Michaela opened the refrigerator door and stared. Hayley’s fridge was jam packed with take-out boxes of various sizes. Two lone water bottles squeezed into the top shelf. Michaela pulled out one of the boxes.
Scrawled across the top in Hayley’s flamboyant handwriting were the name Dylan and the date February 12, 2013. Underneath that Hayley had written,
Michaela flipped open the lid of the box and a noxious smell filled her nose. Green, fuzzy growth covered the contents of the box. Holding back the vomit that threatened to come, Michaela threw the box in the trash. She reached over the sink and pushed open the window to let some fresh air into the room.
Back at the fridge, she grabbed another box. This one was labeled Brandon, February 13, 2013, and the word POTENTIAL printed in big block letters. Tentatively opening the box, Michaela saw the contents were just beginning to grow fuzzy and the smell was barely detectable. Despite her disgust, she chuckled to herself over the incongruity of the word potential matched up with rotting leftovers.
She turned to chuck this box in the trash also when she heard Hayley behind her.
“Hales, what the heck is going on with your fridge? Where did all this food come from? Do you know that I’ve found two spoiled boxes already?”
Hayley grabbed the take-out box from Michaela. “Stop. You have no right to throw my stuff away.”
“But Hayley, you have tons of these boxes in your fridge. Do they all have stuff written on them like this?”
Sheepishly, Hayley looked at her friend and then grinned. “Yeah. I’ve been meeting a lot of guys from that on line dating site. I go out to dinner a lot, but you know me, I can’t eat all that much. I bring it home for the next day, but never get around to eating it.”
“Why have you written on them?” Michaela had grabbed another box. “Ugh. This one is dated January 29th. I am not even going to attempt to open it. We might both die of toxic fumes if I do.”
Hayley took the box. Her nose wrinkled. “Herb. Who names their kid Herb anymore? This was one of the most awful dates I’ve ever been on.”
“Then WHY do you still have the leftovers?” Michaela searched under the sink, came out with a can of Lysol, and made an aerial assault on the trashcan.
Coughing from the Lysol spray, Hayley looked at her friend and began laughing. “It was one bad date. I had the doggie bag and for some reason before I put it in the fridge I grabbed a pen and wrote exactly what I thought about it. Soon it had become a habit and I just kept doing it.”
Michaela pulled the fridge open again and began to throw boxes in the trash. “You gotta stop. This is gross. Let’s clean this up.”
“Can’t. Have a date tonight. This is number three. His name is Brandon. I’m headed to his house to pick him up since his car is in the shop.”
“You mean the Brandon I just threw away because despite the word potential on the box, the food was rancid, that Brandon?”
A huge grin covered Hayley’s face and her cheeks turned pink. “Yup. He’s the one. I like him. Do what you want with my fridge, I’m outta here.” She turned and skipped out of the kitchen. Michaela heard the garage door open and Hayley’s car roar to life.
Hayley sat on the edge of the couch in Brandon’s apartment. She could hear him in the bedroom, as he got ready to go. “Hey, can I get myself a drink?”
“Sure. There’s water bottles in the fridge, help yourself.”
She went into the neat kitchen and pulled the refrigerator door open. As she grabbed a bottle of water, she noticed a food box on the second shelf. There was something written on it. She pulled it out. There in tiny printing was her name and the date February 20, 2013. Below the date were the words “I like this girl. Going to keep seeing her. Gave her a full frontal hug.” A heart was drawn at the end of the sentence. Smiling, Hayley put the box back on the shelf, took her water, turned to go back to the living room, and ended up in Brandon’s arms.