Contemporary Drama Fiction

When we got home, the first thing he did was slam the door. Although the sound jarred my nerves, I had to appear unfazed. After all, I wasn't at fault here.

"You should be thankful I'm educated, Daniel."

He crossed the living room, ducking into the kitchen. If my husband thought he could ignore me and the events of tonight, he had another thing coming.

"You just can't say 'no', can you?" I asked after following him.

He opened the refrigerator with unnecessary force and peered into it. I was getting to him. Good.

"Jennifer didn't do anything wrong, Cindy." Somehow, Daniel managed to keep a light tone. Like he was speaking to a child throwing a tantrum. Too bad I'm his wife! And I'm not throwing a tantrum!

I laughed. "Oh really, Daniel. Apparently, running her hands all over you is nothing wrong."

When Daniel held out a jug of water, I knew he wasn't looking for anything in the first place. But I let him drink. Besides, he needed the water for his vocal cords; they were sure to crack after "talks" like this. They always did.

"She was drunk," he said. Still in a low tone. That would change soon.

"And that's the excuse this time! What was it the last time she threw herself on you?" I pretended to think. "What? A spider was crawling on your suit?"

He slammed the fridge. "What's up with you?! Before our marriage, Jennifer wasn't a problem! You used to be classy around her—"

"Excuse me, but that's the point! We are married now, don't you get it? How can you expect me to be 'classy' while you're getting body rubs from your ex?!"

He gulped the remaining water. Eyebrows raised, I waited for his response.

However, my husband moved towards the sink, on an unnecessary quest to refill his jug. When he turned on the tap, I turned it off.

Daniel sighed. "What exactly did you expect me to do?!"

I yelled back, though only a few inches stood between us. "Be a freaking man! You can't even look me in the face now 'cause you know I'm right! I can't be defending you from the viper every single time. You're not a baby!"

He faced me. "Exactly! I'm not a baby, and Jennifer is not a viper! She was drunk, I was handling the situation, then you pounced on her and blew things out of proportion, Cindy!"

I scoffed. "Now he's defending his ex."

"I'm no—" Daniel placed the jug on the counter and reached for my hands. I pulled away. He's not getting off easy. "I'm only trying to understand why you lost your cool like that. It was embarrassing, Cindy."

"I embarrassed you? What did I do to embarrass you, my love?"

Daniel shoved the jug under the tap before switching it on. "Jesus Christ," he whispered.

"No, tell me. In clear words. 'Cause I don't understand why we're not on the same page. Did you like her touching you?"

He grit his teeth. The jug was half full.

"Oh, so you did! No wonder—"

"I was handling everything. You saw me hold her hands away from me." The jug was full; he shut the tap. "Yet you found it necessary to insult her in front of everyone at her own party!"

"I didn't insult her, okay? Simply stated a fact. Is that what embarrassed you?! No one heard, I wasn't even loud!" But I definitely was now.

Daniel matched my volume. "That's not the point! The point is we've been married for five years, and you're still insecure about an ex."

"I'm not insecure, Daniel! Else, there wouldn't have been a marriage to begin with. What I'm angry about is why you haven't turned her away after all these years?"

He banged the jug on the counter. "Cindy, we broke up. Years ago. What more 'turning away' do you want?"

"You call accepting every party invitation of hers turning away? You call letting her run her hands all over you turning away?"

Daniel threw up his hands. "Cindy!" He would need more water soon. "I told you! I didn't let her!"

"So I'm blind." I folded my arms.

"I—" He groaned. Then sighed. "We keep going round in circles."

"Do we?"

Daniel walked out of the kitchen, me at his heels. When he returned to the living room, he said, "Yes."

"Well fine! This is the issue: You can't say 'no'. Loud and clear. Why?"

"Because I already have. We broke up, right? That's the loudest and clearest 'no', no matter what you say. I don't control Jennifer's actions, so you can't blame me—"

"I had to push you to break up with her! You were cowardly then, and you're cowardly now, Daniel!"

His brows furrowed. "Cindy—"

"Back then, it was cute, you know? Standing up for you against the viper. That was what I did. Every time!" I laughed, bitterness in my voice. "I regret it. Because of me, you remain that baby. Waiting for me to defend you—"

"Cindy, stop."

"—and when I do, you scold me."

"Cindy!" His fist flew out, stopping mere inches from my face.

I didn't flinch; it wasn't the first time he'd threatened to hit me. In the end, though, my husband never did. Not that it made any difference. "Of course. The only person you'd raise your voice and fists to is your wife. When there's a real need for that, you hide away. Play Mr Nice Guy." I dropped on a sofa. "Look where that's got us."

For a while, no one spoke. I hung my head, suddenly exhausted. My throat ached and itched; all I wanted was to fall asleep.

When I rose to go to bed, Daniel said, "You saw everything I did. Everything that happened. Yet, you choose to misunderstand me.

"If that's how you want to play it, there's nothing I can do anymore."

I crossed him and reached the door. Without looking back, I said, "You held Jennifer's hand, a big smile on your face. I told her she can try, but I'll never let her wreck our home. And all of a sudden, I become a bad person. My own husband, who should be defending me—better yet, himself—yells at me for insulting his ex. And this isn't even happening for the first time. If I say don't go to Jennifer's parties, I'm a possessive and insecure wife. No matter what I do, as far as it concerns Jennifer, I'm wrong." I crossed the threshold. "That's all I need to understand."

I heard him sigh. "We can't do this anymore then." Like mine, Daniel's voice had cracked.

"I have no idea."

Quietly, I closed the door.

January 12, 2021 20:23

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Frances Reine
17:13 Jan 22, 2021

THIS is drama. I don't have any words. Please keep writing and let me know when you post something new--I can't wait.


21:22 Jan 22, 2021

Thank you so much! It IS a bucket load of drama. I will let you know when I do post anything new.


Frances Reine
22:47 Jan 22, 2021

Thank you, sounds great.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Darvico Ulmeli
09:51 May 10, 2024

People get married without knowing why or what they want from each other. Then, after some time, their differences rise. If only people could talk before making rushed decisions.


Show 0 replies
Susan Williams
20:21 Nov 30, 2022

So relatable and well written. I can feel both of them trying to restrain their anger. The other woman, grrr; always great material for writing though!


Show 0 replies
Akshara P
12:44 Nov 25, 2021

Neither of them willing to understand each other's viewpoint when they've been married for 5 years is sad but true, its the reality for most of our relationships. Good read, keep writing. Do you think you can give my story a read? Thanks!


22:15 Nov 28, 2021

Thank you so much! I can't say I've experienced this exact kind of relationship, but my writing about it is definitely—tragically—inspired by reality. Either way, I'm glad (should I be though?) you could relate with that. And I'll definitely give your story a read in due time! You're welcome. Keep writing as well.


Akshara P
07:25 Nov 29, 2021

hmm. You should be 'glad' that your story is relatable to others out there. :) Well, i guess you're lucky that you have been in multiple?-good relationships.


02:57 Dec 01, 2021

Yeah, I've had good and bad ones. Just not in the context of marriage lol. Thank you so much once again.


Akshara P
04:17 Dec 01, 2021

Oh haha! I was talking about relationships too, I'm not married...


21:07 Dec 01, 2021

Oh haha!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
16:50 Apr 16, 2021

I like this! Nicely written. Neither of them is willing to understand the other person's viewpoint and they've been married for 5 years!


03:43 May 08, 2021

It's sad, but that's the reality for most human relationships. We are never willing to listen and understand sometimes. Thanks a lot for your feedback.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.