A Live-In

So this week was Pokemon Go week, in which I spent a good amount of time outside (in the sun!) and walking around and being oh-so-tired when I come back that all I want is a shower (okay, bath, but that’s somehow more effort and a time investment) and to go to bed. This is the latest I’ve stayed up all week, look at me, being such a rebel. Hopefully, now that the event is over, I can go back to being a proper hermit and not really see that many people and be able to write instead of passing out when I get home! (Hopefully!)

I think A Question of Character has sort of died, so Toasted Cheese it is! We’re back to quotes from February of 2016!

  • “I’m not late yet.”
  • “What do you mean, there’s no more coffee?”
  • “Should I worry that you just read my mind?”
  • “I haven’t woken up from the dream yet.”
  • “You’re late.” Those two words, with the addition of a gentle love swat from a fluffy kitty tail, woke Nicky Merrik up. She blinked blearily up at one of her cats; it was a bit hard to tell this early in the morning, but judging by the wake-up call, she would guess and say it was Butterscotch. “Butters, off,” she grumbled, giving the cat’s butt a gentle nudge away from her face.

    “You’re late,” her alarm squawked again, and she hit it none-too-gently. “I’m not late yet, now hush.” Nothing got Nicky going quicker than being told she was late, and for some reason, it had seemed like a good idea when she first set the alarm. That wasn’t to say it was a bad idea, Nicky mused as she threw off the covers and slipped into her slippers. After all, she was up. Not very gracefully though, as she had yet to actually stand, for clouds of sleep and the lingering warm feeling of the bed still clung to her. “I haven’t woken up from the dream yet. Give me a moment,” she said to Butterscotch, who bumped his head against her arm. She rubbed his head, and, hearing the meowing, leaned forward to peek at Snickers. At her feet, busy trying to thread himself between her legs, was her other cat, complaining quite loudly. “Snickers, I can’t get you food if I trip over you and die.”

    Her cats might not understand the sentiment of her statement, but at the word ‘food’, they both ran for the open bedroom door. She smiled, getting up with a sigh, and shuffled her way after them, toward the kitchen. “There’s no more coffee.” A voice greeted her from behind the counter.

    She blinked at Stephen Taylor, who had been crashing on her couch for the last couple of days. “What do you mean, ‘there’s no more coffee’? Those are not the words I want to hear first thing.”

    “I finished it,” he replied with a very cheeky grin. “But there’s another pot brewing, so if you can manage not to kill me, that would be great.”

    “Should I worry that you just read my mind?”

    “Nope, I just know better than to get in the way between Nicky and her coffee.” Stephen was a long time friend of hers, for all three of the Taylor brothers had gone to school with Nicky, and they had stayed in close contact after. Normally, Stephen would have just gone home, but home was currently occupied by the eldest of the Taylor brothers, Pat, and he had a live-in girlfriend and Stephen found it too awkward to stay there. As Nicky was perpetually single, her couch was always an option, and she hadn’t seemed particularly surprised when Stephen showed up at her door.

    She grumbled, but the sounds of displeasure were overridden by the glimmer in her eyes and an inability to keep a straight face. Nicky went around the counter, peering at the spread Stephen had laid out. “If only you’d feed the cats the way you fed me.”

    Stephen shrugged. “I don’t know what to do with cats! I’ve only recently managed feeding people.”

    “You know, most people would think cats would be easier,” Nicky replied, turning toward the cupboard, where the dry kibble was stored. She rinsed out the kibble bowl before filling it with fresh dry food, mixing it in with a large spoonful of wet, and tossed two small carrots on top. Sometimes, her cats enjoyed the vegetables, and other times, she came home to the carrots in strange places. One thing was for sure, though, both Butterscotch and Snickers were picky and liked their food meaty. Kibbles with wet food? Yes. Wet food with raw food? Yes. Just straight up raw chicken? Definitely. The more meat the better. She tried to save the preferred meal for the evening, so they could all have dinner together at some point, and the kibble really was for snacks and to tide them over for the day.

    And, normally, so she would be assured company for breakfast. Nicky laid the bowl on the floor and picked up the water bowl, refilling that too before washing her hands and finally addressing her own needs. The coffee maker beeped, and she poured a cup instantly.

    “You do weird things for your cats,” Stephen reached over for a piece of toast and shovelled it in his mouth.

    Nicky looked down at the food bowl, where both of the cats were eating. “Whatever, they’re happy.”

    “Weird.”

    On the plate she assumed was hers, as it was still full, was bacon, an egg,
    a tomato, and fried bread. “Thanks for breakfast.”

    “Anything for the host that lets me escape my own house. Pat finally got a live-in. I’d be proud, but…”

    “It’s not like you’re here that often.” Indeed, Stephen lived in China. Originally, it had been for work, but he, too, had found a girlfriend and had decided that he was going to settle there for the time being. “And Pat’s allowed to do what he pleases, and she pleases him quite a bit.”

    “Yes, I’m sure she does, and we’re moving on now.”

    Nicky laughed. She was quite amused about the situation even if Stephen wasn’t, and she really had little to complain about as her friend made her food and made sure there was fresh, hot coffee for when she got out of bed. “I’m going to miss this when you’re gone.”

    “Yeah, you’ll have to go back to boring old toasted toast and butter for breakfast instead.”

    It really was quite sad, but normally breakfast consisted of two to three cups of coffee and just toast with butter, sometimes jam. Nicky brought her second cup, with just a dash of cream, and the plate to the counter, sitting down and leaning against the wall. “Maybe I’ll find myself a live-in at some point and you’ll really be pressed to find somewhere else to go.”

    “Nicky!”

    “What?!”

    “You know what.” Stephen grumped. “See if I make you breakfast again.”

    “Fine, I’ll just be the workaholic who happens to be a crazy cat lady and this way you’ll always have my couch to sleep on.”

    “Sounds good.”

    “Stephen!”

    “What?!”

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