It was when he was clearing up from dinner that he noticed it. The smart new dustbin they got earlier that day from some Swedish store in the city came packed with enough features that it needed to be plugged in. From odour neutralisers and leak detection to ‘change me’ notifications and recycle tips. The messages were delivered on an LED screen built into the top of the chrome cylinder that occupied a corner of the kitchen.
The bin displayed a message as he scraped the scraggly remains of the Chinese leaf salad off the plate, too little to warrant taking it out to the compost bin.
[Thank You!] The message went. It was actually thanking him for using it. Shaking his head in amusement, he mentioned it to his partner and moved on with the washing up. Still, over the days and weeks following the purchase, it nagged at him. Every time, no matter what it was, it would always thank him for the rubbish.
It all came to a head one Sunday afternoon when he was doing some baking, his choco-fudge-frosted choccy chip cupcakes. A rare, but delicious, treat. He’d always make six. One for him, one for his partner, and one each for their parents.
Except this time, he made a seventh.
“Is there someone I don’t know about?” His boyfriend joked, strong arms wrapped around his waist as he finished the frosting on top.
“Nah, it’s just… you’ll think I’m crazy for what I’m about to do.” He replied, looking rather sheepish as he picked up the extra cupcake. His partner regarded him with a curious look, an eyebrow arched as he watched him put the rubbish in the bin.
To the boyfriend’s horror, he put the seventh cupcake in afterwards. “You are crazy, wasting a perfectly good cupcake!”
“Look at the display.” He smiled.
Looking between the bin and his lover, he just shook his head. “You are a weird, strange man.” He sighed, before just having to chuckle. “You’re also very sweet, though.”
Author’s Note – Inspired by Jae Rose’s 3WW entry, Trash