You know how something will happen and people will say, 'Oh, years from now, that will be funny.' And at that very moment, you don't believe them. You can't fathom the idea of that ever being funny. It's the farthest thing from being funny. Ever.
This is one of those stories. Now? Yes. It's funny. Or as funny as this thing can be.
Let me set the stage for you.
It was almost four years ago. We were living in our first house. A cute, new construction, 1,500 square foot home. And Brad's mom was living with us. The kitchen was a descent size. But for someone who has a hobby of baking cakes, (which requires a plethora of supplies) even a moderate sized kitchen can't hold everything.
We had taken to storing drinks in our hall closet, which was around the corner from the living room and in a small hallway between the second bathroom and the spare bedroom his mom was using.
I should point out a few things. If you haven't been around for a while, these things are important.
1. His mom was living with us because she was going through chemo treatment.
2. Brad and I had been married 2 years at this point. Newlyweds if you will.
3. THIS WAS MY FIRST BEAUTIFUL HOUSE.
4. His mom would occasionally go through bouts of hypochondria and an unnecessary need to purchase things that would never be used. Leading the hall closet to be bursting at the seams with benadryl (bought in 2006, thrown away in 2009, unopened), bath soaps, oil of olay eye pods-that she would later declare she was allergic to, you get the idea. I hated the contents of that closet.
So, this closet wasn't huge. It had five equally-spaced, floor-to-ceiling shelves. It was about a foot wider than the doorway and about 16 inches deep.
One day, I went to the closet to find something that had been in there before she arrived. A band-aid probably. I had noticed a smell a few days before, but thought (not to be gross), that maybe the chemo had been messing with her stomach again and decided not to mention anything. While rifling through the closet, a drop of something splashes on my shoulder.
I look up. Directly above me is the air return for the air conditioner. Maybe it was leaking? I was a new home owner, so I didn't know what to do.
We opened the vent and felt around.
There was definitely water somewhere.
And really, what was that smell?
Brad and I stood in the tiny hallway, inspecting the closet. I'm 5'7" and was bent down, so it was definitely something coming from the top three shelves.
Most of the shelves had medicine, random supplies, toilet paper, stuff like that. But the top shelf, it had extra blankets. Brad reached up and pulled the top one down.
OH. MY. GOD.
It was some kind of smelly pile of goo slumped over to the right side. And it smelled horrible. And the minute he uncovered it, it started dripping more.
"What is that?" Brad says.
"Is that... a watermelon?" I replied, pinching my nose. "How the fuck did a watermelon get up there!?!" I yell. My house was being turned up-side down with the arrival of his mom, and this was the last straw.
We run and grab trash bags, sliding the gooey contents into a bag. Trying not to puke, we try to figure out what had happened. It was late September. I don't even remember buying a watermelon. How long had it been up there?
As best we can figure out, it was a collective effort. The watermelon had been purchased in May or June at his mom's request.
Since there is little room in the kitchen, it was stored in the hall closet.
I vaguely remember looking for something in the closet, being frustrated by the watermelon that had been there a week, uneaten by his mom, I placed it on the top shelf to get it out of my way.
A few days later, Brad must have come behind me and put away a blanket, covering up the watermelon. Where it was forgotten. For almost four months. Where it sat in the dark, rotting.
Luckily, in the closet, in the dark on the top shelf, there were no bugs to find it.
The closet did not fare too well. The watermelon had soaked into a blanket that my mother made for me while she was pregnant with me. The yarn coated in bits of red and green goo and smelliness. We threw it away. The wall where it had been leaning was also a disgusting slick of rancidness and had peeled away– portions of the top layer of the drywall is still missing. We eventually painted over it.
And after that, there was a rule:
No more watermelon.