When you and your boyfriend don't see eye to eye about sweet, innocent animals. You're the one who's correct, of course. Right?
Not really a sequel to Idiot, but more of a continuation in the lives of the characters.
"Please?" you ask, eyes wide and bottom lip quivering.
"No," he answers.
"Come on! Pretty please with cherries on top?"
"No you won't. At least not real tears."
"Oh, giving me the silent treatment now?"
"I wouldn't be if you would say yes."
"You're heartless, you know that?"
"Whatever you say, babe."
Your boyfriend flops onto the couch and stares at the television disinterestedly.
You shift your eyes back to the shot of a shivering dog in the snow, Sarah McLachlan’s "Angel" playing in the background.
"How can you look at that poor animal and not feel something? Look, he's shivering! You love dogs!" you attempt to appeal to him.
"I do love dogs, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give them my money," he replies nonchalantly.
"See? Heartless," you scoff.
"I'm sad it's happening, babe. I do have feelings," he groans at you. You can tell the exasperation is starting to seep into his voice.
"Apparently you don't," you bite back.
He rolls his eyes. You hate when he does that.
"I do care. But the ASPCA doesn't need our money as much as we do."
He focuses on trying to reach the remote on the table with his foot. Although he's athletic enough to be on an Olympic track team, the boy is so lazy when it comes to anything not competitive. You don't really get it.
"Yes it does!" you exclaim, trying to make your point.
He doesn't even look up, groaning when the remote drops off the table and lands on the floor. He shifts from his position on the couch to sink lower so he can reach it.
"Look," you try again, more desperate, "An animal is abused every hour! We can help!"
When he doesn't respond, you grab a pillow off the couch and smack him in the face with it. He's not even fazed.
You sigh in frustration, lowering your gaze onto the stupid device laying on the floor. Honestly, he was expending more energy trying to get it with his foot than it would take to reach down and grab it.
"Hey!" you bark at him, "Are you even listening to me? Or has your brain finally deteriorated to mush because all you do is watch TV?"
You reach down to snag the remote from him, just as he has managed to grasp it with his toes.
He sighs, like this is some sort of game he's forced to play, but when he looks up you can tell he's amused.
"I've heard no complaints about my lack of activity in other...shall I say, areas," he responds, raising his eyebrows at you like a ten year old.
"I will hit you. Seriously." You try to go for firm and admonishing with your tone, but it doesn't really come out that way.
He smirks and you lunge for the pillow next to you, promptly slamming it into his face once again. He takes it without complaint. Maybe it's because he doesn't want to upset you more than you are now, but it's more likely a combination of the fact you have noodle arms and that the pillow is made of soft feathers.
"What do you want me to say, babe?" he asks slowly, locking eyes with yours.
You can tell he's trying to soften you up, and with the way you feel when his irises turn into molten chocolate you know it's working.
No. No. Stand your ground.
"I want you to say yes."
"And I want a million dollars. But I don't have a million dollars, nor will I be receiving a million dollars, which is why the answer is still and will continue to be no."
He has now started to pick at the fuzz on his sweater, looking far too determined to remove the offending objects. It would be cute if you weren't trying to be agitated.
"But they're cold," you start, trying to make yourself cry, "They're on the street, homeless."
"Which is what we'll be if we give them our money." he answers coolly.
You go up an octave when you whine, and take shorter breaths to simulate crying.
He looks up at you momentarily with concern before he figures out your tears aren't real. Then he goes back to his sweater fuzz mission.
You suddenly wish he didn't know you so well.
"It's only a little each month," you try in a more reasoning tone.
"So is the coffee you always want in the morning. So unless you can live without said coffee, the answer is no. Again."
You find yourself wishing again, this time that he wasn't good at arguing.
You contemplate for a moment before he reminds you that you get caffeine headaches without it. You curse.
"Baby, please," you drop to his side, "They're lonely. They have nobody to love them."
"Which is what you'll be like if you give them money," he answers.
You are taken aback for a moment, until you look at his cocky smile. He's just being a smartass like usual.
"Take that back!" you exclaim, this time pushing the blanket draped over the back of the couch onto his face.
He batters at it ineffectually for a while before untangling himself.
"Okay, I didn't mean it," he says apologetically as he peers up at your petulant face, "But let me tell you I will not be sharing my warmth if we end up having to live in a cardboard box because you couldn't stand to watch a dog be lonely."
"I dislike you," you answer back, still sulking.
"Whatever you say," he repeats again, this time with a smile, "It's got to be pretty hard to love someone when you dislike them though."
You bite your lip and try to regain your stern feelings. Why must you have no emotional control?
"They give you a free bag," you try again, "We need a new grocery bag."
"We just bought three new bags a week ago."
You were hoping he didn't remember that.
"They give you a free shirt. I know how much you love new shirts."
Ha! How about that!
"I have enough shirts. And it's not really free. Not in a sense."
He's got a point...
"They send you a picture of the animal you're helping! Don't you want to see a cute, fluffy friend?"
This one couldn't fail.
"If I want to look at pictures of animals I'll go on Google."
You guess it could.
"Fine!" you shout, pushed past the point of reasoning, "Be a heartless jerk face for all I care."
You slump onto the couch next to him, determined to look disgruntled, and curl into a ball.
Your boyfriend smiles warmly at you before he chuckles, and readjusts himself so he can reach for your hand.
Before you can pull it out of range in a grumpy manner, he steals it away from your human cocoon and presses the back of it to his lips.
"Maybe we can invest in the next valiant cause, okay babe?" He asks softly, rubbing circles into your palm.
You don't say anything to hide the fact that your heart has skipped several beats, and you wonder how you don't have heart arrhythmia problems.
"Whatever," you finally say back, trying not to look at his face.
He laughs again at your behavior before unexpectedly pulling you to him. He gives you a kiss on your temple before lithely rising from the couch.
"I'm going to go take a shower," he announces, stepping away.
As you watch him pad across the room, an idea forms in your head.
Just because he didn't say you could give the ASPCA money doesn't mean that if he didn't know about that money, that you couldn't do it anyway. Yes. You could do it. You had a joint bank account and you knew all the information. You would do it while he was in the shower. The number to donate was still on the screen.
"Hey, babe," you hear a voice call as your boyfriend's head pops out from around the corner, "One more thing."
You trail your line of sight upwards so you lock eyes, and you raise an eyebrow when he grins cheekily.
"I check our bank account every day. Love you." He ducks back again.