Emma barges into the kitchen sporting an angry scowl. I’m standing here with soap covered hands and a guilty look on my face. I’m about to get yelled at.
“I can’t take it anymore, Josh,” she says.
Her hand is locked to her hip in that angry-girlfriend pose. She isn’t playing around.
“You know exactly what’s wrong. You haven’t touched your Xbox today!”
Oh, boy. Here we go again. After quickly drying my hands off, I walk over to her.
“I’m sorry, ok? I was working. I’m trying to get that promotion so we can move into a nicer place. And after that, I made a quick stop to visit your Grandmother in the nursing home. I figured she could use some company.”
She lets out a sarcastic laugh.
“Don’t put this on nana. You realize there are twenty-four hours in a day, right? You couldn’t find one second to pick up that controller?
Emma hates it when I slack off on gaming. Today, she’s even madder than usual. I’m worried if I don’t get my shit together and finish Assassin’s Creed this week, she’ll pull the plug on our relationship.
“I feel like you don’t even care,” she says. “All you ever do is take me out to fancy restaurants and buy me expensive jewelry when you know I hate that stuff.”
It’s true. Her idea of a perfect date is Taco Bell and Game of Thrones.
“What about the dance lessons? Did you enjoy those, at least?”
“No, Josh. I don’t give a shit if you can Salsa. I had one simple request when I left here this morning: find the hidden barns in Forza Horizon. But you couldn’t even do that.”
“It’s hard. I literally drive around in circles and it takes forever.”
“Oh, so I’m not worth it?”
“Of course you are.”
She rolls her eyes.
“Abigail’s boyfriend, Elijah, finished that game three weeks ago. And before that, he blew through Red Dead Redemption 2 — all while maintaining a top ten ranking in Fortnite. Do you have any idea how humiliating that is for me?”
I’m sick of being compared to that guy. He’s like a wizard with a joystick.
“Babe, I had every intention of playing it today. I set the weed aside and everything. But then I had this sudden burst of energy so I decided to go for a run…and it spiraled from there.”
“It’s just frustrating, Josh. I’ve been gaming my ass off all day and then I come in here to find you washing the dishes. It’s not cool.”
“They were stacking up. What was I supposed to do?”
“You just don’t get it. We have to start thinking about our future. Doom Eternal comes out in two months!”
For a moment, I’m convinced that there’s simply no way of talking myself out of this one. But then I remember the flowers. I picked them up on the way home. A sweet, romantic gesture might be just what the doctor ordered.
“Did you happen to notice anything on the counter?” I ask her. “A dozen roses, perhaps?”
“Yeah, I saw them. What am I supposed to do with those?”
“Enjoy how they symbolize my deep affection for you?”
A blank stare.
“I promise I’ll make it up to you tomorrow. I’ll plop down on the couch with a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos and play until my fingers bleed.”
“You’re just saying that to cheer me up.”
It’s working. Now is the time to go in for the kill.
“I really don’t like seeing you mad, babe. You have such a beautiful smile and I feel like I haven’t seen it in forever.”
Her eyes soften. A glimpse of a smirk.
“How do you do it?” she says. “I can never stay mad at you.”
I take her by the hand.
“What do you say we go to the other room and make up, properly?”
On her tiptoes, she leans in close and whispers softly into my ear.
“I have a better idea: How about I give you your daily blowjob, instead?”
She starts to unbuckle my pants. But then, out of nowhere, her eyes widen. She grabs me by my shoulders and starts shaking me. What the hell?
“Josh!” She shouts. “Wake up!”
My eyes open to find Emma looking down at me. She’s sweating, breathing heavy. She must have just got back from the gym. That angry scowl has returned with a vengeance.
“Jesus Christ, dude,” she says, swinging the blinds open. “It’s fucking noon. Tell me you weren’t up all night playing video games again?”