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“Uh, what are you doing right now?” Todd asked from the other side of the kitchen island.
She was standing in front of the refrigerator with their trash can pulled in front of it. One by one, she was grabbing anything pre-packaged from the shelves, examining its ingredients, and making a knee-jerk decision on whether or not it was to be thrown out.
After surveying the nutritional information on a bottle of fresh-squeezed orange juice Todd had purchased solely for making mimosas, her eyes diverted to him. “I’m cleaning out the refrigerator,” she responded before dropping the the orange juice into the garbage.
“I just bought that,” he barked at her, “there’s no possible way it can be expired.”
“I know it’s not expired, Todd,” she told him. “It’s poison.”
Todd furrowed his brow in confusion, not having to say anything at all while still commanding a response.
“Sugar, Todd. The sugar is poison.”
Todd’s head cocked back visibly showing his displeasure for the conversation he was about to have. Not only did he just see his orange juice be disposed of in the trash can, but the jelly he’d purchased from the farmer’s market he got dragged to the weekend prior as well as an unopened pint of ice cream.
“Why are you doing this?” he asked. He didn’t actually want to know the reasoning for why she was doing it; it was more of a general question that could be applied to numerous situations the two found themselves in.
“Todd, please care about what you put in your body just one time,” she continued while still taking a complete inventory of their fridge. “I’ve been reading a lot lately about sugar and what it can do to you, and we’re pretty much dying with every single bite we take.”
Todd knew he needed a calculated response rather than an audible annoyance that she was literally throwing money into the garbage can. “Is this because John and Caroline are starting Whole 30 in September?” he wondered.
“Ew, no,” she scolded him, “Telling someone you’re doing a fad diet is pretty much a one-way ticket to getting shit talked behind your back. Besides, this isn’t a temporary fix – this is a lifestyle overhaul.”
“Goddammit,” he muttered.
“Um, excuse me?”
“Nothing, sorry,” he apologized.
“I ordered some books and have been reading up on Goop,” she went on while Todd pondered what would happen if he attempted to salvage the beer sitting on one of the shelves. “We’ve been spiraling lately, and t-b-h, we could both stand to lose a few pounds in addition to just being generally healthier.”
Behind her back, Todd looked down at his body. “Looks fine to me,” he thought as he placed two hands on his stomach. Sure, he wasn’t in-shape like Zack, his coworker who’s constantly training for Iron Man competitions, but that’s never been his style anyway.
Slamming the door shut and dragging the trash can back to the pantry, she reached into her bag and pulled out a calendar that she’d purchased at a boutique bookstore earlier in the day. “I’ve lined up our meals for the next week on this calendar,” she told him. “I didn’t have time to go shopping today, so we start tomorrow night.”
Immediately upon finishing her sentence, both of their phones buzzed.
“It’s Caroline,” Todd told her. “She wants to know if we want to do sushi with she and John Friday night.”
Lifting her head up from searching through the bottom shelves of their cupboards, she took a moment to think. “Well, fish seems fine, besides the whole merucury poisoning thing,” she considered. “And if we don’t drink, we can probs allow it.”
She picked up her phone and began typing without responding in-person to Todd. After pressing send, she put her phone down and continued rifling through their cupboards.
“Wait,” Todd asked, “Did you not respond to Caroline?”
“No,” she told him without lifting her head up again, “I texted her directly.”
Todd rolled his eyes.
“And what did you tell her?”
She braced for backlash before expressing to him, “I told her we’d go, but we won’t be drinking.”
“Are you k–,” Todd started before realizing that putting up a fight would be a fruitless effort. “Okay.”
Todd wasn’t lying down for her – no, he was simply banking on the fact that her urge to make severe lifestyle changes on a whim would fizzle out by the time the weekend anticipation started to ramp up. He also knew that recovering the ice cream was a lost cause, but the orange juice and jelly may be salvageable if he got to them within the hour.
“Okay,” he told her, “That’s fine. Where are we going?”
“Yoshi’s – is that okay?”
“Uhhhhhhhhh,” he hesitated remembering that Yoshi’s had all-you-can-drink sake bombs after 9 o’clock. It wasn’t the classy affair he anticipated, only to realize that John and Caroline were probably trying to end August with a bang before torturing themselves with Whole 30 in September. “Yeah, sounds good to me.” He knew that there was no possible way they’d not drink.
“She made the reservation for eight,” she continued.
This further solidified Todd’s intuition that they’d simply have to drink.
“Should I respond on this thread?” he asked before texting John on the side.
“Over-under on how many sake bombs we drink on Friday?” he typed.
“Sure,” she muttered while throwing away a bag of sea salt and pepper kettle chips.
Todd delivered a canned response of “Sounds good!” in their group iMessage before placing his phone face down on the counter.
“Do you want me to send you some articles about what we’re going to be doing?” she asked while standing up from the ground. “I’ve got them all bookmarked.”
“Sure,” Todd told her knowing that there was only one acceptable answer.
She picked up her phone and saw two iMessages – one from Todd to the group, and one from Caroline. Her index finger swiped across the screen to unlock her phone before she started typing.
“Mama’s starting this wedding diet early,” she typed before pressing send.
Todd’s phone vibrated.
A lump formed in the back of her throat. “Fuck,” she said, her eyes fixated on Todd’s phone. “Don’t check your phone.” She lunged for it only for Todd to beat her to it.
“Let me see the phone, Todd.”
He unlocked it with his thumbprint and opened their group chat where there was only one unread message – from the person standing across from him. She considered circling the island and attempting to snatch it from his grips, but it was too late.
He read it aloud to her mockingly while she stood with one hand on her forehead, visibly freaking out.
His phone buzzed again, this time from John.
“You’re so fucked.” .