“Dave? What are you doing?” Jade’s confused tone startles me from mindless zoning.
“Hm--what? Oh, I’m just…” I glance at the T.V. playing at low volume. An infomercial is on about towels or some shit like that. I grab the remote and start channel-surfing as I reply, “Just watching T.V. Yeah.”
Jade walks towards me and gives me a hug from behind. “You were sprawled out on the couch, staring at the wall. Are you okay?” She giggles, giving me a kiss on the forehead.
I let out a deep breath. “I’m boreed,” I half-whine, tracing random patterns on her arm with my thumb. “Let’s do somethin babe.” I look up at her to see her reaction.
She bites her lip, pondering. “But Daaave, it’s like 7 p.m.”
“What are we gonna do?”
“Now?” she asks incredulously.
I shrug. “Yeah sure why not.”
“I mean...I kinda already ate.”
“Yeah like four hours ago.”
Jade blushes slightly. “It was a big lunch…”
I roll my eyes. “Ughh babe come on. I’m hungryy.”
Jade moves to sit on the couch’s armrest, turning her attention to the infomercial; it’s just random families fucking up on using towels right now. She snorts. “So stupid…”
“Yo word!” I exclaim. “So let’s eat.”
“I can make you something,” she offers, her green eyes glinting. “What do you want?”
For some reason, I have to ask, “We got tuna?”
Jade starts laughing loudly, hitting me in the arm. “If only you asked me ten minutes earlier!”
“Why what’s so funny?”
“I gave Bec the last of it!” Just then, Jade’s dog walks in, the can in his mouth. Jade starts laughing louder. Damn woman, it’s not that hilarious… Bec looks in our direction, giving a small yip and trotting off to the backyard.
“Okayyy…we got chili?”
Jade calms down enough to answer, “You finished that yesterday, remember?”
“Ohhh riiight…” I was probably half-asleep when that happened. Damn, 2 a.m. is a wild hour.
Then an idea dawns on me. I jump up, jostling my wife and shouting, “I got it!”
“What is it?”
“Let’s get something delivered!”
Jade gives me a blank look. “Liver? You seriously want liver?”
“No Jade what I said deliver!”
Apparently, she still doesn’t hear me right. “I don’t want liver. You never had liver. Why the hell do you want liver??”
I sigh in exasperation. “Ohmygod Jade I said deliver!”
She puts up a hand to silence me. “I heard what you said!”
My wife gets up to meet my eye level. “You said liver.”
I roll my eyes at her. “Noooo DEliver! You know, like ordering food from home?”
Jade’s green eyes light up in recognition. “Ohhh! I’m so sorry! I misheard you!” Yeah, like three times.
“Yeah so...Chinese food?” Jade opens her mouth to answer when my cell phone rings. Who the fuck…?
“Who is it?” she inquires. I look at the screen and groan.
Jade’s lips turn into a slight scowl. “Don’t pick up.”
“Well obviouslyy,” I say as I press ignore. “God this is like the fifth time today!”
“What?!” the black-haired woman half-shrieks.
“Babe chill I didn’t pick up!”
“Damn straight you didn’t,” she mutters, turning away.
“Jade come on are you seriously jealous? She’s just a troll!” I gently put a hand on her elbow.
“I’m not sure if that’s a pun or not.” I can hear the smirk in her voice.
After a moment of silence like this, I finally say, “Sooo...Chinese?”
“Why don’t we go out to dinner instead?” Jade asks quietly, turning back to me. Her green eyes meet my red ones with some hope.
I cock my head to the side. “Out? Where...where do you wanna go?”
“The Lake Pavilion?” she suggests. I do a double-take.
“Yooo there?? That’s ridiculously fancy!”
My wife smiles sheepishly, her cheeks flushing. “Well I mean, I need some excuse to wear my 3 a.m. dress…”
I groan inwardly. “Do we have to?”
Jade rolls her green eyes. “Alright fine, no fancy dinner. How about...Friday’s?” She lights up again. It’s always like that when she mentions her favorite restaurant.
I frown slightly. “Nah...I’m not really in the mood to wait that long for my food and be around a loud-ass crowd of people…”
Jade throws up her hands in frustration. “Fine, just forget about it!” She starts storming off towards the stairs.
I grab her elbow, making sure not to hurt her. “Babe please! I’m gonna take you out, okay?” I feel her arm relax as she looks back at me, her pretty mouth in a pout. Suddenly, I get an idea. I let go of her arm and stride back towards the couch, fumbling for my car keys.
“I got it!”
I beam up at her. She hasn’t moved from her position, but her eyes are wide with confusion. “Guess!” I say excitedly.
“We’re going to the drive-thru!”
