White flowers and citrus.

“Where have I smelled that before?” Nathaniel thought to himself.

Nathaniel was in trouble. Not the serious kind of trouble; no physical threats or impending financial ruin.

He was in the on the third date just got to her house after a nice time out for Mexican and need to destroy the porcelain chair kind of trouble.

She was a room-and-a-half away sifting through Netflix suggestions.

On his way to the bathroom he had formulated 3 goals.

1. Keep all passing of gas to minimum decibels. The apartment walls are most likely thin.
2. Don’t leave any marks. Gross.
3. Be back on the couch within 2.5 minutes. Maybe she’ll think I’m just washing up after dinner.

That was 5 minutes ago. And goal 1 was already out of the picture. Goal 2 was going to take multiple flushes. Nathaniel realized he should have added a 4th goal—no stink in the room by the time he left.

Nathaniel breathed in again, a mixture of odors entering his nostrils. The white flowers and citrus again. He turned his head and saw what looked like salvation.

His mother used to buy the spray. Oh, it had been a lifesaver when he and his 3 brothers had shared the upstairs bathroom during high school.

“Spray twice,” he mumbled to himself as he unscrewed the top and pointed the bottle towards the disaster.

Reading the label after spraying, he remembered that it only worked when you sprayed before you went.

Damn. He had simply masked the foulness, dulling its impact to only a fraction of his intent.

He glanced at his watch. 7 minutes.

She had to be wondering what was taking so long.

Nathaniel quietly cracked open the door. He tiptoed through the hall and took a right instead of a left.
He slipped on his shoes and was out the door. Jogging through the apartment building hallway and down the steps to his car, he began to formulate a text.

Hey, sorry I had to run. I got into some minor trouble. Vague excuse, I know. You probably already know what it is. If you’re not too disgusted, I’d love to take you out again.

An hour later she texted back a photo of the spray bottle.

Haha, I don’t think this worked…I’ll go out again. But maybe for drinks next time. I don’t know if my bathroom can handle any more Mexican.