The Toothbrush by Christian Camacho

“Ehang! Ehang! Ehang!” It’s five o’clock in the morning. The alarm has just gone off and I can smell the coffee that was set to start 10 minutes earlier. Ugh, maybe I can just ignore it. “Ehang! Ehang! Ehang!” Let Mike get it. “Ehang! Ehang! Ehang!” I’d rather he not reach over me right now. “Ehang! Eh-” I always hit the snooze button first; helps take out my frustrations of having to wake up before I am ready to. I open my eyes. It is still dark. My emotions decide to tell me, so early in the morning, that I am pissed. This doesn’t happen very often. My Saturdays are usually started much later than this, and usually with a much better mood. But today, today is different. I work at six in the morning. I should not go to work the same way I went to bed, but my anger resonates with me, so unfortunately it shall remain that way. I make my way to the bathroom.

***

            You are just going to get up? Go ahead, you jackass. This is how we start our morning, not one of our best. I really can’t say much in terms of a daily routine, cause this is only the five or sixth time I have slept over. The spot where he laid is still warm. It is five o’ two I need to start getting ready. Nate is still mad at me. You can tell this by the fact that he still thinks I am asleep and he is in the bathroom brushing his teeth. Are we still fighting about this? I wipe the sleep out of my eyes, and get ready for my day. I grab my bag and search for my clothes. I will just wait for him to come out. No need to get in to it this early in the day. The door to the bathroom opens up. I think, “Finally!” Ah, crap. He heard me.

***

“What did you say?” Mike asks. His face annoyed, “Go right ahead, I am so sorry to have kept you waiting. I am surprised you didn’t just go right on in, seeing as I can’t stop you from doing whatever you want.”

Nate stands up from the bed, “Not right now Mike, please.”

“No. Let’s do this right now. Come on, let’s talk about this. Cause obviously we didn’t come to an understanding last night.”

“What else do you want me to say?” cried Nate, buttoning up his shirt, “What else can I do to prove to you that it was innocent. That nothing has ever!” Nate walks to Mike “will ever happen between me and him.”

“Him and I.” He corrects. Nate rolls his eyes.

Nate begins to pull his pants up, “what would you have me do?”

“Delete him, un-follow him, do whatever you have to, to cut off all ties to the guy,” responds Mike.

Nate is at his full height now “No! He is my friend. He has been my friend for longer than we have been dating. I will not cut him out of my life, because you feel threatened!”

“Threatened? Threatened? That’s what you think? You think I am afraid of this guy? I am not, I just don’t like it when people see you flirting with this guy in public all over the Internet!” yells Mike.

Nate catches what he just said, and lowers himself. “Look, if I do that it would be admitting that I was doing something wrong. I haven’t done anything wrong. I have not hidden anything from you. I am sorry; he is my best friend, my brother. You are my boyfriend. There is a difference.”

“So you will delete him?”

“For fuck’s sake!” Nate turns and walks to the bathroom, “I am done, I am leaving.”

***

            I can hear him moving things around in the bathroom, slamming the medicine cabinet, and the water running longer than usual. I don’t care. I look at the clock its five twenty two. I need coffee. I go to the kitchen and pour me a cup. I should already be leaving. The bedroom door opens, bag in one hand, his shoes and keys in the other Nate walks out the door without a word. “Bye.” I say before the door slams shut. He did not hear me, and if he did, he chose to ignore me. I turn off the coffee maker, the digital clock on it blinks five twenty eight. Crap I am going to be late. I jump out of my clothes and jump into my work uniform. It’s going to be a long day.

***

            He said “Bye.” He also said I was cheating on him so, bye. I get into my car and drive. I drive to my place. I need to call into work and tell them I am going to be late, but instead I tell them I am sick. No work for me today. I am going to sit at home watching movies all day. I am too tired for human interaction. I begin to unpack my bag. It smells like his apartment, smells like him. I fold my clothes and return them to my closet. My shampoo, body wash, and my toothbrush, return to their proper places in my bathroom. I sit on my bed, turn the TV on, and I press play.

“bzzzzzz. bzzzzzz. bzzzzzz. bzzzzzz. bzzzzzz.” I wake up to the sound of the TV and my phone buzzing. I open my phone, sixteen missed calls, and eighteen text messages, all of them from Mike. I close my phone, then my eyes.

***

He won’t answer my calls. He is ignoring my texts. I guess I just have to wait this one out. I look at my phone the last text I sent reading “Come over tonight. I am sorry.” My day is almost over and nothing. No calls. No text messages. Maybe he is at the house. I go home. He isn’t here. Where is he? There is still no answer on his phone. I head in to the bathroom. I’ll shower and then head over to his place. I grab my towel that hangs on the closet door. I begin to strip, but something catches my eye. Silver. In our toothbrush cup, a key, the key to my apartment. I look back at the cup; his toothbrush is gone. He never takes his toothbrush. Fuck.

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