Mitch stashed his debit card back into his wallet after Jodie loudly declared “your money’s no good here!” in the checkout line at the grocery store.
“I’m his sugar daddy,” she stated matter-of-factly to the cashier, who laughed in response.
“Don’t humor her,” Mitch warily advised as he gathered up as many plastic bags as he could with his good arm. They were supposed to grab a few remaining items for a party that Jodie was throwing for her dad; unsurprisingly, the shopping trip got out of hand. The extra streamers and variety of noise makers were overkill, even if Jodie’s dad leaned towards eccentricity, but it was his birthday and Jodie was determined to celebrate in an appropriate fashion.
“You shouldn’t push yourself so hard,” she chastised while they walked past the automatic doors and into the parking lot.
“I can manage a few bags.” Mitch lifted them to show that he wasn’t experiencing any discomfort. She took the bags away when they reached the car. “I’m not a sickly Victorian child that won’t survive the winter, Jo. Lemme help.”
Jodie tilted her head and tsk’d, saying “You kind of are, though,” then deposited everything into the trunk. Once they were buckled up, she continued in a much more sincere tone. “Look, you’ve been through a lot over the past few days…”
“Sure, but I’m not helpless. I can, y’know, pitch in for groceries or whatever,” he huffed. “You’re providing a roof over my head right now.”
“It’s not out of altruism, I’ve been trying to get you to move back up here for years now. So, thanks Calvin, I guess.”
“I’m sleeping in your bed because there’s no room at the inn. Let me do something. Anything.”
“Mitchell-” Jodie started to speak while backing out of the parking spot, but was cut off by a speeding car. Slamming on the brakes, she shouted obscenities while the other driver honked their horn. A minute full of grumbling passed before she turned her attention back to Mitch. “ANYWAY,” she bellowed, still fuming, then her voice lowered. “I dunno. What were we talking about? How useless you are?”
“Something like that,” he shook his head and grinned.
“If you’re dealing with a complex, be my errand boy for a bit.”
“Uh huh. Sure,” he deadpanned, drowning out her redundant answer since that was already his designated status. Instead, he ignored her in favor of revisiting recent texts from Calvin; they devolved into passive aggressive complaints about Mitch’s belongings still being at the loft, despite the whole ‘not being able to drive for several weeks’ thing. Unsurprisingly, his ex couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that most people in their age group didn’t have a trust fund to fall back on, which meant that they couldn’t just afford to hire movers on a whim.
“Stop reading texts from him,” Jodie spoke up, and Mitch went wide eyed in surprise.
“How could you tell?” He pulled his phone close to his body.
“You have this look on your face like you’re about to cry and shit all at once.”
“Keep your eyes on the road,” grumbled Mitch as he checked his face in the side mirror. She was right, of course, and he frowned.