Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

A Change in Fortune – III

Maria paced back and forth, head to the ground. He would probably be back soon. She had practiced what she would say in her mind several times over. I understand you have a lot to deal with. Don’t take what I’m about to say personal– wait. What was that? Was that… underwear?

She crouched down. Upon a closer look, Maria confirmed that it was in fact underwear. She immediately scrunched up her nose, pouted, straightened up, and took a step back, not necessarily in that order. Maybe he should take it personally. She wouldn’t be a bad person. He was just oblivious.

She heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Okay, okay. What are those lines again? I understand you have a lot so don’t take it personally. Don’t take it personally. Don’t take it personally.

Ravi opened the door. “I have some great news!”

The statement caught Maria off guard. She hadn’t seen Ravi smile in weeks. “You found a place?” she asked hopefully.

“Oh yeah,” he responded. “No, it’s not that. I was supposed to see a place today, but I forgot. Anyway, I–”

“You FORGOT? What do you mean, you FORGOT?”

“Oh, don’t worry.” Ravi brushed his hand to the side as if to sweep away her questions. “There’s another showing tomorrow.”

Maria furrowed her brow. “What if someone takes the place today? Don’t you think about– hey, I’m sorry. I’ve just had a stressful day.”

There was an awkward pause before Ravi spoke, “Listen, I’m sorry. You’ve done a lot for me already, and I really appreciate it. I’ll find a place soon, and I can stay at a hotel until then.” He looked wounded.

Another awkward pause followed. He would take it personally now. Maria had failed. She frowned before responding, “No, no. I’m just being silly. I’ve really just had a bad day. It has nothing to do with you. Stay here as long as you like.” What’s another six weeks? Thought but not said.

“I brought you some chocolate.” Ravi fished the Godiva bar out of his bag.

Maria rolled her eyes and laughed. “Leave it with the rest of the stash,” she said. She looked to the side, hesitated, and looked back at Ravi.

“There is one thing, Ravi.” Ravi turned to face her. “Could you pick up your underwear and clean the living room? The dinner party’s tonight.”

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