Peanut Butter Cups (Short Story)


Samir returns home from work around 5:45 and sheds his coat over the lone kitchen chair by the entryway. The sun has already set, and a dim blueness filters through the closed binds into the empty apartment. What a shit day. An endless charade of meetings and mind-numbing conversations. The new job he so eagerly accepted and moved cross-country for has turned out to be a complete sham. His brain feels dead and dried up.

His stomach grumbles. Dropping his phone on the table, he walks automatically to the refrigerator. He doesn’t really have an appetite, but maybe he could cook something. The thought of his mother’s biryani is enough to get his glands salivating. As he opens the door, though, he is met with a glaring starkness. Of course. He forgot to go grocery shopping this week. The remnants of his last trip litter the shelf: a few LaCroix cans, some soggy spinach, and a crisp pack of Reese’s Cups. He grabs the chocolate — better than nothing for the time being.

Popping a cup into his mouth, he migrates over to the living room. Besides a sagging grey couch and elaborate TV set, little other furniture exists in the space. How to spend the rest of the evening? Orange pouch in hand, he flops on the couch. The remote bounces upward with his weight, and he catches it in midair. Maybe a little TV? He could keep watching that detective  show he started the other night. It was ok, but at least the female lead was pretty hot. His finger lingers, tracing the circular On button as he stares blankly at the wide, black screen in front of him. A few long seconds pass before he sets it back down again. Nah. He’s tired of sitting in front of screens. That’s all he did today at work, anyway.

His phone chimes in the distance, and he flinches at the sound. He forgot he left it on the table, but is too exhausted to retrieve it. Figure out your shit first. What are you gonna do tonight? He did just buy a new video game…? No, no something social. With people. Maybe he could go to the nearest bar and get a drink there for a while. He could even bring his notepad, draw some sketches. There might even be real-life girls there…The thought instantly makes him recoil. Too soon. Plus the crowd will be overwhelming on a Friday night. Too many people. Splayed out on the couch, Samir continues to stare out into the vast whiteness of the ceiling. What else, what else? The mere effort of thinking makes his head ache.

Suddenly, he jolts upward, remembering: he got some new flowers recently! A nice sativa-indica blend. Where did he put those? Leaning downward, Samir shuffles and pulls something from under the couch. A small, glass pipe. Ah! In one fluid motion, he extracts a lighter from his pocket, flicks the flame against the glass bowl, and inhales deeply. Perfect. This should get the creative juices flowing, get his energy up, relieve his headache at the very least. Collapsing backward, a euphoric smile lights up his face as he exhales a slow, steady stream of smoke.

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