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Never Again

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David Rose was stuck in the closet. Surely there’s a joke there somewhere, but he’s been in here for 5 hours and 32 minutes, and frankly, he’s too hungry to think of one right now.


Saturday, August 1st

11:21 am


The goal had been to finish up their closet expansion project while Patrick was at his tax seminar. David knew his limitations; most of the handy work was complete. All he’d had to do was tighten a few shelves, touch up the paint on the door, and reinstall the doorknob once it dried.

He set his phone on the nightstand, cued up his pop diva playlist, and got to it. 

The painting was first. David carefully applied the crisp white shade to each panel of the door, appreciating the contrast with the antique bronze fixtures they’d found. The shelves came next. Once their shoes had been correctly comingled- with an appropriate amount of space between his Rick Owens hightops and the unfortunate REI mountaineering shoes- the shelves practically spaced themselves. Ronnie had left a set of dowel rods to put in the holes at the right height, and David’s confidence grew as he slipped each shelf securely into place. 

His thoughts had already turned to lunch, maybe some of that leftover pizza from Angelo’s, as he began to reattach the doorknob. 

He grabbed the small, pink, screwdriver from set Stevie had given them as a joke. He knew Patrick would tell him to use the ‘real’ screwdriver, but Patrick wasn’t here, and David honestly couldn’t remember where they kept the better one. There were only two screws on the doorknob; surely, the little one would be up to the job. 

He managed to line the doorknob up correctly, pleased that he’d thought to click the lock into place to hold it while he tightened the screws. He had just finished when his phone rang, interrupting the song and his focus. 

He dropped the silly little screwdriver and accidentally toed it under the door. He quickly bent down to grab it, accidentally pulling the door all the way closed in the process. When he regained his balance and grabbed the knob to let himself out, he remembered that he’d proudly locked it in place, so it didn’t shift as he screwed. Except now, it was closed in place while he was on the wrong side of the door. 


Trying not to panic, he took stock of the situation. His phone was on the nightstand but he might be close enough-“Hey Siri, call Patrick,” he pitched his voice loud and hoped for the best.


A hat trick is the achievement of a generally positive feat three times in a game-


Determined, he tried again, overenunciating each syllable with frightening similarity to his mother, “Siri, call Patrick.”


All That Brick is a building supplies retailer located in Elm County, would you like me to send you the directions?


Well, this is just fucking great. He considers calling Stevie before he remembers she’s recently changed her name in his phone to a string of emojis. He does manage to get through to Alexis, not that she can do much from New York, but of course, she doesn’t answer her phone. 

He sits on the floor with a sigh, trying to ignore the grumbling in his stomach. The tax seminar is all the way in Thornbridge, meaning Patrick won’t be home until late. His mind races with thoughts of lunch and dinner and-oh god needing to use the bathroom- before he pushes them away with a deep breath. He needs a distraction.


Saturday, August 1st

3:37 pm


He has now organized their closet three different times. He started arranging their clothes alphabetically by designer name before he realized that that wasn’t going to bring any sense of cohesion to Patrick’s quarter of the space. From there, he’d tried separating by fit and fabric, but considering his husband’s penchant for mid-range denim, there wasn’t much to work with. His most recent plan had proven the best.  Each section has now been carefully sorted by sleeve length, style, and shade. Patrick’s button-downs and sweaters create a peaceful ombre of blues against the blacks and whites of his own knits. 

It would be a beautiful sight, if only he weren’t locked in here staring at it.  


Saturday, August 1st

7:53 pm


Judging from the way the light under the door has faded, David knows it’s late. He’s created a pile of Patrick’s sports sweatshirts on the floor, the rough cotton and familiar smell a comforting grounding point to the ache in his stomach. 

He’d found a bag of trail mix, the boing kind without chocolate, in the bottom of Patrick’s hiking bag an hour ago. At first, he’d refused to let himself eat it out of sheer disgust-there were raisins- but eventually, his hunger won out. 

He closed his eyes again, settling deeper into his makeshift bed when he hears the front door open.  

“David?” Patrick’s voice is tinged with concern. 


“Up-um in the bedroom.”


“Well, aren’t you feeling forward- where are you?”


“Don’t laugh but can you unlock the closet…”


“Unlock the-David what happened?” 


The door swings open. Patrick’s eyes take in the scene, failing to contain his amusement. He reaches out a hand to help David off the floor biting his lip as David tries, unsuccessfully, to hide the empty trail mix package under one of the many sweatshirts. 


“So, it’s been a bit of a day.”


“Looks nice in here,” Patrick isn’t even trying to hold back his laughter anymore. 


“Well I hope so, I’ve been working on it for literal hours.”


“Do you want to tell me how you managed to lock yourself in the closet?”


“Not in the slightest.”


“Or why you didn’t call someone?”


“I tried, Siri’s a monster.”


“Or why you ate my trail mix?”


David cuts him off with a kiss,  “you can tease all you want but I’m never doing a house project again.”