the door to be unlocked, he finally decided to go to their bedroom and go to sleep. But as he took one step away, he doubled back and put his face close to the door to say one last thing: “Oh, and by the way, her name is Claire.” .