“What happened in here? Were you robbed?” Aurelia asked upon being carried over the threshold of their Alcove home.
There were clothes strewn across sofas. End table drawers were opened with some of their contents spilling out. A lamp was broken. One chair had been turned over on its side.
“I hope this is not an act of revenge from the twins,” Aurelia wondered aloud. “Do you think the innocent twin forgave his brother for lying on him and then wanted to make you pay for getting his guilty sibling locked up? After all, it was your perm salt tip that landed Professor Griffey’s attacker in jail. Possibly for a long time to come.”
“No, on all accounts,” Baron replied, gently putting her on her feet before moving to close the door behind them.
“No?” Aurelia turned to face him.
“I was not robbed and the innocent twin is not on some revenge spree. Last I heard, he was grateful for getting his name cleared and being reinstated at his government job after his brother’s guilty verdict.”
“Don’t tell me you live like this.” Her eyes bucked. “The last time I was over here the place was spotless. You could have eaten off the hardwood floors.”
“The last time you were here I wasn’t in a rush to pack and I wasn’t depressed.” Baron moved to pick up the toppled chair.
“Okay, is that a nice way of telling me that you become a slob when you’re depressed or in a rush?”
Baron paused in his tracks. “Unfortunately, yes.” He winced. “Are you going to hold that against me?” he asked gingerly.
“No, since everyone deals with depression differently. I personally become a bit of a neat freak whenever I’m stressed in my need to work off all that nervous energy. However, so that we won’t bump heads over cleanliness issues, I propose we draw up a rotating chore list. For example, while you cook one week, I’ll do the dishes. The next week, I’ll cook and you do the dishes. Or we could each stick to our strengths. You do all the cooking for the family while I do all the cleaning.”
“I like your first idea better.” Baron bent to right the chair. “After all, if we both just stick to our strengths, how will we ever improve in our weak areas?”
“Okay, but don’t complain when you’re staring at a plate of burnt, I mean, Cajun chicken.” Aurelia laughed, moving to gather his scattered clothes.
“Cajun chicken?” Baron burst out laughing. “I suddenly have all the extra incentive I need to teach you how to cook delicious and healthy meals.”
“I’ll be your willing student as always, Professor,” Aurelia consented. “By the way, what did that chair in your hands ever do to you?”
“It stole my keys.” Baron laughed.
“Stole your keys?” She paused in her tasks.
“Yes. Right before I had to leave for the airport in December, I sat in this chair to tie my shoes. My keys dropped out of my pocket into the left side cushion. Since my hands were too big to pry it out with the chair in an upright position, I turned it onto its side and used gravity to help me.”
Aurelia burst out laughing this time. “Makes perfect sense to me,” she said, looking forward to a lifetime of laughs with her semi-eccentric husband.