“So, she’s telling her friend that her vagina’s beginning to smell like potato chips.”
Calix looked at him with a straight face. “Which brand?”
“What do you mean, which brand?” Darwin gave a rueful shake of his head. “Does that even make a difference to genital fragrance?”
“Of course! Every detail matters.”
“Well, they didn’t cover that, strangely enough.” He rolled his eyes. “If anything, I was more concerned with the fact that two women were openly discussing chips and vaginas on public transport!”
“I’m more concerned that you care about the bullshit people discuss on public transport.”
Darwin bristled at this. Calix had a special knack for turning his statements back on him, and he hated it. He made a point of sniffing haughtily but she took no notice. She was being all nonchalant instead, sitting there writing the next article for ‘Hooves, Horns & Rhododendrons Monthly Digest’ like she didn’t have a care in the world.
“Well, it was hard not to listen!” he muttered defensively. “They were talking loud enough.”
“Darwin, you’re lucky enough to be deaf! You get to choose if you listen or not.”
Calix’s nose was wedged firmly in her laptop. He watched her absentmindedly nibbling on a ballpoint pen, intermittently jabbing at the keyboard. How on earth had they even become friends? They disagreed on everything! And yet Darwin couldn’t imagine life without her. God, he hated that.
“I’m too dependent. That’s my problem.”
Calix looked up from the laptop and fixed her eyes on his.
“Shit. I said that out loud, didn’t I?” His cheeks flushed with embarrassment.
“On what?” Now Calix seemed almost interested. “What are you dependent on?”
“Erm, nothing. I’m just rambling again.”
Darwin backed away and turned to leave the room. It was time to make himself scarce before the conversation got too awkward. But Calix wasn’t having a bar of it.
“No, hang on! Where are you going? Don’t you want to talk about vaginas and chips any more?”
Darwin slumped his shoulders. Yup, that had stopped him in his tracks. She always had to have the upper hand, the final say in everything. He hated that so much. In fact, this friendship had too much hate going on. Was that normal? Perhaps ‘hate’ was too strong a word to be using in this context…
“Let’s start with chips. Could you go to the kitchen and bring me the paprika chips? I think I left an open pack on the table.”
Nope. It was the right word.
“And feed the goldfish. I think it needs to eat more than twice a week.”
“Yes, mum,” he grumbled under his breath. “Three bags full, mum.”
And suddenly Darwin recalled the night before… How had that damn goldfish ended up in his toilet bowl anyway? He wanted to ask Calix about this, but her unbearable acerbity would beat reason out of anyone. Perhaps he’d ask later when he was feeling up to the challenge.
With these thoughts swimming in his head, Darwin shuffled to the kitchen. He took up the open pack of chips, sniffed it, and shrugged his shoulders. No vagina he’d ever encountered had smelled like this. He sniffed again. Yeah, this was completely ordinary.