chary - \CHAIR-ee\
1 a : discreetly cautious: as * b : hesitant and vigilant about dangers and risks c : slow to grant, accept, or expend
Jerry has five locks on his door. Some people have said this seems excessive. Troubling. Paranoid. Jerry merely sees it as prudent. When he leaves in the morning, he carefully throws each lock, listening for the distinctive click of each one.
He's read a lot of stories about burglaries and break ins. A friend of a friend's cousin's apartment was broken into once. They stole everything leaving only some broken dishes and an ashtray. So the story went anyway.
Each Monday at promptly 7pm he checks the batteries in the smoke detectors. They recommend you do this once a month. Jerry prefers more diligence than that.
He likes his life well ordered, which is what he explains to Sadie. Sadie who spilled coffee on him at the cafe. Sadie who always forgets to lock her door when she leaves. Sadie who leaves the windows down on her Honda, even when it looks like rain.
He finds her maddening.
He asks her out for dinner. Then a movie. Then over to his apartment.
Weeks later, he finds himself forgetting to check the smoke detector batteries. Instead he is on the couch, watching Sadie paint her toenails. He thinks that maybe they should do that in a room with more ventilation. The thought comes and goes without stopping to stay however.
One day he comes home and finds that he only locked three out of the five locks.
Sadie merely laughs at him. He finds he isn't even terribly bothered.