The Secret Spot by Juliet Aucreman
Two months before I met my future husband, my cat vomited on the living room carpet. Back then, I was an irresponsible tenant. I wasn’t sure how to clean up cat puke. So I left it.
Then I met Mr. Wonderful. His hair was combed, his face was shaved. I couldn’t relax. I rushed about tidying my apartment, washing dishes, throwing clothes into the closet, dusting surfaces, and vacuuming corners.
But the cat mess festered. With a strategically placed magazine, I covered it up. Alas, the cat had regurgitated about eighteen inches away from the wall. A considerate kitty would have barfed closer to the edge of the room so the magazine covering it would stay put, pressed against the wall.
In glided Mr. Wonderful.
I toured him around my one-bedroom apartment, hopping over the magazine whenever I passed it, which happened frequently, since it lay near the kitchenette and the bedroom door. The tabby cat wove between our legs, making it hard to sidestep the magazine.
As I led Mr. Wonderful into the kitchenette, I heard a rustle. Had the magazine been kicked aside?
“Check out this refrigerator!” I said, thrusting him toward the appliance, maneuvering back to the mess, the Secret Spot.
“Yes, very nice!” He nodded.
I beamed and laughed as I feigned a stumbling motion that propelled the magazine back into place.
“Why don’t you have something to drink?” I slid past him again to open the refrigerator. I reached in for a glass of milk left over from the morning.
“Don’t you like milk?” I thrust it into his hand.
“Ah . . . well, it’s not bad . . .”
“Good! Drink up!” I encouraged.
Soon Drew disappeared into the bathroom. I scampered outside the apartment, grabbed a stray brick I found in the gutter, bolted back indoors, closed the door quietly, and zipped over to the Secret Spot. I repositioned the magazine parallel to the wall and slid the brick over the cat puke.
Mr. Wonderful emerged from the bathroom.
“Hey Sweetie! What’s with the brick?”
“Oh, that’s to keep the magazine in place.”
“I see.” He looked confused.
“Didn’t you say you like to go for walks?” I suggested.
“Excellent! Let’s go!” I hustled him outdoors.
After my date with Mr. Wonderful, I resolved to fix the problem forever. I replaced the periodical with a bookshelf. By positioning it six inches out from the wall, it covered the Secret Spot.
There it remained for two months until my lease was up. Minutes before Drew arrived to help me move, I pushed the bookshelf the six inches back to the wall and started scrubbing the Secret Spot with a damp rag.
Within a minute, it vanished.