The laundry room of the Oakview Heights Condominium tower sat quiet and empty until Kelly and Doug arrived.
“Explain to me this. Why do we care what actors even have to say? They get famous parroting someone else’s words, then suddenly we think they’re actually intelligent? I don’t get it,” said Doug, as he held the door for Kelly.
Kelly laughed. “I know. It’s not like they’re actual experts about, well, anything. All they do is pretend to be something they’re not.”
“That’s another reason the world’s shot to hell.” Doug dropped his laundry basket on the concrete floor making a booming echo.
They both claimed a machine and started sorting loads. For four years, the entire time they’d been neighbors on the eighteenth floor, they’ve done laundry together.
Kelly started her machine first, so she wandered over to the folding table and picked through a basket filled with single socks.
“There’re like, a million mismatched socks in here,” she said. She held up a Mickey Mouse sock. “Is this yours?”
Doug looked up from his sorting and smiled. “Nah, I’m more of a Pluto man. I wonder where all the other socks go?”
“They’re probably with all my old boyfriends,” Kelly mumbled to no one in particular. Doug watched the radiant smile slip from Kelly’s face. She shook her head and threw the Mickey Mouse sock back in the basket. “Speaking of missing pairs, I have seen Beth lately. Don’t you have an anniversary coming up?”
Doug closed his washing machine and hesitated. Without turning around, he said, “It was last month, but…”
“Oh, sorry,” said Kelly.
Doug swung around and smiled uncomfortably at Kelly. “Know what we did? Beth thought it’d be funny if we joined ‘Lifematch’, you know, that dating website?”
“Yeah, well, she said it’d be funny if we’d be matched together. I thought, why not? It’s just a joke, right?”
There was a pause filled by the sounds of washing machines in mid cycle.
“Beth left me for her match.”
There was another pause.
Kelly unsuccessfully tried to suppress her laughter. She turned away, but her shoulders heaved.
“You’re really mean, you know that?” said Doug.
“I’m sorry,” said Kelly. Tears ran down her face.
“No you’re not.”
“No, I’m not. But you’re such an idiot.”
“Gee, thanks,” said Doug. His face was beet red.
Kelly put her hand on Doug’s arm. “Think about it. If everything was so good with Beth, why would she even suggest something like that?”
Doug thought for a second. His face went pale. “That makes sense. What did I do?” he said, clutching his forehead. A tear trickled down his cheek.
Kelly looked Doug in the eye. “Listen to me, Doug. She’s a Mickey Mouse. You’re a Pluto. It just wasn’t a match.”
Kelly wrapped her arms around Doug and lay her head on his shoulder. She sighed and closed her eyes.
Doug relished Kelly’s warmth. For the first time he noticed her hair smelled like mangos.