We had a fight.
A fight that started as nothing, but ended as something. She called me an asshole. I slipped up and called her a bitch. We said so much; too much. Over the top exaggerations just to prove our invalid points.
I was so pissed off I was blind. I was focused on myself, and nothing else. I mean how hard was it to just say sorry? Two words. “I’m sorry,” two words and then poof forgiven, forgotten, and moved on from. But rather than swallowing our pride we just continued on, clawing our way through, as we bit our tongues and held it in. My anger forced me to leave. Hoping on my bike, and riding off, out into complete darkness.
The moment I came home and walked back into the house, her wall was there to greet me. She wasn’t speaking to me, and I sure as hell wasn’t speaking to her. Walking around in a haze, not paying any mind to me. Madison ignored my words like they were just soft murmurs of air passing through her ears. She was really good at giving the cold shoulder, years of living with a deadbeat mother and an alcoholic father taught her that.
The worst part of it all was she didn’t even try to hide that fact that she was upset. She didn’t care whether or not I saw her hunched over the sink, clutching the counter for support. She didn’t care that I heard her crying into her pillow, her back turned away from me. It was the worst fight of our relationship and I had no words to say. I had absolutely nothing to give or do to pull her back to me. Yes my impromptu leaving may have been dramatic, and a little over the top, but that’s just what I did. I was a guy, and that’s how I handled it.
I knew we were too far gone the moment I walked up behind her, whispered her name, “Madison,” followed by an “I love you.” She would either twitch left or flinch down, sometimes even a giggle would escape her throat. It was her weakness, it’s what made her turn around and fall into my arms. But this time it was different. Rather than fall lax, she stayed still, the stiffness wrapping around her and preventing her from moving a single muscle. It was then I realized she had finally rejected me. This ‘weak in the knees’ gesture no longer mattered, and worse, I no longer mattered.
I used to hold Madison fondly in my heart; now it seemed that she no longer had the desire to be there. It broke me to know we had turned into this. This statistic. An ugly truth of two people slowly drifting apart. I’m sad because I miss her. I miss the person not many knew. Worst of all I was fearful; Fearful of what we would become without each other, without the love and support we used to so willingly give one another.
By the third day of silence I was fed up. How could she just walk around, live in this house with me and not say anything? Desperate for a word, a touch, a look, I stormed into the bedroom, stumbling in on the sight of her dressing in that black skirt. The skirt I hated because it made every guy ogle over her ass but yet loved so much because it made me ogle over her ass.
I opened my mouth to say her name but she cut me off. It was as if she was reading my mind, and she was tired of the silence.
“I don’t know what to do anymore.” She mumbled to herself. I froze instantly as the sound of her voice filled my ears. After going so long without hearing it, I was soothed instantly. That soft, defeated whisper of a tone, one I was certainly responsible for.
“Madison you don’t-“
“It just wasn’t fair!” she yelled suddenly, her legs begin to pace. “You don’t understand how much I rely on your word or how much trust I put into you!” She jerks her fingers up through her hair and holds it taught, the last ounce of patience vanishing. “You are the only person in my life who makes me believe in myself. Makes me want to be better, and do better. But when you say those things, it cut me so deep, and I second guess all of it. Every single word you’ve ever said, I feel like it’s all a lie.”
My throat dries; all the words I wanted to say fall away from me. The pain of knowing I hurt her to the point where she doesn’t even believe a single word I have ever said hurts worse than a gunshot to the heart. I want to reply, but I lack the courage to do so.
Walking to her closet, she snatches a blouse off the hanger and fumbles with the buttons on her black blouse. A knock on the door silences her mumbled curses and with frantic hands she wipes the tears off of her cheeks.
“Hello?” Craig, Madison’s overzealous friend from college questions, his head peering around the door.
What the fuck is he doing here?
I look over to ask, but she’s once again beating me to it. “Hi. Uh, you’re early. I was just finishing up. Give me another minute okay?”
“Madison why is Chris here?”
Chris fumbles with his tie, “Everything going alright in here? You holding up okay? It’s a little after five, we should really get-”
“Chris!” Madison shouts, cutting him off; her tone obvious that she doesn’t want to hear another word fall out of his mouth. “I’m fine. I just need to grab my shoes okay?”
Chris eyes her wearily. “I’m sorry. I know this is really hard for you, I’m just trying to be helpful.” Rather than respond Madison waves him off and with a curt nod he backs away and closes the door.
“Why is Chris here?” I ask again, the frustration boiling up inside me. Is she leaving me? Her bags aren’t packed, but she’s dressed up. With a sigh Madison picks her heels off the floor. The very ones I always demand she keeps on after we come home.
Once she finds her footing she runs a hand down over her face, rubbing her bloodshot eyes. “I don’t know what to do anymore,” she finally whispers, picking at the polish coating her nails.
“Do what? For Christ’s sakes Madison, do what?”
“I don’t know why this is happening,” she adds, her shoulders begin to shake, as she attempts to keep her sniffles from turning into a full on sob. “I’m sorry for everything I said. You don’t know how much I regret it. I didn’t mean any of it. I just wanted you to walk away. I just hope you understand that I never wanted it to come to this.”
Of course I understood that. Why wouldn’t I? I had acted the same if not worse. Our desperate moment pulled out desperate words. Words we didn’t mean nor process all the way through. It was just one quick punch after another. Now we were here in our bedroom, a place once our sanction now a personal hell.
The pain of not being able to comfort her radiates through my body strikes and I hold out my arms for her. Hoping the feeling of her in my arms will help ease it, if only for a little while. Madison holds her head down as she walks forward. But rather than walk up and nestle into my chest, she just walks.
Walks right through me.