COVID-19 AND RICKY COHEN GOING CRAZY

Ricky Cohen always considered himself a very strong person. There was no challenge in life or business that he wouldn’t take on. He had built his Advertising Agency into one of the major players in the city, and he had an incredible girlfriend. At least she seemed incredible before quarantine.

Mia Chaput had come into his life a year ago and their connection had been tight from day one. Mia was to put it mildly a very cosmopolitan woman in her own mind.

When Ricky had to shut his office down because of Covid-19, he knew he would be home isolating with his dog Lowell, and they would manage just fine. He was somewhat shocked and surprised when Mia called and suggested that being in Home Quarantine together would be fun. She would be moving in and would ride out the virus with him and his pooch.

Ricky was nervous the afternoon Mia arrived. She brought five suitcases filled with clothes which he thought was a little excessive but her exact words were ''I'm here and I need to look good, it's who I am.''

The first week was incredible, they were constantly having sex, and fooling around, but Ricky knew he still had to handle his work, and so he tried to slowly create a routine.

Mia was obsessed with Instagram and was followed by six thousand seven hundred and thirty three people and was determined to increase her numbers.

Things started to change in week number two. Mia had a terrible habit of discarding her clothes everywhere. When Ricky mentioned that it would make life easier if she picked up her clothes, her response was a laugh. ''Honey, I am not into that kind of stuff, when you get a chance, if you see my clothes on the floor, just scoop them up and throw them in your washing machine. You don't mind taking clothes off of me.''

The next thing that started to bother Ricky was when Mia kept throwing Lowell off the couch. He was a Beagle and had always had his little corner to lay on, but Mia found it upsetting and for some reason would walk over and just push him off. Lowell would look at her with sad eyes and spend his time on the floor till she left the room. As soon as she left the room, he'd jump back on the couch and when she re-entered she'd throw him on the floor again. Ricky found it cruel and when he told her not to do it anymore, she looked at him with anger in her eyes. ''He's a fucking dog, he should only be able to sleep on the floor, not the furniture. Do you know I noticed dog hair on my yoga pants? I shouldn't have to deal with that.''

Mia also had a habit of not putting her dishes and cutlery in the dishwasher. The dirty plates and glasses would sit on the table till Ricky washed them out and put them in the dishwasher to clean properly. Again, when Ricky tried to talk to Mia about it, she was not receptive. ''Why are you making such a big fucking deal about my dishes. Big Fuck, you put them in the dishwasher, that's what a good boyfriend does for his fiancée.''

Ricky was confused, fiancée? He hadn't proposed and no way was Mia going to be his wife, not at the rate things were going in home isolation.

When Ricky took Lowell for a walk, Mia would never want to go with. She would sometimes go to her car, take it out for a drive, and come back, but she seemed to have an aversion to walking. The same wasn't true about Yoga, she was doing the downward dog all hours of the day.

Things became more complex for Ricky when Mia decided to give her advice on different advertising campaigns he was working on. She would tell him she was interested in the work he was doing, and when he'd explain a digital campaign, she'd often respond ''That sounds so stupid, why don't you just hire an influencer like me, and get your message out the right way.''

Ricky would explain his Agency's track record, and the awards they won in competitions at Cannes and around the world. How clients based their buys on things like psychographics and Unique Selling Propositions. How there was a trust that the Agency would only get clients involved with situations that would have a positive impact on them. Mia would just shake her head dismissively. ''If Kimmy Kardashian gives your client an endorsement, your product sells, everything else is a waste of time. Hell, if I give an endorsement your clients will sell all their stuff.'' Ricky would look at Mia with incredulity.

Week four featured a lessening of sex. This was not a good sign. Ricky would do a work out take a shower and head for bed. Mia would be wearing lingerie and Ricky would make a move ''Sorry, but I just did my nails and I don't want to mess them up, we're going to have to schedule a time.''

One morning Rickey was sitting at his desk when Mia came and sat down across from him. ''I know you've been ordering in the groceries, but I think you need to go pick up some things. I've made a list.'' She handed Ricky her list and every item on it was for her personal use. Not food, or detergent but things like lip gloss and shampoo. When Ricky mentioned he had all kinds of shampoo, Mia shook her head ''I need Dove and Dove conditioner you don't have them. I need Cactus Pear Body Wash ! You have my list, go to the Pharmacy beside the Supermarket and pick them up. I am here keeping you company and encouraging you, it's the least you can do for me. Plus, your stupid dog Lowell, jumped on the bed when I was still in it. If he does it again, I'm going to start sleeping with the door closed.''