I sped through the streets towards my favorite fast-food place: Taco Bell. My wife had to keep reminding me to slow down, or else we’d get another speeding ticket again. “It’d be the third time this month, Dave!” she chastised. But I couldn’t help it; I can just imagine devouring the tacos already, with its amazing shredded cheese on top of the succulent beef, adding onions for that zest, all encased in a crunchy shell. I can’t wait to add hot sauce.
Not soon enough, I ease into the line for the drive-thru. For a regular Tuesday night, it’s pretty crowded. I glance inside the place as we inch ahead in line; Taco Bell’s popular tonight. Damn straight it is. “Wow Dave...I’ve never seen the line so long. You think we should just eat inside?” Jade suggests, shifting in her seat.
I shake my head vigorously. “Nope. I’m wearing the black Angry Bird slippers; you really think I’m getting out of this car?”
Jade sucks her teeth. “Fiiine. Looks like we’re stuck here for a while.”
I open my mouth to say something, but bright flashing at my rearview mirror behind us gets my attention instead. “Yo what the f--?!” I yell, covering my eyes.
“What the fuck is that?!” Jade shrieks, ducking her head from the blinding flashing.
“Some douche behind us is just flashing his lights for no reason!!” I roll down my window and stick my head out, about to scream, but Jade cuts me off, doing the screaming instead.
“Hey fuck-ass!! What the hell do you think you’re doing?! Are you trying to blind us?!”
The owner of the Volvo behind us sticks his head out too, giving us a sneering look. “WHAT’S IT TO YOU?”
“Ohhh nonono mister!! Just because you have a nice car does NOT mean you can blind people for fun!! And don’t you look at us like that, you fucking troll!!”
The grumpy owner flips us off, but thankfully he stops flashing his lights. My wife and I settle down in our seats again, breathing a sigh of relief.
Eventually, we make it to the speaker as a young woman recites in a monotone, “Hello, welcome to Taco 8ell. May I take your order?”
“Yes!” I answer ecstatically. “We’d like four Doritos--”
“Wait baby!” Jade says dramatically, grabbing my arm.
“I want something else this time!”
“Jade what the fuck? We always get Doritos locos tacos together!”
“But I’m not in the mood!”
I groan. “What could you possibly want from this place?!”
Jade mulls it over. “...A Cantina Bell actually sounds pretty good right now.” A small, sheepish smile forms on her lips.
“A SALAD?! JADE--”
“Ohmygod Dave, what’s your problem?!”
I flail my arms. “Who gets a salad from Taco Bell?!”
“So like what are you getting?” the woman on the speaker interrupts. We both ignore her.
“I don’t know Dave, I’m just in the mood for a damn salad!”
I bury my head in my hands, yelling, “I don’t know who you are anymore!”
I can almost hear Jade rolling her eyes. “Dave come on, stop being overdramatic!”
“Oh I’m being overdramatic?!”
“Uh, yeah Dave!”
I pause. “Yeah you’re probably right.”
“Helloooooooo? Are you gonna order or what?” the woman says in exasperation. “I don’t got all day.”
“Alright alright chill! I want two cool ranch Doritos locos tacos and a,” I clear my throat, still horrified, “a Cantina Bell. Onions on the locos tacos though.”
“I’m sorry, onions????????”
“Um...okay. Anything else?”
“Oh we totally need those cheesy nachos up in here aaaand two medium root beers please!” Just then, Jades cuts me a look and I amend, “Never mind, just one medium root beer is enough. Now since you’re probably not that smart read me back my order.”
The woman on the speaker sputters. “Excuuuuuuuuse me?! I’ll have you know I’m crazy smart!”
I snort. Yeah right.
“Sorry about that miss, my husband is just cranky sometimes!” Jade apologizes, leaning to the window.
The woman mutters something unintelligible but replies, “It’s cool I guess. So, you ordered two Doritos locos tacos, cool ranch, with onions on them apparently, a Cantina 8ell, cheesy nachos, and a large root 8ee--”
“Whoawhoawhoawhoa! I did not say large lady!” I murmur to Jade under my breath, “See? I knew she wasn’t that smart.” Jade’s response is to hit me on the arm lightly while smirking.
“Well...we currently have a special, so I supersized you for free!”
“Oh,” I say dumbfoundedly.
“Damn,” my wife whispers.
“And also! For just twenty-five cents more, you can have unlimited refills!” I can practically hear her batting her eyes at me.
“That’s great and all,” I answer, “but...we’re in the drive-thru, remember? What are we gonna do with that?”
“Oh, haha, riiiiiiiight!”
“You’re not really living up to your assertion lady…”
“W8. Your voice sounds really familiar. Is this John?” The woman’s voice immediately rises an octave; she’s probably blushing right now.
“Who’s John??” Jade cuts in, her green eyes filled with fire.
“O-oh, he’s just my 8oyfriend. We met a couple years ago in college. I used to copy off of him…8ut I don’t do that anymore, and I’m really happy with him!”
