Elliott Bronson is the type of person that if you told him to be somewhere at six, he would show up at seven-fifteen. He’s also the type who, if faced with a road closure sign, would take two seconds to wonder what that thing was doing there in his way and then drive around it. And he’s the type to quickly point out the bags under your eyes and then apologize for having said so after giving you a chance to tell him about being up at the hospital all night with your seriously ill father. He doesn’t deliberately mean to be rude or self-centred or thoughtless, his brain is just wired that way. Don’t take it personally.
Elliott’s good friend, Steve, stopped taking things personally years ago when he resigned himself to the fact that Elliott was just a perpetual five-year-old boy trapped in a grown man’s body. That’s why it didn’t surprise him when he showed up at Elliott’s apartment on moving day to find that Elliott didn’t have a single box packed. He had things scattered all over the floor, but not one thing had touched the insides of a box.
Steve got everything organized that day, and it was Steve who made sure everything was unloaded properly at Elliott’s new place.
“Thanks man, I owe you one,” Elliott said. “Listen, I need to go run some errands, but I tell you what. Don’t cook dinner for yourself tonight. I’ll come around with a pizza. What do you like on it?”
Steve asked for bacon, onions, ham and green pepper on his pizza, and then he promptly went to the grocery store to get himself something for dinner. He knew that he’d starve if sat around waiting for Elliott to remember he promised him a pizza.
Two weeks later, Steve’s phone rang. It was Elliott.
“Hey buddy! How’s it going? Do you know what I just remembered? I still owe you a pizza. How about I come around tonight? Remind me again of what toppings you like.”
Nine o’clock that evening, four hours after Steve had ate his real dinner, Elliott showed up carrying a box of pizza.
“Thanks Elliott, much appreciated,” Steve said to his clueless friend.
“No worries. Hey, do you mind if I use your washroom?” Elliott asked.
“No, go ahead. You know where it is.”
As Elliott headed off to the washroom, Steve flipped open the box to see if his friend was at least thoughtful enough to buy him a large instead of cheaping out with a medium. It was a medium. A seven-slice medium. There, where the eighth slice should have been, sat the shape of a triangle. Elliott had ate a piece on his way over. No doubt he had enjoyed it because it was loaded with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and olives – all of Elliott’s favourite toppings.
“Shall we eat it straight from the box or do you like to use plates?” Elliott asked Steve upon returning to the kitchen.
“I’m a plate guy,” Steve said, unsure if he had heard his friend’s question correctly. Had he just said “plates”, as in plural? Was Elliott planning to eat more of what was supposed to be Steve’s pizza?
Yup, because a few seconds later Elliott grabbed another three slices and stood there waiting for Steve to hand him a plate.
“Thanks again for helping me move,” Elliott said. “Say, what are you doing this weekend? I was thinking about doing some painting.”
“Sorry,” Steve said in return. “I’m pretty sure I have to work.”
Two beers later, Elliott was out the door, presumably in search of someone else who hadn’t been taken advantage of recently.