I wrote this last week on the way back to my office from a trying meeting which was part of a trying day. How trying was it? By the time I was within sight of my office, I was all but chanting the end-scene to myself. Hope you enjoy.
“Are you saying that I have to walk on eggshells until you feel better?”
“No, of course not. You shouldn’t have to figure wonder at every word you say, whether or not they’ll piss me off or…” She stopped and, looking at herself in the bathroom mirror, first shook her head then nodded. “Yes, that is what I’m saying,” she told her reflection.
“What? That isn’t fair.”
“You said that already. And why isn’t it fair? You hurt me. You offended me. I’m the injured party, and you’re the injurer. It’s not the other way around,” she said, still talking through the mirror. “I think I’m being more than fair by telling you that I need a few days to get over this, instead of snapping at you for no apparent reason, or tucking this down somewhere in my back pocket to pull out the next time we have an argument and I want to get back at you. Leave me alone or be real careful for the next couple of days…I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” she said, nodding to herself. “I’ll get over this, put it behind me and it’ll be over. I’ll never bring it up again,” she added with a shrug, self-aware enough to know that she was being truthful.
“I can’t believe you’re being like this. I apologized--”
“--and you refuse to accept it.”
“That’s not what I’m saying at all. Not that you’ve ever appeared to be really apologetic, laughing and joking about something that obviously upset me, but I accepted your apology when you made it. Doesn’t mean I’m not still hurt. And accepting your apology doesn’t mean I have to be your new best friend.”
“…I still say that’s not fair.”
She shrugged. “Say what you want. Just thought you deserved fair warning so you didn’t try to blame my ‘attitude’ on grumpiness or some other…excuse. It’s you.”
“What, so I should go hide?”
Turning around, she said, “If you want. Hide. Take shelter. Send up an alarm. Yes, do. Because I am the storm on the ocean, and I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to gather my strength to break on your shores or dissipate over the water.” She strode out of the bathroom, stride long and tightly controlled, without another word.