Prompt: Write a short story about someone who gets trapped in the bathroom on Valentine’s Day.

“Damn it!  What the hell is wrong with these pants?” he mumbled as he struggled to get the pull to cooperate with the teeth on the zipper.  “Why do I have to wear this monkey suit anyway?  Ugh!  So…frustrating!” Jeromy yanked the pull as hard as he could breaking it off altogether.  “Great!  Now what am I supposed to do?”  Beyond annoyed, he attempted to smooth down the fly so the gaping opening was not noticeable.  “A safety pin, that’s what I need…”  Jeromy glanced at his watch, he was running out of time.  Stephenie was expecting him to be at her apartment in 15 minutes, and it would take at least 10 to get there.

Enraged, he yanked on the knob to open the door.  The handle flew off into his hand.  “You have got to be kidding me!”  A series of profane slurs proceeded Jeromy kicking the door, which only resulted a stubbed toe and a still-closed door.  Hopping up and down, he slipped on the bath mat, attempted to grab onto the towel rack, missed and ended up sprawled on the floor, with the knob still gripped tightly in his hand.  Another string of profanities flew out of Jeromy’s mouth as he launched the knob at the door.    Stupid wooden portal trapping him in this tiny porcelain room.

A curse of living alone.  Not only was there no one around to hear him holler for help but neither was there anything he could think of in this room that would help him get out.  If only he had asked Stephenie to move in with him last week instead of waiting for Valentine’s Day.  What a stupid cliché it was anyway, that gestures of love could only be adequately performed on one specific day each year.  If she had moved in, he was sure there would be a bobby pin laying around the counter…somewhere. Jeromy scooted over to the cabinet and started pilfering through the drawers: comb, razor, mouthwash…nothing of use there.  He opened another drawer: deodorant, medical ointment, soap…a safety pin.  A safety pin!  Well, that made at least one problem solved!

Jeromy looked at his watch again.  Seven minutes until he was expected at Stephenie’s and he couldn’t even call her to let her know he was running late.  Who takes a cell phone with them to the bathroom anyway?  Maybe that’s something he should consider in the future.  Apparently getting trapped in a bathroom is an all too-common occurrence and doesn’t only happen on lame TV sitcoms.  He laughed sardonically.  That’s what this felt like.  There had to be a hidden camera somewhere…and an audience laughing at his misery.  Oh, but how invasive would a camera in the bathroom be!  Jeromy shook his head to dispel the thought and continued his search for a break-out method.

Ah-ha! A plunger!  No he wasn’t going to suction the door open…he was sure, even if he tried, all that would happen is he would probably get smacked in the gut by the handle and once again end up on the floor.  Instead, it was the thick wooden dowel that had interested him.  He walked to the door, glanced at the other half of the knob through the hole and then proceeded to jam the plunger handle into it aggressively.  Repeatedly.  Pound after pound.  Minute after minute.  Finally, the knob on the outside of the door fell off.  The lock released.  “Freedom!” Jeromy cried like Mel Gibson in Braveheart.  He ran from the room and danced down the hall in celebration!  Next step was to call Stephenie, finish dressing, get in his car and leave.

“Now…what did I do with that safety pin?”

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