‘Fucks sakes rose, I told you to do this one goddamn thing for me, and you couldn’t even do that!’
When he gets like this there’s not really much you can do. Also My name is Rosie not Rose, not that he has ever asked or cared which I prefer.
‘I’m sorry, I just forgot.’
I was genuinely sorry, and I had forgotten, But I was also starting to get angry. Yes he’s my boyfriend and yes I mucked up but I have been trying so hard to keep everything together as best as I can and I really don’t have the energy to fight with him right now and he knows this perfectly well. If I’m honest I’m not surprised I forgot about the stupid bin, I can’t seem to remember much lately at all.
‘Yeah well, wouldn’t be the first time you’ve forgotten something now would it?’
That one stung.
I don’t know how or why, but something in the way he said that almost made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I’d forgotten to take out the bins before he got back from work yet the venom in his voice would suggest I’d purposely gone out of way to hurt him, as though my not taking out the bins was an intentional and personal attack, almost as if I’d run over his cat or something. He hadn’t even actually asked me to empty the bins either, I try my best to work out what I’m going to need to do after my classes are finished to keep the apartment clean and to keep him in a good mood, but I’m no mind reader and I always seem to end up missing something or other. I’ll admit, I keep the apartment clean partly because I like it that way and partly because I just don’t have the energy for an argument by the time I get home and it’s simply easier to make sure everything is the way it should be.
It was the other week when I forgot to change the bedsheets that he really exploded, It was stupid really, but he got so angry. He mentioned it to me as I was leaving, I was in a rush as the bus times to campus had changed. Even so I tried to hold on to the thought that I must make sure to change the bedding when I got back, but between classes, an assessment that day and getting a birthday present for my Mum the thought just completely slipped my mind. Like flour through a sieve.
I’ve often been told I have the memory of a sive now that I think of it.
Anyway, the day I forgot to change the bedsheets he got in, kissed me on the cheek, said he’d had a good day when I asked and then went upstairs. Next thing I knew he was screaming and shouting at me, asking why the hell I hadn’t changed the bedsheets and why did I always have to always make everything so difficult and that I can’t do anything right and… you get the picture. This is the reason why I tried as hard as I could to not let him boil over when he found out I didn’t empty the bins. I just don't have the energy left to have another argument over something so trivial.
‘You have been seriously slipping lately, y'know that right?’
His voice caught me off guard, snapping me out of my train of thought.
Have I been slipping lately? To be completely honest I’m really not sure. Maybe I have been; I seem to be constantly exhausted at the moment but surely it can’t be all that bad? And more to the point how the hell am I meant to respond to that? I can’t not reply or he really will get annoyed, I can’t argue that I don’t think I’m slipping as I’m hardly an impartial party and he may well be right and I can’t say that I think I have been slipping because then I know he’ll get angry because if I know I’ve been slipping then why haven’t I fixed it. Luckily however he solves the problem of figuring out what to say for me, just as I open my mouth to say something he cuts in.
‘Are you even listening to me right now?’
I am, but I seriously wish I wasn’t.
‘Yes, of course, I’m sorry.’
‘No rose, you’re not.’ He paused to take a long pained breath before he continued, I didn’t dare interrupt him.
‘Look I know you’re having a bad time with your emotions lately or whatever but have you ever once thought about the way this could affect me? For god’s sakes Rose surely you realise how ridiculous you're being lately? You know this is all just in your head so why the hell are you being so difficult. And what makes it such a shame is that I know behind all of this you’re actually really smart’
I must’ve looked as confused and frustrated about this as I felt because suddenly he was leaving to go have a pint down at the pub as he “can’t be near me when I’m like this”. And for just a moment. I honestly consider leaving and never coming back.
I stayed where I was, in the kitchen by the bin, staring at the magnets on the fridge for a very long time. I know the way he talks to me isn’t right but I also know there’s not much I can do. My eyes focus on a magnet I brought when we spent a weekend at the beach, it’s a really corny one of some golden sand and bright blue waves, and I like it a lot. It was actually that magnet that caused our first fight..
We arrived by the beach quite late on a Friday night, we both lived in a city, although we lived in separate houses at that point in our relationship. He had lived in the city all his life however I grew up in a seaside town. I absolutely hate being away from the sea and I wanted to spend as much time down at the beach as possible, whereas I think he was just glad to be away from work. On Saturday morning I woke up early and decided to stretch my legs and get a souvenir as a surprise for when he woke up. I found a small boutique right on the promenade selling magnets and postcards, and the bright colours made me decide to buy what would become our magnet instead of one with a picture of the beach and the name of the town we were staying in written on the lower third of the image.
When I left the shop I was hit with that indescribable smell you get along the shore, that mixture of salt and seaweed, and before I could properly stop to think about the time or what I was doing I found myself racing down the damp stone stairs that lead to the beach, going as quickly as was safe in flip-flops. To put it simply being back by the sea made me feel at home. The warmth of the sun made me almost giddy with excitement, especially compared to the bitter cold that seemed to permanently encase the city, I took of my shoes and found that the sand under my toes was just warm and inviting as I remember it being (Although I was prescient of the fact that I’d regret getting my feet sandy on the walk back) and the ocean seemed to almost dare me to swim in it, as it sparkled and shimmered in the early morning light, effortlessly putting sapphires to shame. All of it came together to bring back hundreds of memories I wasn’t even aware I had. Eventually though time got away from me, and my phone started to buzz, He had woken up without me in the room and was absolutely furious. I tried my best to explain but he seemed even angrier once he realised I’d gone to the beach without him and even if I could explain why I left he wouldn’t have wanted to hear it. He left that day; packed up all of his things and drove home, leaving me to pay the hotel bill and the ticket for the train ride back.
Looking back on it now maybe I should’ve broken up with him then and there. Said screw you and spent the weekend enjoying the sand like I planned, but honestly once he left there was no point. He’d be on my mind the entire time and I’d just be filled with guilt. Either way I am very glad I didn’t choose the magnet with the picture, he would’ve recognised the name and asked about it which would likely had lead to an argument when we moved in together, this way I get the colourful magnet, and he doesn’t have to know it’s the magnet from our weekend away.