There wasn’t much to say, he thought. The day had been long and exhausting, to the point that he felt the tendrils of fatigue creeping into his mind. When he opened the door she was waiting for him.
“Hi honey,” she began softly. “How was your day?” Her tone indicated this was a stock question with no implication of interest.
“Tiring.” He said flatly, yet with honesty. His eyes moved up and down her body. She held herself taught like a nylon rope and had her hands folded across her chest. He turned his back to her and saw the sink full of unwashed dishes. There were papers and things strewn about the countertops. He sighed. She had been in the house all day, and things still looked disheveled.
“Why didn’t the dishes get done?” He wished then that he could pull the words right back out of the air and erase them from existence.
“I will do them.” She said, returning to her distractions. They were two people shouting at each other from distant islands. He rolled up his sleeves and started cleaning. She stopped.
“I said, I would do them.”
“When?” He said tersely.
She scoffed. The tension in the air was thickening.
“You know it really bothers me to leave dishes in the sink all day. I just wanted to come home and not have there be more work to do.” He said between scrubs.
“Well I’m sorry.” She said, resuming her activity. She hadn’t bothered to look up. He felt his heart sinking, as he contemplated the very low amount of respect she had for him. His desires were no secret, yet they were utterly ignored. He hadn’t put an anvil on the floor and asked her to move it. He just wanted a clean house.
“You know,” she began with a new excitement in her voice. “I’m going out tomorrow night. We are going to go have a few drinks and dance at the club.” An activity that she knew he would want no part of. Nor had he been invited to.
“We don’t really have the money to be spending it on alcohol.” He said coldly. Now he was being preposterous. They had enough money for a night out. It was the idea he hated, and he let that poison his words into nonsense.
“Maybe you don’t,” she sneered. “But I do.” Now the line between them was brought into focus. They had entirely opposite priorities.
“Who’s going with you?” As though he really wanted to know.
“Some friends from work.” She kept their names out of her mouth. It was better that he didn’t know that one of them was the guy she had become infatuated with.
Once the dishes were done, he got out of his work clothes and got into his jammies. He came back into the living room where she was still absorbed in distractions. “I’m going to bed.” He said. It had been ages since they had gone to bed at the same time.
“Ok goodnight.” She said not bothering to look at him. There would be no bonding over a shared bedtime. No reassuring noises made from a sleepy woman. No gentile touch to guide his mind into slumber. She could care less what he did, or when he went to bed. She had already moved on. In her heart, the fire of their love was nearly out. She had no desire to sleep with him, because she wasn’t interested in him anymore. Something new had come along and his guilty sighs over having to do the dishes were silently infuriating her. He always had to have it his way. He was just so pig headed. She couldn’t wait to go get drunk with her friends and forget all about how much she resented him.
“Goodnight.” He said. After a brutal day, he found no solace in his home. The place was devoid of closeness. He had, tucked somewhere in his subconscious, the fear that she was through with him. Maybe he just wasn’t willing to admit it yet. Either way, he went to bed quietly, and alone.