I did what anyone normal would have done

Having promised my little sister that if I did more ‘communal chores’ she would do less ‘leaving her stuff all over our flat’, I dutifully took the rubbish out.

‘Hello!’ My neighbor said cheerfully. ‘Off for a run? You are so good. I really should run.’ I looked at her a little oddly. I was most certainly not going for a run. I was simply taking the rubbish out, like a good housemate. I was wearing running kit because I had run out of clean clothes, and a baseball cap because I hadn’t showered yet.

I opened my mouth to quickly explain. ‘Gosh,’ My neighbor continued. ‘I always see you in running kit. I wish I had half your energy.’ I shut my mouth quickly. Here was a real-life, actual person, admiring me. Not only that- she was admiring my lifestyle! My lifestyle, which is the source of almost continual mockery and jeering amongst my family and flatmates! Obviously I did what any normal person would do, in the face of such a confusion. ‘Ah,’ I said kindly. ‘Don’t worry! Just start slowly and build up from there. See you later.’ I quickly let go of the black bin bag I had been holding and jogged away, cursing my neighbor behind my happy-looking runner’s smile.*

*Who knows what they look like? I was just trying to do a nice thing for my flatmates.*

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