The Sanitation Department in these parts was completely unpredictable. Sometimes, the giant trucks rumbled through the streets before dawn and woke up everyone. Other times, they waited until rush hour to clog traffic and thoroughly ruin the morning.
That was why only true rebels and the forgetful types waited until Wednesday morning to drag their cans and bags down to the street.
Justin was neither a rebel, nor at all forgetful. That was why his beat up garbage can was already in front of the house before dinner.
What didn’t make sense, however, was why he was sitting on the curb next to a week’s worth of waste. That abnormality caught the attention of his neighbor Tom, who ambled across the street to check on his friend.
“Everything okay, buddy?” Tom asked as he stood over Justin and offered his best concerned smile.
“Megan’s throwing me out,” Justin mumbled without looking up to meet his eyes. “From the very start of our relationship, she always told me she’d never touch the bins because that was the man’s job. Now here I am putting myself out on the curb because I’m apparently no longer worth keeping around the house or touching ever again.”
Justin’s shoulders slumped and Tom cringed at the unexpected explanation.
“You know how much I adore her accent and quirky way of saying things,” Justin shot back at him. “I think I’m going to miss that most of all.”
He looked up for the first time and Tom could see the tears in his eyes.
“So she just threw you out? Told you to put yourself down on the curb with the rest of the garbage?” Tom dug for more information as he took a seat on the curb next to him.
Justin nodded and quickly wiped his tears on his shirt. “Pretty much. You know how Megan can get when she’s upset. I’m not even quite sure what I did wrong, but she made it perfectly clear it was all my fault and could not be corrected. So its’ off to the curb for me.”
Tom pat his crying friend’s shoulder. “You always said that her accent melted your heart, and her crazy was bound to one day break it.”
“I did say that, didn’t I?” Justin gasped as he broke down in full fledged sobbing. “I love her so much, and she always warned me I’d have to put up with a little bit of crazy If I was going to fall for an Irish woman. But I never expected this!”
Justin turned to his neighbor in confusion. “What’s the comfort in that?”
“She doesn’t want you recycled so that someone else can use you,” he explained with a grin. “If she can’t have you, then no one else can have you, either.”
Justin wiped away more tears as he gave that one some thought.
“I guess. Maybe. I don’t know,” Justin blurted out in frustration. “The bottom line though is that the love of my life has thrown me away. I’m here on the curb with the leftover Chinese food, the old kitty litter, and everything else that was cluttering her life. What the hell do I do now?”
Tom shook his head. He really had no idea what to say. In all his life, he’d never seen a man put out with the trash. Words simply escaped him.
Sensing that his neighbor had nothing, Justin broke the silence.
“I just keep hoping I’ll hear the front door open, and she’ll call out to me to stop messing around and come inside for dinner,” he confessed as the slightest bit of hope filled eyes that had gone red from crying. “She’s going to do that, right?”
Tom craned his neck to look up at the house. There was no sign of Megan, but that didn’t mean he had to crush Justin’s dream.
“Yeah, buddy, it’s going to happen,” he assured his friend and offered another firm pat on the back. “If she were serious, she would’ve run you down to the curb in the morning when the trucks arrived. She’s just doing this to make you sweat a little and teach you a lesson.”
“I hope you’re right because no man ever deserves to feel like garbage. I don’t care what the issue is, love can always find a way to avoid the dumpster.”
“No truer words have ever been spoken,” Tom agreed. “Love should never be put out at the curb. It’s something you treasure and hold on to forever. Keep the faith that the door is going to open and you’ll hear that adorable accent calling you home.”
“I hate Garbage Day,” Justin mumbled.
“No man ever wants Garbage Day to come,” Tom replied as he looked down at his wedding ring and smiled at the knowledge that he was still loved.
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