We don't fight as often as we did in the new blush of love, when we thought we knew each other, but didn't really. Or even in the middle of our lives together, when we were burdened with children, debt, and stress. But occasionally still they come.
Normally I am the sulky and petulant one, the one that holds onto grudges. I am loathe to let go of the hate and anger, clinging on to every last shred of it, eagerly trading my dignity and compassion for self-righteousness and indignation. Clenching it in my fist until the ache of it spreads through my entire body.
It's me that storms off in the car leaving a blackness of mood, squealing tyres and the acrid smell of burnt rubber assailing the air.
Tonight he was me.
I want to scream and shout and rant, to kick walls until the pressure is released from my brain. I want to hurt and gouge and rally at the unfairness of it all. I want to feel my fingers push into flesh and squeeze with all my might, my arms straining, my teeth clenching until I hurt him back. My eyes feel like they will burst from my head, my neck will soon snap with the pressure, my tendons are strained, I am sweating and overheated, too angry to breathe I am breathless... LISTEN TO ME. JUST. LISTEN.
But he's gone.
He'll come back. He'll skulk into the bedroom hoping I am asleep. I will try to ignore his presence, the sound of his breathing will hang in the bed beside me, both tense and unsleeping. Eventually the sweat will cool, my eyes will droop, the anger will be replaced with guilt while I fight my way into an exhausted sleep. I'll hang on to one last thread of anger, vowing not to touch him all night even with the most miniscule piece of skin, every nerve in my body knowing just where he will be found.
Tomorrow everything will be soothed over. I will be him. The peacemaker. Sorry that I yelled. I was attacking the black dog, not you. Sorry that I didn't have the patience to stop and understand why you didn't understand ... why you acted that way. I didn't think before I reacted. It's not you, it's the dog, it's the nervousness about things new. I will be patient and compassionate. It will be okay. It will pass. And I'm sorry.
I will make it right. Tomorrow.