Jared had dreamt of this day for weeks... Now Super Bowl 51 had finally come - and so would he! Jared knew he'd be unable to contain his... Joy... Unless he relieved his masculine tension before the guests began to show up, so he took his seat on the Dr. Pepper throne, pulled up the footage from his and Joel's trip to the man-spa on his iPhone, and let nature take its course. Afterward, he felt a wave of guilt, but reminded himself that he had done his duty to Heavenly Father by marrying that odious, harping woman and procreating with her. "It's only a sin if I act on it," he whispered under his breath, closing the video file. Instead of cleaning up in the dog-wash, he permitted himself a few moments to gain his composure in Ellie's laundry room, which conveniently boasted bathroom facilities. He washed and dried his hands, adjusted his poofy hair to perfection, and studied his reflection intently in the laundry-room mirror. Did he look any different than he had 3 minutes ago? Would Ellie notice?
When his legs felt steady enough, he walked past Penny in her crate (where she had been for the last 18 hours) and ran straight into Ellie, who was feeding bites of Twizzlers to Calvin straight from her mouth. She eyed her husband with annoyance and gave up the baby-bird routine. "What were you doing in there?" she asked snappily.
"I - uh - bathroom, just needed to use the bathroom." Calvin started shrieking for no reason, and Jared wondered for the thousandth time if the kid was even his. It seemed pretty unlikely.
"I meant what were you doing before in the garage? I told you the basement needs get cleaning some and the floor isn't going to get vacuuming by itself."
Jared tried to control his response. He didn't want her to delve any further into his alone-time in the garage. "I'm so sorry, you're right, I ruin everything. I'll go do it now!"
He stopped briefly in the bedroom to change out of his footie pajamas. He couldn't decide whether to risk Ellie's wrath by wearing his Philip DeFranco "Sports!" tee shirt, which he was certain Joel would find amusing and perhaps even comment on. She didn't like him to defy her by picking his own clothes, or by watching YouTube videos she couldn't follow. He had risked enough already just by purchasing it, because just like his sons, Jared was only allowed to own 5 shirts. Ellie would probably take away his bank card when she realized what he'd done.
The next hour passed in a whirl. He cleaned, prepared snacks, and read the comment section of their latest YouTube video, instinctively "Liking" the comment of a viewer who had requested 112 "Likes" for her grandmother's 112th birthday. What a wonderful, positive community of respectful adults their channel had! YouTube was the second biggest blessing in his life... The first, of course, was being related to Joel by marriage, which gave him plenty of excuses to spend time with his soul mate. And with Jared's own help, his one true love had been freed from the burden of physical labor through the #blessing of YouTube. Now he had plenty of time to relax and catch up on beauty sleep... Not that Joel needed beauty sleep, he was the image of perfection already. Jared imagined him naked, posed like a Roman sculpture, and couldn't help but wonder how smooth his bum-bum was.
When Joel finally arrived at the Ice Palace with Bonnie and the children, Jared felt a rush of excitement. He turned on his camera to film, catching in the frame a variety of soda pop and little snacks. "And we've got the most important thing - Joel!"
Whoa. He hadn't meant to say that out loud, and wondered if this was the day Joel would finally see the depth of his love and obsession. But the moment passed, and Jared kept filming. He'd been hiding these thoughts all his life. He was good at it. Nobody would ever guess the truth in a million years, he played the role of Ellie's husband so convincingly.
His mind was self destructive and traitorous, though. As the football game progressed, he couldn't stop himself from brainstorming ways to flirt or hint covertly at his attraction to Joel. He had tied a cherry stem with his tongue before... But Healthy Grocery Girl's shopping list had not included cherries, so Ellie hadn't purchased any. Perhaps the guests could have a contest in that same vein, maybe unwrapping candy of some sort. The adult guests all agreed without hesitation, and Jared was sure it didn't occur to either his guests or viewers that the contest was anything other than good, clean, God-fearing fun. He filmed it evenly, but the whole time Jared kept one lovesick eye on Joel. He could control his actions, but not his thoughts... And at the moment, his thoughts were stuck on a particularly long-held fantasy in which he filled the hot tub with Dr. Pepper instead of water and spent a blissful evening watching This Old House under the stars with the man of his dreams.