toaster fire bigToaster fires are common, and they can happen to anyone. What may look like a fairly harmless and standard appliance still has the potential to cause major damage if used incorrectly, so always make sure to follow the safety instructions found in your appliance’s manual and keep your kitchen outlets and fuse boxes in working order. Do not operate your toaster underwater, near puddles of gasoline, or when there is newspaper stuffed in the little slits for bread. With that safety message delivered, we can move onto other topics and short stories.

Gina has dated her boyfriend for a few months and found a rare and exciting pattern carved deeply into his personality; for every amazing thing about him, there is a balancing negative thing about him that keeps him from being a jerk about being good at something. For example, he’s very intelligent, but his dyslexia kept him from ever being a teacher’s pet in school. He is attractive, but he grew up with a cross-eye so he wasn’t taught to expect everyone to want him around. He has amazing physical abilities, but his short legs keep him from being able to run too fast. He went to Berkeley, but he majored in philosophy. The list goes on.

toaster firesHowever, she’s worried because many of his balancing negative traits seem to be dying with time; he can read now, and his cross eye has been surgically corrected. He may have upward momentum that will push him into a realm that is too good for Gina, who recently got divorced and then a bad haircut.

Her insecurity boils over when he goes missing during a rowdy college party where drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous women with good haircuts abound. Her boyfriend goes missing but his friends are still at the party, leading her to believe that he may be in one of the many bedrooms cheating on her.

She runs around the student housing searching for him and finding clues that only lead her to discover other awful people. She comes to the conclusion that because his friends are all hanging out and hot girls are missing and he is neither in her bedroom nor any of the bathrooms, that when he finally does show up, she cannot listen to his crap and cannot believe him if he makes something up about where he was.

She checks her room a final time and finds him laying in her bed. She assumes he is pretending to be asleep, acting like his disappearance can be explained by him being in HER bed all night. She thinks differently, yelling at him and yanking the covers off the bed.

toaster fire3Upon doing this she realizes that he has shit her bed and that he must have been toggling between the bathroom and her bedroom, his indigestion perfectly timed so that she always missed him during her search. She is briefly suspicious of this being a well-planned diversion and then, seeing him moaning in his own feces, realizes that his cross eye and dyslexia and baby legs will never die, that the balancing traits are part of his being, that he is a true unicorn.

She accepts him deeper into her life, less insecure and ready to love him more intensely.