Prompt: “I regret sleeping on that couch.”

I regret sleeping on that couch.” He thought to himself as she came into view.

The rapid fire clicks of the mechanical keyboard came to an abrupt halt. The cursor pulsed, patiently waiting for the next hammering barrage.

Breath he didn’t know he was holding exploded suddenly from between clenched teeth. His glasses fogged immediately in the cold air of the tiny apartment providing a temporary respite from the present view and predicament. She moved quickly with an efficiency of movement which should be at odds with the silly song she was singing in various tones, but like everything else she did, it somehow worked.

“Hey, Ground Control to Major Tom, you with me?”

“Yes… I’m sorry. What?” He stammered throwing himself into shuffling and sorting the papers scattered around his desk as if his life depended on their alphabetical and orderly fashion.

“I asked if you wanted some toast? I prefer cinnamon sugar toast in the morning, but really however you’d like it….” she let the sentence trail off.

“Oh, toast. I take it like my coffee, burnt. Thanks.”

He hid a small smile. To her credit she just nodded, cranked the dial on the toaster, and added another scoop of coffee to the pot then set it to brew.

Some time later two chirps from the alarm drew his attention. It was 7:30 a.m. and the first blog post of the day was due in half an hour. He was still trying to pull together references for the creature feature story they’d both stumbled upon last night. They’d spent the evening together crisscrossing town tracking down leads for the story and by the time they had all the information they needed it was well past 2 a.m. They’d ended the hunt almost at her doorstep so it made little sense for him to make the drive home.

Flexing backwards over the chair to stretch, his back cracked loudly sounding oddly similar to someone twisting and worrying a piece of bubble wrap.

He glared at the couch.

Looking up to ask her a quick question he only found a steaming black coffee in his favorite chipped mug sitting next to two slices of burnt toast with “don’t regret” “the shower” scratched out into their charred tops.

Shit, had I said that out loud? A quick glance at the monitor and he realized his post had a whole section martyring his previous night’s chivalrousness typed smack in the middle of it. She must have caught a glimpse at some point.

He cleared his throat.

Inclining his head he listened and heard the sound of the shower from the next room. Slowly he walked towards the bathroom. His hand reached unsteadily for the doorknob as steam slowly seeped under the door.

The last thought to cross his mind before crossing the threshold was deadlines be damned.

Originally posted here:


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