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Over the past few months, the time it takes for me to coax water from the dispenser has steadily increased. This morning, out of bottled water and close to tears from exasperation, I spit curses at the dispenser for five minutes, and I felt guilty when the water finally came pouring out. "We can't go on like this," I said. The green light flickered agreement.

"Who are you talking to?" For a moment, I thought the fridge had spoken, but then I realized David was standing behind me.

"No one, beh-beh. I just can't take this anymore. It's not healthy."

"What do you mean?" he asked.

I directed my answer to the dispenser -- best to be straight with this kind of thing. We both knew it was over. We were just biding our time until one of us mustered the courage to step up and stop the vicious cycle of dysfunction once and for all. "What I mean," I said, my eyes fixed on the fading green light, "is that we've shared some great moments...but the time has come for me to start looking at other refrigerators."

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