Laundry day : a Melendaire story
Today was laundry day. Claire was not fond of all this housework. But it had to be done, the place was a whole mess and despite the fact that Neil didn’t say a thing, she knew he was deeply annoyed by all the stuff she let in the apartment.
Since she moved in with him, she had turned her world upside down and introduced him to messy rooms and burnt food. She was still ashamed of the lasagna she spent the afternoon to prepare and that she finally forgot in the oven. That night, they had had to order Thai food instead, not to starve to death. She was not a good housewife. He always used to tell her, it didn’t matter, that she was an excellent doctor, that she was skilled, gifted for surgery and that everyone wasn’t born with all the qualities in the world. But she couldn’t stop feel embarrassed.
This morning, she got up, paying attention not to do any noise to let Neil sleeping. He needed to. The last weeks at Bonaventure had been crazy and their nights were pretty much… agitated. When she thought about them, Claire blushed. He was certainly one of a kind, not that she complained about. But sometimes, it was good to rest for a while.
She ate her breakfast, drank a cup of coffee and started to tidy the whole apartment. She was such a messy girl, when Neil was the OCD one. The proverb was indeed true: the opposites attracted. She lost herself in thoughts for a while before focusing again on her daily goal: cleaning this house before Neil woke up!
Fortunately for her, he came home very late last night. He had a couple of complicated surgeries in the day and they lasted way much longer that they should have to. She began with the dishes and washed all what was left in the sink. Then, she picked up all the clothes lying around in the apartment. She took some time to separate the white clothes from colorful ones. When she was done with that, she put all the colorful clothes on the washing machine and made it turn on.
She came back in the kitchen and decided to sweep the floor. Then she tidied the rest of the living room. Neil was gonna be so surprised! Of course, she would like to cook him something but it will be for another time… When she will have taken some cooking lessons because she really sucked at it! For the moment, she had to focus on being less messy, which was already a big job! She kept cleaning the place, she widely helped to get dirty. And she started singing. She didn’t even notice when she began with. It had been such a long time since she sang this way. It must be what people called being happy…
“Don’t know you have such a pretty voice…”
She jumped hearing Neil’s voice. She was so ugly right now, with her twisted bun on the top of her head, her too large tee-shirt and her pajama pants. And to make things worse, she had the sweeper in her hands.
“Hi” She said back, with a large smile on her face she couldn’t control. He came closer and dropped a kiss on her lips. She answered him purposely. When they separated, they both had this idiotic happiness on their face.
“What are you doing? I told you we’ll clean up later…”
“I just wanted to tidy a little… I know you like when everything is at its place. And since I’m here, I’m kind of disturbing your universe…”
“For the better…”
As they shared one of their conniving look, they heard a big noise coming from the laundry room. Claire gave Neil a puzzled look and ran to the washing machine. ”Holy f*cking Christ! What is that? No, no, no…”
Neil joined her. As he tried to open the door, he felt a resistance. “Don’t enter… Please…Don’t… “ Her voice was broken. Neil panicked. What was happening here for her to be like this?”
“Claire, let me in. Please I’m scared. Are you ok?”
She finally opened the door. She was depressed. “I’m so sorry… I don’t know what happened…. Yet I did everything as I should have…”
As he opened completely the door, he saw the catastrophe that Claire was trying to process. There was water everywhere, foam was filling the room and it smelled good like washing powder. Claire lowered her head.
“I swear, I don’t know what happened. I just wanted to clean the laundry… And it went all wrong…”
Neil looked all over the room and watched the disaster. Claire was in the middle of the foam, totally distraught. And at this precise moment, he started to laugh, laughing so hard, he couldn’t help the tears coming out of his eyes. Claire looked at him bewildered, surprised. It made him laugh even louder. She started to laugh too, looking at him, looking at all the mess she did against her will. It was good to let the pressure go and just share this quirky moment with Neil.
After long minutes, the hilarity stopped. And she still felt awkward because of what she had done. “I’m very sorry… Even when I try to do well, the technology is against me… Householding is really not for me; I guess...”
“Don’t worry, we’ll hire a cleaning lady…”
He came closer and took her in his arms. He pressed her tiny body against his. She was covered with foam. “Neil, be careful, I’m dirty and wet…”
“Don’t care! You do know it’s not your fault. It’s just because my old washing machine decided to pass away today.”
She buried her head in his chest. “Even, I feel a little guilty…”
“You should redeem yourself then…”
She loved when he was naughty like this.
“I really should…”
She bit her lips. He pulled her out of the laundry room, to a more dry room where she’ll have all the time and the place to be forgiven. The day was not as she was expecting it to be… Maybe she should do laundry more often after all…