Fitz returning home very late at night was becoming the new order of the day. I only got to see him when I’ve woken up in the morning to get ready for school. And the nights when I generously decided to wait up for him, he showed up and simply told me to go ahead and sleep because he had a few work things to do before he came to bed.
At first, I didn’t mind since his attitude guaranteed me virtually limitless freedom to do whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted with whoever I wanted. But getting to snuggle against a warm body especially on awfully cold nights was one of the side benefits of getting hitched or did the telenovelas lie about that part? What then was the point of committing to someone at such an early age?
As I lay shivering on the huge bed almost swallowed up by the soft pillows, I fumed myself to sleep. I woke up the next morning to hear the sound of deep breaths near me. I turned and immediately, I felt irritation building up in my chest. I got up and entered the bathroom, making sure to slam the door just because…well, I felt like it.
By the time I was done dressing up, I had succeeded in waking Mr. Workaholic up. When I noisily shut the drawer close, he spoke up.
“Could you be a little noiseless with whatever you’re doing? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to catch some sleep here.” I smiled triumphantly at his irritated tone. I turned to face him.
“Oh I’m sorry for disturbing your little beauty sleep, mister.”
“I might be sleepy but I can still detect sarcasm when I hear it,” Fitz said.
“Good; then I guess you’re alert enough to have this conversation.”
“Now? Can’t it wait?”
“Wait, till when? Tonight? No, wait; you’ll show up almost at dawn and the only words you’ll throw at me will be “Sorry to keep you waiting honey; you go to bed without me. I’ll catch up soon.” Fitz made a face which annoyingly spelt “And your point is?”
“Seriously, Fitz? I know you to be a smart person, please tell me you know what I’m driving at.” I sighed irritably.
“We’ve hardly spent like two hours together ever since we returned from our honeymoon and it doesn’t bother you?”
“I’m sorry about that honey; my work has been pretty crazy lately and besides, I thought you’d enjoy the freedom to still enjoy your youthful days.”
“Oh that is so generous of you; I appreciate that but at least, let me feel like I’m your wife even if it’s only during weekends. Is that too hard to ask for?”
“It is not but you do realize that I’m working hard for you, right?”
“For me? How’s that?”
“All that expenses you have been accumulating, how do you figure they get settled? Definitely, they don’t go away with the waving of a magic wand, do they?”
“Are you saying I’m wasteful with your money? I stand to be corrected but you said I could get for myself anything…”
“Yes I said that but you should keep in mind that in order for you to continue living like that, someone who in this case is me obviously, should keep working hard so we don’t find ourselves bankrupt in the next eighteen months.” I gasped. I wanted to say something but I couldn’t find the words. I picked up my bag and walked out and slammed the door so loud I felt myself flinch.
“Don’t worry; if you break it down, I’ll get it fixed,” I heard him shout from inside. I could feel my ears heating up. I now understand how the cartoon figure Tom felt whenever it was angry with the witty Jerry. We just had our first marital fight and it ended with me leaving the scene like the silly immature person that I was and he taking it cool as if it was an amusing play rehearsal.
Karen hit the pause button on her laptop with the tap of her finger when the credits began to roll.
“Interesting movie,” she commented as she stretched her arms over her head.
“Get ready and I’ll escort you outside.” I looked at her quizzically.
“It’s time for you to go home, right?”
“Where home is?”
“What do you mean? Did you have a fight with your husband? Oh gosh, Emily has had her first marital fight! Tell me, how did it go? Did you throw tantrums or plates at him? You’ve always exhibited such tendencies, Em.”
I rolled my eyes at her, shaking my head. I turned my attention to my phone. She snatched it away.
“Tell me what happened.”
“I confronted him about playing hide-and-seek with me; you know he coming home when I’m asleep and me leaving the house with him still in bed.”
“And what did he say?”
“That considering my accumulating expenses, he has to keep working that way so we don’t go bankrupt.”
“Ouch. He actually said that?”
“Actually, this is the nicer version.”
“Whoa…so it means he doesn’t like the way you’re spending his money?”
“Not exactly; his point is if I wish to continue living the life, then I must understand he has to work for it.”
“Which clearly makes sense so what is your problem exactly?”
“I don’t feel like a wife, Karen. I lay in that huge bed alone and you know how mean the cold nights have been lately.”
“Um…not really….my boo has been keeping me warm lately,” Karen said with a tight smile.
“You see? How could you be enjoying the benefits that I’m entitled to having as a wife? He’s pushing me and I don’t like it.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“Enjoy the freedom he has granted me.”
“To do what?”
“Anything which includes me crashing here tonight.”
“What? No, that is out of the question,” Karen said sharply.
“Why is that? Technically, this is my room too so I have every right to stay the night if I so please.”
There was a knock on the door and Karen got up to open it.
“And what are you doing here?” Karen snapped.
“Who’s it?” I asked her. The door pushed open and there stood Tony.
“Oh you’re still here. Aren’t you supposed to be at your husband’s house preparing him dinner or something?” He said, clearly intoxicated.
“Are you drunk?” I spat out in disgust. He laughed out a little too loudly.
“Are you regretting it already? Isn’t he man enough for you?”
I got up, ready to displace my pent up emotions on him but Karen deprived me of that chance when she slammed the door shut.
“Nope; you’re not going to engage in a back-and-forth nonsense with a drunken ex. Trust me. Have a seat. I’ll get you something to eat.”
I plopped myself back on the bed, feeling even more frustrated about the missed opportunity to lash out at him but it was clearly for the best.