Smack

October 27, 2010
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Smack, smack, smack. The sound reverberated from the walls of the room as he hammered and I stood there watching from the doorway. Smack! A pause, a glare, at me. Or maybe I imagined it.
“I, uh, made some dinner. If you’re, you know, hungry or anything.” God, I hate the time after a fight, it’s always so tense and I never know if he’s still mad or not. Those shouting words are still ringing in my brain, knocking around in the confines of my skull, screaming to get out.
Smack, smack, smack.
I wince as each stroke of the hammer hits the nail on the wall. He’s not paying attention. Or maybe he put his ear-buds in. I don’t know. I kind of feel bad for the nails we hammer in the wall. I’ve never been hit, and he’s never hit me, but the force of which he does it… it just seems painful and all. I pull my sweat shirt lower, so it’s covering my hips and the tops half of my jeans covered thighs now. The sleeves are pulled down over my fingers. I know it’s his sweatshirt and I know he knows and it makes me feel almost like a kid again. Oh, he’s looking now, eyes dragging over my body. I don’t even know why we were yelling. I know he’s been stressed and me too. School and work are just chipping away at our nerves. We need a vacation.
“I, uh, well, um…” This is so frustrating. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what we were fighting about, but it must have been bad if he’s doing chores to avoid it.
He drops the hammer into the box, but doesn’t close it, indicating he’ll be back. Back to work. Like always. Working on our life.
He sighs and massages the gap between his eyebrows that connects to his nose. It’s a wonder it’s not red or flaking from how much he does that. I tilt my head slightly; I wonder how many times that it was my fault he did that. Oh, look, he’s put his hands on his hips now. I bite my lip. We lock eyes.
Silence.
My brow creases and I worry my lip between my teeth. He says it’s bad for me. I can get sick, or I’ll probably rip my lip off. But then he smiled and looked off.
He’s still not smiling now. But his jaw doesn’t look so hard anymore. Like he’s relaxed. His eyes do too. He’s running a hand through his hair. It’s so black. I asked if he dyed it once, he laughed and said no. More looking, more breathing, more silence. Neither of us moves and I’ve found something considerably interesting in the shag carpeting beneath my socks.
“It’s okay.”
My head snaps up as the barrier of silence shatters, my eyes wide as dinner plates. He senses my fright, shaking his head lightly, giving a very small smile, tired, yet amused.
“I… I’m sor-” I began, but he raises his hand, stopping me. “I know,” he replies. “Me too.” His raised hand extends, palm upwards. Beckoning. I’ve seen that pose before but I’m not sure where. I reach out too, and our fingers grip. All of a sudden, I’m in his arms and I’m free, lose, somewhere else but with him nonetheless.
“Let’s go somewhere, like, go on a vacation,” he whispers. I nod but say nothing, because in my head, I’m already there.





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