An Uneven Unity: Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart copyright 2016
‘Hun, why are you stomping?’
‘I’m not stomping. I’m trying to put things away.’ She said with a tone.
His wife generally stomped when she was busy. She also seemed upset and almost angry. Her eyes were tense and she gave one word answers. A few minutes earlier he had heard her car door close. He was excited she was home. He’d put his boots on and opened the door. She had an arm load of groceries. He smiled wide and asked how her day was. She pushed through the door and passed him. ‘Good.’ She had rushed into the kitchen and put the bags on the counter and immediately went into the bathroom. He thought about asking her if she was alright through the door, but knew it wouldn’t go well. Instead, he brought in the rest of the groceries.
Now, as he read at the table, he watched her stomp. ‘How was your day Hun?’
‘I told you. Good.’ And again she rushed passed him stomping as she went.
He felt the familiar twinge of disappointment spreading. ‘Well, did anything exciting happen?”
‘No. It was work. And why do you always start a conversation with me by saying something like I’m stomping. That puts me in a bad mood. You know it does. You’re like the men I work with. I’m sorry to tell you, but not all women walk lightly. That’s sexist. I walk how I walk and it’s not stomping. I’m busy and getting things done so I can relax like you.’
‘It wasn’t sexist. Calm down. From my point of view, it was a fact. You seem to be stomping. And you seem unhappy. I want you not to be unhappy and I want to help, but I don’t know how.’ Now his body was fully and completely disappointed. He’d gone too far and now it was his fault. He could have let her finish with her mood on her own, but instead he needled because he was not a sexist and he felt he needed to defend himself. But, to what end, he thought.
‘Don’t tell me to calm down!’ She snapped. ‘Now I am unhappy and it’s because of you.’ Her eyes were full of anger. She seemed to look at him as though she didn’t enjoy him and wished he were gone.
He tried to find his piece within his book. He knew to not reply. To leave her alone. He’d apologize later.
‘You know what?’ she said, ‘It would be nice if you’d have a conversation with me instead of reading all the time. I get home and your face is stuck in a book. You don’t talk to me. It’s as if you don’t even know me.’
The light was fading, the day was nearing to an end. Soon it would be dusk and then dark. Eventually he would walk upstairs to their bedroom. His wife would already be asleep. He’d slide his jeans off as quietly as he could and slowly get into bed. He’d think about putting his arm over his wife and pulling her close and whispering he loved her and kissing the back of her head. He wouldn’t do this for fear of waking her and becoming angry with him.