It’s been a few years since they fired her for eating that stolen chocolate éclair. She works in a coffee shop now someplace downtown. She hasn’t learnt from her mistakes though, as I know for a fact that when she’s hungry, she takes the freshly cooked muffins they make and secretly eats them in the staff toilets. She does it at least twice a day. I know this because a girl she works with relays the information to me whenever our paths cross. Meeko doesn’t like this girl, and she certainly doesn’t like it when she finds out I’ve been talking to her. It causes arguments. We argue most days.
“You’ve been fucking her behind my back, haven’t you?” she typically says.
With flared nostrils she’ll circle me, eyeing my every move with suspicion.
“Don’t be stupid” I’ll say, “I talk to her in passing because she’s your friend, and it would be rude if I didn’t.”
“That bitch is no friend of mine” she’ll huff.
“If that’s the case, then why doesn’t she say anything to management about you stealing muffins and eating them in the toilets?”
Sometimes she storms off and locks herself in the bathroom not wanting to own up to her crimes, other times she’ll throw a random book at me, or an empty bottle of beer I’ve left lying about while hurling obscenities in my general direction.
“I’m not a fucking thief! How dare you call me a thief.”
“Yes you are” comes my response, calm and a little mocking.
“No I am fucking not!”
“Don’t tell me to stop fucking swearing. I’ll swear as much as I fucking want.”
She’ll get so angry her face will turn red. Sometimes she stamps her feet and wiggles her fingers as if trying hard to stop herself from losing control.
“Stop being so angry, Meeko” I usually say, “it does you no favours.”
The last time I said this, she rushed at me in a rage, but I scooped her up and carried her around on my shoulder until she quietened. Not because she’d calmed down, but because she complained of feeling unwell, and I didn’t want her being sick on me.
As I walk squinting at the sun blowing out a mouthful of smoke, I decide to buy her a pack of muffins. Blueberry ones. Those are her favourites, and yet she’ll know I’m making a point, and even though she won’t want to accept them, in the end, she’ll give in. The best bit will be watching her eat them one after the other. She’ll hate me for it, and yet the taste of those blueberry muffins will be too much to resist. They’ll make her groan with pleasure, and more than likely she’ll wiggle her toes. This is what she does when she’s happy, and whenever Meeko’s happy, I’m happy too.