I plopped down on the couch beside him and pulled a pillow into my lap. “I don’t want to do Halloween this year.”
“I’m in a funk.”
“So you think punishing yourself is the way to go? Because everyone, especially me, knows how much you love that holiday.”
I propped my heels on the edge of the cushion, drew up my legs, and bent over my knees, making myself small. “I hate my job, which is good because I’ll probably be fired for that shipping mishap that happened when I was distracted by the phone call mishap. My car’s making funny noises that will end up in me taking it to the shop, where I know they’ll overcharge me because I’m gay and they think that makes me stupid about engines. But if I don’t take it in, I’ll end up stranded somewhere gruesome with a dead cellphone, probably at midnight, and when I work up enough courage to ask someone for assistance, I’ll be mugged or sex trafficked to some hot as hell Middle East country—”
“What kind of funny noises?”
“There’s a weird clicking noise under the front hood. I know fuck-all about cars, so the mechanic isn’t wrong about me, and it’s my own fault he tacks on a few hundred to the bill, because I could have taken shop class and didn’t. I preferred Home Ec.” I buried my face in the pillow and screamed just loud enough for him to hear. I’m not above posturing for sympathy.
He’s no fool, though. “Those are good reasons to decorate extravagantly this year instead of dousing the lights so no one comes to the door. Did I tell you I got a dragon for the porch roof? The head hangs down over the front steps, the eyes light up red, and it blows smoke and makes a scary noise when you push the remote button. The kids will love it.”
Despite myself, I perked up. “Where is it?”
“You can see it tomorrow, after I put it up.” He slid over and put an arm around my shoulders. “While you were in the kitchen, I added a few things out front.” He heaved a put-upon sigh. “But you’re not celebrating this year, so I suppose you aren’t interested.”
“I kind of am….”
“I could totally get into it if you promise to come with me to the mechanic’s. He never treats you like an idiot, even though you’re as gay as I am. Why is that?”
He flexed an arm. “All my impressive muscles?”
I snorted and nudged him. “Yeah, that must be it, though I suspect it’s really because you know a thingy from a whatchamacallit.”
“You mean a head gasket from an intake manifold gasket?”
“That, too.” I kissed his cheek. “I’m glad one of us took shop class.”
He removed the pillow and pushed my legs down so he could get closer. “Let me look at the car first. Maybe it’s a quick fix. As for work, no way will they fire you when you’re doing the work of three employees. You had a bad day. They’ll get over it, and so will you.”
He always knew how to make me feel better. I slid down so I could lay my head on his shoulder. “Can I see the dragon now?”
“Sure. For fifty bucks.” When he saw the look on my face, he got up and ran, laughing.
I chased him with the pillow, then threw it, squarely hitting the back of his head.
“You took shop, but I was the star pitcher on the baseball team.” I caught him at the back door and grabbed him in a fierce hug. “Thank you.”
He kissed me. “You’re welcome. I’d hate for you to miss your favorite holiday because of a funk.”
He’d never have let that happen. He loves me too much, and I am so glad. And lucky. Don’t forget lucky.
Appropriately enough, word count this week is 666. 🙂