“Huh, that’s so weird, ‘cause we have a friend named John, and--”
“HEY. YOU GUYS DONE OR WHAT?” the douche with the Volvo behind us shouts.
“SHUT UP FUCK-ASS,” Jade screams back. “Now what was I saying…? Oh right! Yeah, our friend John has a girlfriend he met in college and he says how she used to be like really bitchy and stuff, but she makes him light up and I think that’s so cute!”
“Yeah,” I muse, “but we’ve never met her.”
“W8...are you guys talking about John Eg8ert????????”
“Um...yeah,” Jade and I answer in unison.
“Oh!!!!!!!! I’m that girlfriend! I’m Vriska!”
“Oh wow! What a coincidence!” my wife says happily. “I’m Jade and my husband is Dave! Nice to meet you!”
“Haha, you too!”
“We hope to meet you face-to-face soon Vriska. John won’t shut up about you,” I comment.
“Yeah, same here!” Vriska giggles.
“I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE ALL NIGHT,” the stupid troll behind us yells again.
“All right all right we’re going!” Jade snaps.
“That’ll be eleven dollars and 8y-two cents! Have a nice evening!”
We’re several cars away from the pay window, inching ahead. Jade’s fiddling with her phone, that huge-ass Samsung Galaxy S4. I mean, who needs that? It’s too big for anyone’s hand, and that’s not gonna fit anywhere. Jade always tells me how I’m just jealous ‘cause I can’t do shit with my phone. But my slide phone has stayed with me for years!
The black-haired woman sighs, her forehead pressed against her window. “Daaave, can you please turn on the radio?”
“Sure.” I turn it on and loud heavy metal blasts through the speakers, startling us. We both cover our ears. They’re probably internally bleeding already.
“TURN THAT OFF,” she screeches. Yeah, if both my hands weren’t busy.
After a few minutes of hell, my wife finally clicks off the radio. “Shit,” I mutter. Jade only presses her forehead against the window again, silently pleading with her eyes to not say anything. I shrug and take her phone, calmly going through her apps until I find Youtube. I search up Nigahiga videos and within minutes I’m laughing loudly. I have to say that my favorite is the human GPS one, especially where Ryan is talking about the different versions they have.
“Daaave,” Jade whispers, “stooop.”
I suck my teeth as I put down the phone. “Fine…”
We keep inching ahead; now we’re only three cars away from the pay window. I lightly drum my fingers on the steering wheel, glancing at Jade, who’s just staring out the window. “Babe?” I say quietly.
She slightly turns her head to face me. “Yeah?”
“I love you.”
She blushes, biting her lip. “I love you too.” I lean over to kiss her, tasting her green apple lips. Jade grins as we kiss, reaching behind my head to run her fingers through my blond hair. I lean away a bit, taking off my shades to look at her green eyes while she looks at my red ones.
Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, I breathe, “You got a bit of something in your teeth.”
“What?” Jade pushes me away a little, blushing more from embarrassment this time. “Seriously?”
I nod. “Yeah.”
“Liiike right there.” I point to the left of her teeth, where a piece of food is stuck between her teeth.
Jade tries to scratch it off to no avail. “Gone?”
She turns away to scratch it off more vigorously, using her tongue to feel around too. “Now?” she asks, turning back to face me.
“No. Hold up I got you.”
“Dave--” I slowly pick at the thing stuck in her teeth. “This is so humiliating Dave…”
“Shh I’m your husband.” I finally get the thing out. Hm. Seems to be a piece of toast. I roll down Jade’s window and flick it out.
“Ohmygod Dave! How long was that there?!”
I shrug. “Don’t know. I just noticed.”
“God!” Jade crosses her arms to look out the window again, leaving me to focus on closing the gap between the car in front of us and here, putting my shades back on.
Yes. The pay window, I think to myself as I pull up to see a troll girl wearing red shades there. “W3LL W3LL W3LL,” she snickers. “1T’S 3L3V3N 31HTY-TWO. YOU GOT THE C4SH?”
“Yeah hold up,” I reply, feeling for my wallet in my pockets. I don’t feel it at first, but I just assume it’s ‘cause I have a bunch of junk in there. I keep patting my pockets for a moment, but I can’t find it. Where the hell…?
“Dave? You okay?” my wife questions.
“COM3 ON BRO.”
“Wait! Damn you people!”
“Dave,” Jade whispers, putting a hand on my arm, “what is it?”
I look at her in the eye as I ask quietly, “How much you got?”
Her green eyes go from concerned to disappointed. “Ugh, guess I’ll pay for this one…” She reaches into her big white purse, taking out the Master Card and handing it to the lady at the window.
But she won’t take it.
