Tale Number Eighty-Five – Better Than Nothing

Better Than Nothing

prompt:  cold


“Dude, you are one cold bastard.”

“I am not!  I’m just following instructions,” Will replied.  He focused on the papers in his hands, a frown of concentration on his face.

“But, no one has to know,” said Jake.  He leaned over and gave Will a conspiratorial nod.  “You know I’d totally never tell.”

“Are you stupid?  Everyone would have to know, you dumbshit!”  Will flopped back on sofa cushions and sighed in disgust.  “We’d end up right back where we were and I’d have to tell everyone what happened!”

“I don’t think anything will happen,” answered Jake.  “It was a fluke, dude.  A one-off.”

“You swelled up like parade balloon.”

“Dude, we’ve been roommates for almost two years.  You know it’s never happened before,” said Jake.  “Why would it be a problem now?  Besides, they gave me pills for it.  I feel fine.”

“Idiot.  Didn’t you listen to what the doctor said?” Will asked.  “Allergies can pop up at any time.  Those pills were to stop the reaction you were having.  That doesn’t mean you can keep eating the damned peanuts.  I am not tossing anymore for you to catch in your mouth.”

“But I like peanuts,” Jake whined.  “What am I supposed to do if I can’t eat peanut butter?”  A look of horror suddenly came over his face.  “Oh my god, peanut butter cups!  I can’t eat peanut butter cups!”

Jake splayed out on the rug between the sofa and the television, his arm over his face.  Will watched him with a mixture of sympathy and irritation.

“It could be worse, man,” he said, consolingly.  “For now, at least, it seems like it is only a problem if you actually eat something with peanuts in it.  I knew a girl once who started wheezing if she just smelled them.”

“I know,” said Jake, miserably.  “But, seriously, dude.  This sucks.”

“What if I threw almonds at you?” asked Will.

Jake considered for a moment and then sat up.

“It won’t be the same,” he said.  “But I guess it’s better than nothing.  Go get the can.”

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