I left Shelly alone in my apartment. She was listless and cold to the touch. I had no choice. I needed to get back to my job and I left her lying on the couch with a blanket wrapped around her. This is how I thought I would find her when I returned.
Instead she’s up and about, dressed in my clothes. At least, I think they were my clothes. She was wearing red, shiny leggings and a yellow sequined bodice with dangling tassels. I recognized it as my disco get up of a Halloween costume from two years ago.
We’re approximately the same size and height, so it’s not entirely unforeseen that she would look to my closet for a wardrobe option. But choosing this costume was a mystery. She was prettier than me, and undoubtedly, looked better in my clothes than I did. She was thin-waisted with an attractive bosom that she flaunted, usually revealing a hint of cleavage. I mention this because she was always on some kind of diet. A girl’s got to keep her figure.
Not today, apparently. She had her head in the refrigerator, rummaging around and lifting bottles of condiments, sniffing leftover food. Bottles and packages lined the counter top.
Her disco costume in the haloed light and the bevy of food items before her muddled my equilibrium. She was supposed to be on the couch, sick with a fever. A dim haze glowed around her with my eyes trying to adjust, still fuzzy from the outside light.
“What is this? God, girl. You need to clean your fridge. I thought I was bad,” she was eyeing what looked like old taco meat from at least three nights ago. She took a bite and began adding ingredients from the items on the counter.
“Looks like you’re helping me out with that,” I inched closer, vinegar wafting in my direction.
She opened a jar of spaghetti sauce and added he remainder to the taco meat and stirred. She took a bite and shook her head. “Needs more. More salt.”
Next, she opened a jar of green olives and let them slosh down her throat. With olive juices running down her neck, she tilted the jar even further. She washed that down with can of beef bouillon. While drinking her soup, she cracked the lid of can of sardines.
Sardines, since when did I have these in my cupboard?
The sardines slithered in her mouth, tossing them back. She looked down at her bowl of the taco meat-spaghetti concoction and dove in with a big spoon. Between bites, she haphazardly added soy sauce, garlic sauce with hot chiles, ramen noodles, and lastly, yellow mustard.
“Salty enough for you?” My stomach churned violently, “What are you, pregnant?” I turned away, as she gulped bite after bite without chewing. She reached for a jar of pickles.
“There’s no chance of that,” she said, her mouth full. “So, you still want to go to dinner?”
“Let me just go throw up first,” the retching imminent now.
“Yeah, sure. Whatever you need to do to get ready. You mind passing me those pickles over there?”