She yelled at him, and he yelled back. He slammed the front door behind him and walked in to the crowded street and she in reply threw the book in her hand at the door. He had walked away yet again, but in her mind, she knew that the fight was far from over.
He was back but she chose to remain silent. They chose to spend the rest of the day trying to engage themselves in meaningless chores using cold silence as their next weapon. Evening set in, the reason for the argument was forgotten, but the harsh words and anger remained fresh.
He remained stationed on the couch, flipping from channels to channels, trying to free his mind, while she tried to read the book, reading and re reading through the lines without understanding any of it. It was unusually quiet …there was no laughter, no friendly bantering, and no warm hugs. The game of scrabble remained mid way, the coffee turned cold and…and at end of the evening, the dinner table laid unused, as the cold dinner was stashed away in fridge.
She tried to avoid looking at him; she knew it would break her will. She did not want to be the first one to break the silence…it would mean that she had given up, that she had lost. “He could talk to me if he wanted to”; she argued to herself…”he would if he loved me enough”.
He had chosen to respond to her silence by ignoring her. He knew he had been harsh with his words…He had chosen to walk away from the fight…She hadn’t spoken ever since he was back…if she could choose the fight over him, he would do the same, he told himself. “If she doesn’t care, neither do I”, he convinced himself trying to ignore the guilt nagging him.
At the end of the day, she had chosen to go to bed earlier than usual but he knew that she wasn’t asleep yet. As he slipped into the bed and pulled the sheets over him, he chose to ignore her. She was lying facing away from him, hoping that he would make the first move…that he would hold her and tell her that he didn’t mean to hurt her…and it crushed her that he seemed unperturbed and cold…she sensed her eyes welling up with tears…"The biggest mistake I ever made was to have agreed to marry you...I hate you", she hissed in the dark, trying to keep her voice steady. "If you can’t take it anymore, you are free to leave", he retorted, facing away from her. She pressed her face against the pillow, realizing that the tears had brimmed over and had created a wet path across her cheeks on to the pillow. She did not remember when she drifted off to sleep, but the last thing she remembered was that her pillow was wet from her silent tears.
She woke up in an empty bed feeling groggy and tired. She wanted to go to go back to sleep but her head throbbed with a headache; she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep even if she tried. Sunlight shone through the window and hit her eyes…it was late. She was surprised that he had woken up earlier than her…he had always been a heavy sleeper. She felt she heard voices in the living room and stepped out of the bed. She didn’t know what to expect…As she stepped into the front room, she saw her family, his mom and their friends there. “What’s happening?” she inquired, “Is there some kind of surprise I don’t know about?” A look at everyone’s face told her that something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t in place and she could sense it.
Everyone looked upset and worried. His mom was crying, and her best friend had come up to her and hugged her. She was led to the couch and made to sit down…she saw her mom trying to hide her tears, and his friends whispering something within themselves. She was feeling restless….something was wrong and no one would tell her.
“What’s wrong?” she demanded, and sensed that worry was gnawing inside her now. “He met with an accident”, she heard someone blurt out…”And he didn’t make it”…She was confused…she was sure it wasn’t him they were talking about…they had gone to sleep together last night…she felt her world being turned upside down and shock setting in. She heard someone sob and didn’t know what was expected out of her. She didn’t know how to cry any more…she didn’t know how to do anything anymore…she felt numb, she sensed she couldn’t move…or talk…she knew someone was calling out her name but didn’t know how to respond. “I want to meet him…I want to meet him just once more…” she implored to anyone who would listen to her.
“I want to meet him…I want to meet him just once…please”, she mumbled as she woke up from sleep…She was in an empty bed...It was 6:00 in the morning. As she stepped out of the bed, she sensed panic setting in. She heard the front door being closed…she walked into the living room and found him trying to hide the bouquet of flowers he had in his hands. “I had gone out to get milk…and the paper” he started off, looking sheepish. Without giving him a chance to continue, she rushed to him and hugged him tight…she nestled her head against his chest while trying not to cry…the sense of relief flooding inside her was inexplicably beautiful…Everything was back to normal…it was just a stupid nightmare.
“Umm….what about the fight?” she heard him question, his voice tinged with confusion… “Who cares? I’m glad you’re back…and don’t ever leave me alone again”, she whispered as she snuggled closer to him.
“I’m sorry”, he whispered into her hair as they got back into the bed after an hour, after many apologies and a vase filled with flowers. “I’m sorry too”, she sighed as she curled up against him and drifted off to sleep peaceful in the knowledge that he was safe and they were together forever.