Burning Cake Batter

I kicked down the door and told her to get out. Told her that it’d been eight days since the day she told me, “I’ll be gone this evening,” and that I really couldn’t handle her habits anymore. The way she always locked herself in the bathroom just so she could read “in the solitude of the tub.” The way she let spilled cake batter burn at the bottom of the oven. The smell of her over-sweetened ice tea that was starting to ferment in a garage sale pitcher. Her smirk when she guessed a Jeopardy! question right.

I told her to get the fuck out before I threw her waffle maker and her snow cone machine out the front door, and she said,

“You kicked down the door.”

“Who fucking cares if I kicked down the door, Caroline?”

“I don’t see how you can complain about my lifestyle when yours is clearly in a state of disrepair.”

“The door will be fine, Caroline. Don’t tell me to change how I live my life. Just get out.”

“I really don’t like how you keep using my name. I feel like you’re yelling at me.”

“I am yelling at you, Caroline. Get out of my house.”

She shoved her appliances in a duffle bag, sulking around like one of those puppies on a Valentine’s Day card, all big-eyed and timid, and stuck her toothbrush in her back pocket. The look she gave me as she crossed the threshold into the real world said, “I’ll try again, in a week, or a month, and then it’ll be okay, right? And I’ll hug you and I’ll bat my eyelashes, and we’ll forget this silly thing ever happened?”

I’d never much liked waffles or snow cones in the first place.

Published at Goon and Darling Do Flash Fiction on June 1, 2012.

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