Jared stepped up and knocked on the door. While he waited, he breathed into his palm to check his breath one last time and shuffled his feet anxiously. He’d been friends with her for quite a while, and he’d had a crush on her for a while, and he thought he’d noticed a similar interest in him from her. And now she’d asked him over for dinner. He wasn’t sure what to expect. But he’d finally decided to tell her how he felt, at least, and see how it went from there.
After a few moments, the door finally opened and Bernadette stepped out. “Hi, Jared!” she said with a smile.
“Hi, Bernadette,” he replied nervously. He shoved a bouquet of flowers at her. “Here. I got these for you. I know you haven’t been feeling well lately.”
She took the flowers, and her smile widened. “How sweet! They’re lovely, Jared. Thank you! Well, don’t just stand there. Come on in. Dinner should be ready shortly.”
Bernadette went back inside and Jared followed. As soon as he entered, he was greeted by her two cats, Muffin and Biscuit, who intertwined themselves around his legs and offered up purrs and meows. Jared bent down to pet them. “Hello there, you two,” he said. “I haven’t seen you in while, have I? Did you miss me? How are you guys doing?”
The cats weren’t the only thing that greeted him, though. As he finished saying hello to the cats, he asked, “Bernadette, what’s that smell?”
“Huh?” she asked from where she was putting the flowers in a vase on the coffee table in the sitting room. “What smell?”
“I don’t know what you mean, Jared.”
“Can’t you smell that smell?”
Bernadette finished arranging the flowers and came over to him and the cats. “I’m sorry, Jared. You’ll have to be more specific. With this stuffy nose from this bad cold I’ve been dealing with, I’ve not been able to smell anything, really, for the last few days.”
“Bernie, when’s the last time you cleaned the litter boxes?”
Bernadette blinked and looked from Jared, to the cats, to the bathroom down the hall. She gasped and her face reddened with embarrassment. “Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it! Jared, I’m so sorry you had to be greeted by that! Muffin, Biscuit, oh, my sweeties, I’m sorry! I wish you could have told me, reminded me. I’ve been feeling so terrible lately things have slipped my mind, and with not being able to smell, I didn’t even notice. I’ll do it right away! Jared, you can wait if you want, but if you want to go, I’ll understand.”
Jared shook his head and rolled up his sleeves. “No, Bernie. I’m staying and I’m going to help you.”
Bernadette gave him a grateful smile and the two set about tackling the litter boxes while Muffin and Biscuit supervised.
This silly little story is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “smell”: