Drama Speculative Romance

I’m late. I throw my tattered coat over the banister and walk into the dining room. I sit down and pick up my fork to dig into my dinner. I stop with my fork half-way to my mouth as I glance across the table. She holds her forehead in her hand, her eyes stare wide and angry at the full plate of untouched food.  

“What. Happened.” 

I huff a sigh. “It’s not what you’re thinking. It isn’t like that.” 

“What am I thinking? You came back like this, how could it be anything else?” 

“You’re being unfair.” 

She shifts in her chair and straightens her back, her look defiant, ready for the long fight ahead. 

“This is ridiculous,” I mumble.

“The only thing ridiculous about this is your boss calling me to ask where you were. Now everyone knows. You don’t know what you’ve done,” she snaps. 

“They had no right to call you. They had no reason. I was there within a few hours.” 

“Don’t I have a right?” Her eyes catch mine. Her anger hidden behind hurt, betrayal. 

“Don’t you understand? It has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with them!” 

She bites her lip. “You and I have an understanding. You promised me that if anything came up, you would tell me and would include me.” 

“It wasn’t like that. This was different.” 

“Don’t shake your head at me. Spill. NOW.” 

“Okay. Okay.” I stand and walk around the table to sit at an empty seat at her side. She ignores me, but doesn’t flinch or move away as I lean in. I don’t dare touch her or try to get her to look at me. Her anger radiates off her body like heat off an oven. If I’m not careful she will burn me. 

“It’s a new lead. A gig. They’re open minded. I have a fair chance this time to make things work.” 

She tilts her head, her eyes glare at her plate.“New gig? A job.” 

“Sort of. It’s going to take a lot of my time at first, but it will be good to follow through. The money is good when I get past the lower ranks. I can make my own schedule. We can start what we always talked about when I can prioritize.” 

“Your boss thinks you still work for them.” 

“I do, but I don’t … It’s a side-gig.” 

“Side-gig,” the words slip off her tongue like an oath, “what have you done?” 

“It’s good. I told you.” I sit back and press my lips together. 

“You have responsibilities. This is an awful time to do this! You need to tell them no, you won’t do it.You have work to do here.” She taps the table with her index finger with force enough to feel vibration through the table. I swallow back all the things I want to say. She goes on, a snap to her words. “Your contract is with me.

“Why are you so controlling?” I can’t hide my anger anymore. 

“Controlling?” Her eyes snap to mine with a glare of a thousand suns. She wants to burn me. 

“You won’t let me make decisions, you won’t trust the decisions I make, you won’t let me have a say.” 

“Your decisions cost us everything!” 

“Leaving one job for another is not losing everything. It’s moving up. It’s making space for time.” 

“Not now. Not after our promise. Your priorities are misaligned!”

“Our promise did not include me never making a decision for myself that I see fit.” I stand up, done with this. She doesn’t even care if It will work out, she just wants the white picket fence and the car and the dog. A normal human life. A suburban queendom of her own. She crossed her world to have a life here and expects me to snap my fingers to make it happen. That’s not how it works here. 

“You are so selfish!” She stands in challenge, her hands on the table as she leans forward. Her voice lowers a register. “After all I did for you. All I sacrificed? You want to tell me that you are the one controlled? That you are the one that can’t make decisions? I am trapped here.” 

“Don’t be so dramatic,” I regret my words as soon as they're out of my mouth. They won’t even find ashes tomorrow. 

“You want me to play housewife. You want me to cook for you and clean for you and be your servant,” she spits. 

“I have never asked those things of you. We had conversations about life and family…” my stomach drops. Did she never want this?

“The promise wasn’t a family. The promise wasn’t a wife.” 

“No. But I thought that was where we were headed. Naturally.” I rake a hand through my hair. I’m so stupid. I wanted the family. Perhaps a strange one, but one all the same. 

Her eyes well up; tears of pure light. I can feel the heat in the room rise and I start to sweat. I need to calm her down, but whatever I say is useless if I don’t say the right thing. I don’t want to send her back. I don’t want to confine her. I want her to be here, willing and wanting. 

I want us to be together.

“Listen, I’m sorry. It’s not easy for people like us to live in this world. It’s not easy to find the right place or have the right goals that work the way we want. But I want to be with you, if you’ll let me.” I look at her. Nothing feels clear between us now. 

“Then why do you keep making it more difficult? You don’t trust me to do more than I am already. Because I never leave the house, our neighbors think you’re a chauvinist with a hostage kink.”

I rub a hand over my face. How did we get here? 

“No, I don’t trust you.” I say flatly. Honesty winning out against my best interest. 

“Why not!”

“Because you will literally blow up the minute something happens!” 

“What the hell does that mean?!” 

I gape at her. Her eyes glow amber and hot. I’ve messed up. There’s not much time.

“What if I helped you choose something you can do? Then will you let me make decisions about our financial future?” 

“Not. Good. Enough.” 

Shit. I lick my lips and back away slowly. Her skin glows. 

“Wait, wait, please!” I hear my weak voice. I’m part ashamed, part hopeful it works. 


“Tell me what you want? Beyond the contract we made, what do you really want?” I hold out my hand as I offer this chance. This chance for her to not blow up the whole neighborhood. 

“You’re asking me now?” she raises a skeptical eyebrow, her eyes so bright I wince. 

“Yes. I want to know.” 

“You never seemed to care before.” 

“Because I think we’ve been unclear of what we wanted from the promise. From our contract. From everything.” I resist putting hands up to shield my face. She hates it when I do that. It makes her feel like a monster. 

To my great relief, the light fades. The room cools. I see the after image of objects and I try to focus on her face and find it difficult. She looks inquisitive and waits for me to focus on what I need to say. 

“The contract. It was always meant to be a mutual exchange. But it seems we both want more out of it.” 

“Not very mutual when one feels trapped.” she mutters. 

I take in a breath to prevent myself from quipping back. 

“Let’s sit down again. Let’s figure this out.”

Even after the months we’ve lived together, we never really understood each other. We sit. We listen and we talk. 

January 11, 2021 03:22

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Brooke Hazelip
11:30 Jan 17, 2021

I really enjoyed this one!! I like the supernatural turn it took, and the way you described the light coming from her and the way it affected his own vision was really good. Really nice!!


Gwyn Everett
21:17 Jan 17, 2021

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it :)


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