Never Again

You were only in the other room but you might as well have been in another country. We’d had a fight and now we seemed millions of miles apart. What was it even about? I can’t remember. It was one of those fights that would seem completely ridiculous to anyone but us. For us, it was significant, and put our relationship on the edge of a cliff. We teetered on that edge with two distinct options. We could come back from this with some effort, I believed, but it seemed as though you only saw the ocean we’d fall to below if a breeze suddenly blew. There had been a lot of yelling, and it had sounded so foreign in our pale blue living room on that cold winter’s night. We hardly ever fought, and this fight was momentous enough to make up for all the absent arguments. You’d wanted to leave, had even packed a bag and put a coat on over the ratty t-shirt and my boxers that you always wore to bed, but the heavy snow outside kept you imprisoned here. You resolved to go into the bedroom and lock the door, leaving me to pace and curse under my breath. I was so upset with you, furious even, over that stupid fight. I had thrown the dishes from dinner in the sink, breaking most of them, and then reenacted the fight in my head over and over again.

Now, several hours later, I can’t even find anger within myself as I slouch against the wall next to the bedroom door. I’m here in hopes that you’ll come out so we can calm down about it all and make up. I guess I’ve never been one for conflicts, I’m more for resolutions. The wood floor is terribly uncomfortable and I’m quite tired, but I’m not going to leave this spot until you open the door. I don’t hear anything from the bedroom and I wonder if you’re crying silently, asleep, or something else entirely. It’s slowly driving me mad. I find a receipt and a pen in my pocket and I draw you a picture of a boy telling a girl he is sorry, that he loves her, and that he doesn’t want to fight anymore. It’s not very good but you used to laugh at the drawings I drew on your birthday cards. I slide it under the door and the creaking of the floor tells me you’ve gone to look at it. I listen closely to figure out what you’ll respond with but the creaking of the floor tells me you’ve moved away from the door. The fight hadn’t been my fault alone but I still felt as though it was my duty to find something to make it up to you. What could I do? My mind was too tired to think of ideas; it was now four in the morning. I lay down on the hard floor and I felt the immense weight of my eyelids. I couldn’t allow myself to fall asleep and sitting here was definitely not helping. I left my post and cleaned up the plates shattered by fury and adrenaline. I cleaned until the sun started to rise from behind the dark trees then made some coffee to keep myself awake. The beeping of the coffee maker sounded loud in the early morning and I wondered what you were doing, what you were feeling, if you had any intention of making up with me, and millions of other questions. I drank the hot coffee at the table fighting exhaustion and put my heavy head on the cool wood.

I pulled my head off the table after what had only felt like a few minutes and checked the clock to discover it was now noon. I jumped out of my chair and ran over to bedroom. The door was open but you were gone. I cursed loudly and sat down on the bed, so angry with myself for falling asleep. If I had just stayed awake a few more hours I would have been able to talk to you and tell you that this whole thing was so stupid. I looked around the room and saw that your stuff was still here so you hadn’t left me completely. I sighed and went back into the kitchen to make more coffee. And there, next to my mug was a note from you. You said you went out for a walk but that you’d be back soon. Relief poured through me as I ran to put on some warmer clothes and my snow boots. I grabbed my keys and raced out the front door and down the steps into the thick snow. My breath made clouds around my head as I ran to the park. I slowed my pace as I saw you in your red wool coat sitting on the cement bench next to the frozen pond. Neither of us said anything or even looked at each other as I sat down next you. We sat there for a very still minute in silence. Then you scooted slightly towards me and I knew that was my cue. I put my arm around your shoulder, kissed the top of your head and said let’s never fight again. You nodded as you leaned up against me and the world sighed in relief.

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