In 2019, we are telling the story of a romance over the course of 9 months and 13 chapters. Each chapter will feature some combination of art, ice cream, cocktails, baked goods, and music. Each participant has been tasked with creating an element of the story inspired by the corresponding chapter. Thank you for checking out chapter six. Click here for chapter one, chapter two, or chapter three, or chapter four, or chapter five, or chapter 6. The participants this month are: @ninapolicano, @ryanfreasedesign, @samkasle_, @sbfbakes.
The good was better than the bad. Jennifer reminded herself of that now and then, more and more recently, but still, she loved living with Nick and who she was around him. And Nick had never been the sort to question the dumb luck which had brought Jennifer into his life. They had a great time living together. Of course they bickered about things, some that didn’t matter, some that did. Once in a while there was a fight where one or the other would be sore for a moment until one or the other apologized or one or the other got over whatever had made them sore to begin with. If it sounds vague, if the details are fuzzy, it’s because Nick and Jennifer never let the bickering or the rare fights carry on too long, and no one remembered the bickerments or hurt feelings the next day, let alone the next week. Of course, Nick leaving clothes on the floor or Jennifer leaving dishes in the sink, or worse on the table after dinner, were regular topics of heated, no, wait, luke warm, debate, but really what kind of couple isn’t impacted by that kind of thing.
Several months after they moved in together, they were walking home from somewhere, wherever, you decide, when Nick noticed a small, shabby cat trotting along next to them proudly, amiably, unconcerned. He had long hair which was mostly black with some gashes of white fur on his face and neck, and had something sticky, a sap or oil, in the fur around his head. Jennifer mentioned that the mats and peaks of hair formed by the stickiness made the cat look like a feline Robert Smith. The cat walked along with them two blocks home without acknowledging them once, like a cat. When they walked up the porch to their door, the cat sat down primly on the sidewalk and looked up at them. Nick said, “So long, Robert Smith” and they went in the house. A few hours later, Nick went to the store for a minute and texted Jennifer after leaving to say Robert Smith was still outside, though when Nick got back, Robert Smith was gone. That night through the screened window they heard a cat crying from the street and since it was about to start pouring and since they were feeling domestic and since you already know from the chapter title they adopt Robert Smith, Jennifer sent Nick down to the street to fetch Robert Smith and bring him inside. Jennifer figured they could take Robert Smith to the vet the next day to see if he had a chip, and he could hang out in the bathroom until then. The only cat-like food they had was a can of tuna, so Robert Smith feasted. They didn’t make any accommodations for Robert Smith having to go to the bathroom, but since this is a story, let’s just assume everything worked out. Of course Robert Smith wasn’t chipped, so in the vet’s office they decided to get him chipped, de-wormed, and found out despite his size, he was only 3 months old. Then after a stop at the pet shop, they brought Robert Smith home with them.
Robert Smith was a terror, but also very sweet, and after a few weeks of transition, he was part of their home. He was a good cat. Jennifer had always had cats growing up and Nick hadn’t. And he. Just. Could. Not. Remember. To. Feed. Robert Smith.
It happened a few times, and over the course of a week or two, Jennifer went from being amused to annoyed to deciding she’d just do it every night to deciding there was no reason for her to have to do that to her becoming apoplectic every time it happened. It turned into a thing, they’d never had any things in their relationship, but this was definitely one. It was a pattern. Nick tried his best to remember and for a few weeks everything would settle down and then he’d forget again and Jennifer would lose it. The Feeding Robert Smith fights were epic marathons of pent up anger and bad feelings and of course the days long fights were never just about feeding Robert Smith. They became the grounds upon which any other issues were battled and they’d last until Nick and Jennifer were exhausted of fighting each other. Eventually, they’d make up thinking they were stronger for getting through it, not realizing the damage they were doing saying things which couldn’t be unsaid. The euphoria of having fought and then no longer fighting someone you love blotted out any insight either of them could have had about anything to come. And the good was better than the bad.