I sat quietly in the living room, on the floor, listening to the walls sway in our strangled apartment complex. I looked at the clock near the couch. Almost four. I should finish dinner. I stood up, and headed toward the kitchen, catching a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a photograph hanging on the wall. I stopped and stared for a moment, putting my finger to my lip. My eyes swelled, but I made the tears retreat back to their hiding places. There was no room for them here. I went into the kitchen and discovered another leak beneath the sink. I scurried to find another empty pot to catch the water. I’d tell him. But I couldn’t. He’d blame it on me. I closed the cabinet and went into the refrigerator, retrieving the steaks I’d let marinate throughout the day, while I cleaned the apartment ruthlessly. Not a speck on the carpet. I moved quickly, placing the steaks in to broil and heating up the mashed potatoes. I went to the table and put our plates down. I shined the forks and knives with my t-shirt and placed them parallel to the plates. I looked at the clock. 4:24. My heartbeat quickened. I took another look at the living room before I scurried down the hall to the bedroom to make sure that everything was in its place.
I went back into the living room, just as I heard the door click and saw the knob turn. He entered the house and his eyes fell upon mine. My breath scurried away and I smiled a little, hoping he was in a good mood. He shut the door behind him, ignoring me, and began to take off his shoes. I should say something. Ask him how his day is. Do it!
“H-how was your day, babe?” I asked.
“Dinner ready?” He responded, loosening his tie.
“The steaks are in the oven right now. Mashed potatoes and broccoli is done.” I said quickly.
He stared at me for a moment before he walked past me. I exhaled and stood there, before I felt a blow to my lower back. I fell to my knees – asking God, “Why?” the entire way down.