It was the first civilized conversation they’d had in years. The last few attempts had been disastrous, with her fingers screaming with rage at his every word. This time, she felt nothing. “How are you?” He replied with another “How are you?” She laughed out loud and typed another formal sentence or two, enquiring about his health. The chat lasted 20 minutes. It ended with a toneless goodbye. For old time’s sake, or out of habit, she let out a “sweet dreams”. She felt quite grown-up.
She felt the pen cutting into her fingers. It had been 45 minutes. No, maybe an hour. The page was an ugly shade of white. There was dull blue ink on her finger tip, but not a speck of it on the paper. The annoying clock made a noise to signal the new hour, as if it didn’t care about her. Just as she thought a spurt of creativity had come, the phone rang. She didn’t bother to answer it. Her page finally had one word on it – hello.
Her hazel eyes looked black with darkness. The raindrops falling loudly onto her windows were nothing compared to the tears. Every stroke of lightning made the earth tremble, but she was already shaking. The thunder was no match for the silent sobbing that rocked her heart. Only her fingers could find no energy. She tried to tear the picture into pieces – not willing to believe that it was all she had left of her. A gust of wind entered the room, carrying her loving smile away, straight through the balcony, and into the monsoon water outside.
Every note stung. Each gesture resembled a sharp slap. His eyes pierced into hers with venom. The paper in his hand could have been a murderous weapon, instead of a mere legal conclusion. She sat like a wall of armor, only moving to blink. As their dining table shared the brunt of his anger, she wondered only one thing: how could his voice have sounded so beautiful just last week?
Maybe they could share some sandwiches in the cafe. Perhaps they could eat spoonfuls of cheesecake without worrying about what the other thought. Either way, they had the luxury of time and a sunny afternoon. Maybe they would talk about the years gone. Or they would avoid that topic completely. Everything would be alright if the aroma of coffee was pleasing enough.
They screamed. They shouted at each other. Their fingers and arms moved all over the place. Irritation turned into red rage. Accusations flew across the room. Somebody threw a phone onto the tiles.The puffed up, ugly faces became slightly normal when the child leaped up and held their arms with his paws. His beautiful eyes begged them to stop. Pats on the head and happy tail wagging followed. They found peace.