Living with Barney was like living a real-life scavenger hunt, Lily thought. It was a challenge to do something as simple as take a shower. Find the hidden towels. Find the hidden hair product that he uses when he's not got a girl in the apartment. Well, another girl apart from his pretend-wife.
Find the hidden food. Yes, he has food. Dried pasta, tinned fish, he needs the carbs and protein as fuel because he works out all the time.
The hidden clothes - t-shirts she sleeps in sometimes.
Secret compartments, hidden levers. He's like a kid playing James Bond.
Living with Lily was a constant battle against chaos. She moved everything. She changed everything. Barney would try and find his comb and waste a half-hour uncovering things he didn't even know he'd lost, like a series of clues leading to a prize.
Lily was discovering too many things about him.
And he was starting to like it.
"Lily? Where's my watch, honey?" He yelled. He felt like a kid playing husband and it was kind of fun.
"It's on the table dear!" She yelled back. "Next to your breakfast!"
He laughed. With Lily, there was a prize every time.
Living without Lily was like being in the middle of a magical mystery tour, like the world was shifting slightly all the time. Marshall suspected that there was a pattern too it, maybe a serious of questions he had to answer to get to the solution, but he couldn't find the first clue.
He couldn't rationalise this. He thought he'd picked up the pieces. He thought he knew the rules to this game.
But nope. The rules changed every hour. And no matter how many tiny steps forward he took, he would never, ever reach the end.
Not without Lily.