“OOOH M1SS, W3 DON’T 4CC3PT CR3D1T C4RDS.”
“This is a debit card,” Jade says bluntly.
“S4M3 TH1NG. W3 DON’T T4K3 PL4ST1C.”
“Fuck!” the black-haired woman curses loudly.
“SOO 4R3 YOU GONN4 P4Y OR WH4T?” The troll looks mildly disappointed in us.
“Of course we’re gonna pay!” I assure, turning to my wife, who only has five bucks in her wallet. “Jade what the fuck?!”
“Sorr-yyy! Not like I knew we were gonna be short on money right now!” she barks.
“You said you were going to the ATM today!”
“I never got around to that! And don’t pin this on me; where’s your wallet, mister??”
My cheeks flush and I stammer, “N-never mind about that, just help me find some change.”
“GUYS UH...YOU’R3 K1ND4 HOLD1NG UP TH3 L1N3…” the troll sighs.
“Yo chill! We won’t be long!” I attempt to assure as my wife and I begin searching around the car for any loose change. A couple of dimes under our mats, some quarters in the cupholders, wayy too many pennies between the seats, and soon enough, we’ve come up with a sizable pile in our hands. Without bothering to count--I mean of course it’s enough, right?--I hand the change to the cashier. She just sniffs them, her mouth turning into a slight frown. “What?” I inquire.
“YOU’R3 ST1LL L1KE...TWO DOLL4RS SHORT…”
Right then, Jade throws up her arms in exasperation, shouting, “You know, I wasn’t really that hungry in the first place!!!”
I sigh, turning to the cashier. “I guess...take out the Cantina Bell please.”
The troll shrugs and gives me the receipt and change without much expression. “N1GHT.”
“‘Kay...thanks...you too,” I answer as I slowly roll on ahead.
We make it to the pick-up window quickly. Damn, I’m so ready for that taco. The taste of the onions--
“Dave.” Jade startles me from my thoughts.
“Huh what?” She points at the guy who’s going to give me my food. It’s another troll with huge horns with a lot of acne and braces. How does he walk through doors…? “Um...sup,” I greet, nodding my chin at him.
He doesn’t nod back.
He doesn’t even look like he heard me; his eyes are glazed over, staring at empty space over my head. I glance at his name tag; it says, “Hello, my name is Tavros.” What kind of name is that?
“Yo bro.” I snap my fingers at him, finally getting his attention.
“Can I get some hot sauce or…?”
“o-oH YEAH, uH, sURE BRO.” He clumsily obtains the packets of hot sauce and chucks them at me, hitting me on the cheek.
“Dude!” I yell, earning a dangerous look in Jade’s eyes.
“Did you just throw hot sauce packets at my husband?” she growls, narrowing her eyes at Tavros, seeming to unnerve him.
“o-oH MY GOD, i, uH, aM SO SORRY. i’M JUST FEELING KINDA, uH, tIRED AND STUFF…”
“So you throw hot sauce packets at my husband??” She leans towards my window, growling all the while. I have the slightest urge to hold her back, but I kinda want to watch her chew him up and spit him out.
“m-mA’M I’M SO SORRY--”
“Whatever! God, like the nerve.”
“What are you gonna do, huh? Throw my husband more hot sauce? Throw me hot sauce? Throw us a life-time supply of hot sauce or something, huh punk??” I decide at this moment to pet my wife’s wild curls to soothe her anger.
“Babe it’s okay. I don’t care,” I mutter.
Jade backs off from the window, settling in her seat again. “Fine,” she hmphs.
I turn back to the troll, and the kid’s freaking out. He passes me the bags of food along with the root beer, his hands shaking uncontrollably, almost spilling the drink. “i-i’M REALLY SORRY--” he starts to stutter.
“Bro. It’s cool. Just don’t okay?” He nods in response, waving at us as I drive off at top speed, feeling giddy with that intoxicating aroma bouquet of tacos, cheese, meat…
Oh God, I need it now.
I hit the gas pedal hard, going way over the speed limit. “Dave calm down! I don’t want another speed ticket!” Jade yells as she grips her seat, her green eyes wide.
“No! I need to get home now!” That crunchy shell, those onions…
“Dave please! Restrain yourself!” Reluctantly, I slow down just as the light turns red. We’re only six blocks away from home, but I can’t. My leg’s shaking hard as I bite my nails, gripping the wheel harder than necessary, turning my knuckles white. Trying so hard to not look at the fucking bag, but nothing’s working. Loco taco. Stat.
“I can’t take it anymore,” I declare, practically diving into the bag that contains the onion-covered Dorito loco taco as the light turns green. I immediately hear honking behind us, but I don’t care.
“I just gotta have a bite babe!” I unwrap the taco, closing my eyes and biting into the shell, getting a blast of flavor. But something’s missing:
They forgot the onions.