She sat down on the piano bench, back straight and rigid. The heat in her face was increasing rapidly. She was torn between the need to scream her frustration and the usual drill – staying silent to keep the peace.
This all could’ve been avoided if he would stop playing so roughly with her. She looked at the broken sandal in her hand. They had been her favorite pair. She got up abruptly and walked into the kitchen. After taking one last look at the sandals she dropped them into the trashcan. Blinking back tears she returned to her seat at the piano. Leaning her back against it she stared out the window breathing deeply. She just need to calm down. She just need a moment.
He appeared in front of her, his face tense.
“I guess you’re mad I broke your sandal.” He asked, his tone accusatory.
She blinked for a second and then stared at him in disbelief. Was he serious? Was he actually confronting her as though she had offended him? Didn’t he have some nerve?
“What did you expect?” She snapped, “You broke my sandal. Am I allowed to be angry?”
“Yeah, you can be angry. I just won’t play with you anymore.”
She rolled her eyes. He noticed.
“What? I won’t.”
“That’s not the point. You broke my sandal and your mad at me because I’m upset. Like I’m the one in the wrong.”
“I’m not mad. I just said I’m not going to play with you anymore. So, you don’t have to worry about being upset.”
She wanted to smack him. Hard. She wanted to scream. She felt trapped. It was beginning to consume her. When would she be allowed to be angry without feeling guilty? When would he stop invalidating her right to express displeasure in him?
” Ok, if I broke something of yours because I wasn’t being careful, you would be mad too. And you’d make sure to make me feel just how angry you were. And I’d have to take it.”
“It’s whatever. I won’t say anything. I’ll get you another pair.” His face was tense as he turned and left the room. He sat down in the living room and turned on the TV. She watched him in the reflection of the entertainment center glass. There was an angry scowl on his face. She watched as it slowly faded into an expression of sadness then back to angry.
She began to feel the familiar guilt begin to settle over her like a blanket. She should just let it go. He was after all only playing. A part of her was still angry and she was tired of always giving in to make him feel better.
She sighed. They had barely seen each other all week due to conflicting schedules. There was no point in wasting the little bit of time they had left together. Frustrating as it was she would reach out to make peace. She moved into the living room and sat as close as possible to him. When he didn’t respond she wiggled even closer until she was practically underneath him. He turned to her with a smile playing on his lips.
“Hey, Babes.” She whispered hopefully. “I’m sorry I stressed you. I just really liked them. I’ll get another pair.”
“I’m sorry I broke them.” He put his arm around her. “It was an accident.”
“I know, its ok.” She laid her head on his shoulder. Just like that the blanket of guilt was removed. Only to be replaced by a blanket of uneasiness. Once again she had come to him and apologized first even though she hadn’t done anything wrong. Had she not he would have been distant or ignored her all day. Sometimes she wondered if he did it on purpose.
At least for now they were at peace and she had learned to leave well enough alone. Besides, relationships were all about compromise and sacrifice…right?