Tangled Extra Scenes
Author:Emma Chase

My eyebrows rise. “What about it? You set it on fire.”

 

Yep—she and Delores made like homeless people and incinerated the freaking thing in the dumpster outside Kate’s old building.

 

She shrugs. “So? You were nothing to me, and I wanted to make sure everything you’d ever given me was nothing too.”

 

And that, boys and girls, is called proving my point. I smirk. “I really don’t need to say anything else.”

 

She rolls her eyes. “Whatever. I didn’t throw beer on you just because you forgot to say thank you. I’m not some hysterical nagging psycho-bitch.”

 

Right. And if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…it’s a horse.

 

She goes on. “There are a lot of things that have been bothering me lately.”

 

“Like what?”

 

I’m actually curious. As far as I know, Kate and I have the perfect relationship. And I—of course—am the perfect boyfriend.

 

“Like how you never help me clean up in the kitchen. Every time we cook, you disappear while I’m stuck washing and drying and putting away!”

 

My voice becomes a little louder. Defensive. “You do most of the cooking. I figure you want to organize the kitchen! I don’t want to mess up your system.”

 

And this is partly true. But if I’m being totally honest, I’ve never seen my old man wash a dish in his life. Not even a frigging spoon. And Steven—the one time he tried to help The Bitch out with the laundry? She pissed and moaned for a week about how he ruined her gentle delicates, whatever the hell those are.

 

“And you never complained about it before. If you wanted my help, why didn’t you just ask me?”

 

Her volume reaches maximum decibels. “Why should I have to ask you? You’re a grown man! You should just know!”

 

And there it is, kiddies. The Famous Female Mind Fuck.

 

That’s short for: If you can’t read their minds? You’re fucked.

 

And as for that composure I was so proud of? Yeah—he took a hike. “Well, I didn’t! For Christ’s sake, don’t give me enough rope to hang myself and then cut my balls off when I actually do! You should’ve just told me!”

 

Kate pushes my shoulders, and my shirt makes a wet squishing sound.

 

“Fine. You wanna know? I’ll tell you now.”

 

Despite what I just said, no, I don’t want to know. No guy likes being criticized. No one wants to be told they’re screwing up. So, like any man under attack, I go on the offensive.

 

“You’re not exactly a joy to live with all the time either.”

 

That stops Kate’s tirade in its tracks. Her brow furrows slightly. “What is that supposed to mean?”

 

Honestly? I have no idea. I have two reactions to anything Kate does: she makes me smile or she makes me hard. Smile, hard, smile, hard, smile…hard. Usually both at the same time. You know that song “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”? It’s a lot like that. Nothing she does turns me off. But I’m not about to let her know that. This is our first argument.

 

Winning is crucial. I have to set a precedent.

 

So, genius that I am, I spew the first thing that pops into my head. “You chew on your pens.”

 

“What?”

 

Too late now—might as well go with it. “When we’re working in the office. You chew on your pen. It’s distracting. It sounds like some crazed woodchuck is trying to eat its way through the drywall. Chck, chck, chck, chck.”

 

She thinks about it a moment. And shrugs. “Fine. I won’t chew my pen anymore. But we’re not talking about me right now. We’re talking about you…and…and how you disrespect me.”

 

Hold on. Back the hell up. I am an extremely respectful person. Always. Even to my do-me-once-and-don’t-ever-talk-to-me-agains—I was a goddamn gentleman.

 

“What are you talking about? How do I disrespect you?”

 

Her tone is clipped. Accusing. “You’ve never once changed the toilet paper roll.”

 

She’s kidding, right? Seriously. Tell me she’s fucking with me.

 

“And how exactly does me not changing the toilet paper roll disrespect you?”

 

Her face goes blank, like she’s shocked that I don’t immediately understand the insanity that is her.

 

“Well, who do you think is going to change it?”

 

“Uhh…I don’t?”

 

She spreads her arms out, like I just said the magic words.

 

“Exactly.”

 

I pinch my nose. Maybe if I stem the flow of blood to my brain, I’ll pass out.

 

She goes on, “You don’t think about it at all! You just assume, ‘Oh Kate will do it. She’s got nothing better to do’…”

 

I put my hand up, cutting her off. “No, no—I don’t think that! If I need toilet paper and it’s there, I use it. If it’s not, I improvise.”

 

Her face wrinkles. “Well, that’s just disgusting.”

 

So this is what it feels like to be stuck in quicksand. You kick and struggle…but you just keep on sinking.

 

“You know what? Okay, fine. You’re right. I’ll change the toilet paper roll from now on. Problem solved.”

 

But apparently it’s not.

 

She folds her arms. “I don’t want to be right, Drew. I don’t want you to change the toilet paper roll because I’m yelling at you. I want you to want to change the toilet paper roll.”