The Incense Salesman
I Like You
When Darren comes to, he can still hear the rattling… wait, no, that’s not… that’s his phone. Trying to eradicate his headache by rubbing his hand against his scalp, Darren rises and drags his feet to his bed where he flops down like a fish out of water. ‘What the hell was that?’ he thinks as he reaches towards his nightstand to grab his phone.
Answering without looking at the caller ID, Darren ventures a slow, “Hello?”
“Darren! Hey babe, it’s me! How are ya?”
‘Surprised.’ “I’m doing well baby, how are you?”
“I’m gooooood,” Megan says, her voice rising in pitch as the guh approaches the uhd. “Did you get the stuff I sent you??”
It’s at this point that the memories all flood back and Darren shoots straight up like a stalk of bamboo. “Yeh– uh, yeah, I got the letter and the incense stuff. Thank you, that was…” He trails off as he gazes over to his desk and spots a dark black splotch where the incense burner was. “That was really sweet.”
He can hear Megan’s smile in her voice. “I’m glad you liked it! I got the stuff from a dude I met on Tinder, he said he was an incense salesman who liked to send out free samples. Pretty cool, right?”
“Yeah… wait, you’re on Tinder?”
Megan laughs, and Darren is sure she does so innocently, but it comes off like a scoff. “I am, but just to make friends! You got some free incense stuff out of it, so I guess it worked out pretty well for all of us. Listen, I know I said I was busy in the letter, but, like, it’s our three-year anniversary. We should probably hang out for at least a little while. You feeling up to that hike I mentioned?”
Darren certainly is feeling up to that hike, and he tells her as much, adding, “I didn’t think you really liked hiking with me, if we’re being honest with each other,” at the end.
“I like you, Dar’, it doesn’t matter what we do. But… let’s not go too deep into the woods, okay? It’s buggy out there.”
“Deal. Meet me at the pond?”
“Be there in twenty minutes.”
They both hang up at the same time, and after Darren trades his pajamas for jeans and a tee, he realizes neither of them said I love you. Whatever, it probably doesn’t matter – not all couples need to constantly remind each other they’re in love. Sometimes it’s an unspoken thing, and that’s okay. In fact, that’s better, that just shows how strong the relationship really is.
After toasting himself a bagel and slathering it with cream cheese, Darren wolfs his late breakfast and then goes to search for his car keys. He doesn’t find them within two minutes, so he calls it a lost cause and decides to walk up the road instead. Leaving his front door unlocked despite the chain of burglaries sweeping the area lately, Darren proceeds up the deceptively uphill stretch of bumpy asphalt known as Fricker Drive.
Hello Commons, this has been the second subchapter of the ninth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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Be well Commons~