The idea of going to the Supermarket and Pharmacy did not sit well with Ricky, but the idea of escaping Mia was very enticing, so he found a scarf to wrap around his face and a pair of winter gloves and he set off.

It was seventy degrees and the sun was shining when he got to the Supermarket. He had to stand in line for an hour before he got in, and he filled his cart with as many necessities as he could. The line up for the Pharmacy was also substantial. Ricky waited the forty five minutes it took to get in to the store and he was able to get most things on Mia's list.

When he got home, Mia had clothes on the floor and more dirty dishes on the table. She was sitting on the couch watching an episode of ''Real Housewives of New Jersey''. ''You know Ricky, I would be great on one of those Real Housewife shows. Did you get my hand wipes?''

Ricky started to explain that neither the Supermarket or the Pharmacy had the wipes when she exploded. ''Fucking Bullshit. You could have looked harder or gone to another store. I needed those wipes, they were on my list.''

As Ricky was wiping down all the packages from the Supermarket before putting them away, he looked at her ''You know Mia, you could have gone yourself.''

Mia ran into the bedroom and slammed the door. ''Screw You Ricky. You look after that kind of stuff not me, you're supposed to be looking after me and you're not doing a very good job, I'm really wondering about us getting married.'' Mia then went to the hall grabbed her car keys and walked out.

An hour later, Mia was back. She didn't say a word she went into the bedroom and slammed the door. The next thing Ricky heard was the shower being turned on. He went into the room, and started to undress. Make up sex in the shower would be great.

He started to get in and Mia shook her head. ''No Ricky, I've had enough. I'm showering and I'm leaving. I'm leaving this home quarantine and I'm going somewhere where I'm wanted. I'm packing my bags and leaving. If you loved me you would have gotten me my hand wipes. You have not been so nice to me. I see how you look at me when you're picking up my underwear. You think we're going to have shower sex, no way. Oh and don't be surprised when I write about leaving this quarantine on my Insta page, I share everything with my followers. Oh and one last thing, your dog Lowell has very stinky pooh gas farts.''

Ricky retreated from the room and was in a state of shock. Was Mia really planning to leave. Who left home isolation to move somewhere else? What happened to her being his Fiancé? It was all bizarre.

Mia was true to her word and slowly started filling up her suitcases. When she was done she looked at him ''I Loved you, but you don't love me or you would have tried harder to make me happy. You would have never said anything about cleaning up after me, and you would have let me make your dog stay on the floor, where that mutt belongs. Now I need you to help me bring my suitcases to the car. I am out of here.''

Ricky didn't say anything, and he carried two suitcases and threw them in Mia's trunk. He went back twice to get the other three and loaded her suitcases into the back seat.

''I'm missing a pair of yoga pants, you must have put them in the wash. I'll get them from you someday. We could have been great, but no, you had to be Mr. Clean and you never hired me as an Influencer for your clients. I don't think you love me, I think you love your damn dog more. Goodbye Ricky, and remember this is all your fault. All you had to do was give me an engagement ring and I would stay. Are you proposing to me right now, yes or no?''

Ricky was feeling like a whirling dervish, he didn't know what was going on. Mia had her faults but she did have a great body and she was wonderful in bed. He heard himself speaking but he couldn't believe the words coming out of his mouth, they weren't his, he had become possessed somehow. ''I love you Mia, don't go, we'll work things out, and someday you'll be a Real Housewife, mine.''

Mia smiled and leaned into Ricky and gave him a passionate kiss. ''I knew you loved me, I just had to show you. Now take my suitcases back to the house and I'll meet you in the shower so you can have your shower sex. After we're done I expect you to go to other stores till you find my hand wipes. Okay?''

Ricky nodded his head as he started to carry Mia's suitcases back to his place. He had heard of Stockholm Syndrome and now he knew it had happened to him. He couldn't stop himself, somehow he knew he had to ride out the quarantine period with Mia. He had read that Covid-19 had neurological impacts and he now knew that was also very true, even if a person didn't have the actual virus.

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.