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Fights This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Sometimes they fight. Blaring, roaring, angry, terrible fights. They say that they hate one another.
“I never want to see you again!” She screams.
And then he leaves, because he believes her, and because a part of him feels the same way. He goes out to his favorite bar, the one he always goes to after they fight.
“A beer.” He says to the pretty bartender who takes his order. “Sure thing,” she answers and slides over an uncapped John Adams. She knows his poison.
He drinks.

She cries. She’s surrounded by the mess they made, the fight they had. Shattered glass and water litter the slippery, tiled floor. She doesn’t care. She never really cares. Her butter pecan ice cream and CSI: NY are keeping her sane. But the tears keep coming, liquidating the creamy frozen dairy treat with salty droplets.

The bartender asks for his keys, he gives them up willingly.
“Can I call you a cab?”
He says yes, because he longs to leave the gloom he has created while sitting at the end of the bar.

She sobs. She sweeps. She mops. Amy Winehouse’s Valerie is being asked to “come on home”. The trash goes out, the bathtub swallows her up. The bubbles wrap around her body like a soft, inviting blanket. The lavender bath salts soothe her, they ease her pain.

He pays the cab driver and walks up his driveway, taking note of the newest trash bag sitting beside the lop-sided aluminum garbage can. She had cleaned up which means she’s not angry anymore. He knows that. He knows these things. They’ve fought enough for him to know the cues, which means that now, she’s just sad. After locking the door behind him he runs the kitchen tap until the water is icy and then fills a glass and drinks, throwing back a couple of aspirin while he’s at it.

She hears the door open and she knows he’s home. He’s calm now, he always calms down after a fight once he’s had a few drinks. But he doesn’t do it often any more, because their fights are few and far between these days. Besides, he knows how much she hates his drinking, which could easily propel them into another fight.

He sees the empty ice cream tub as he sets down his water glass. He knows she’s in the bathtub now. She’s probably soaking in those lavender scented bath salts he got her for their anniversary. He knows how much she loves that scent. He sneaks upstairs and into the guest room and softly shuts the door.

She hears footsteps on the stairs and gets out of the bath. Her anger washes down the drain with the lukewarm lavender-scented water. She slips into her confortable sweats and ratty t-shirt and climbs under the soft flannel, sunflower covered sheets.

He sees a clean t-shirt and neatly folded pajama pants resting on the chair in the corner of the room. He slips and slides them onto his smooth, chiseled body. He thanks her with his crooked grin, for knowing that he hates going to sleep smelling like the bar.

She doesn’t sleep. She never sleeps after nights like this. She doesn’t have his warm body to snuggle up to, his comforting smell to envelop her, or his slow, steady breathing as her white noise.

He falls asleep right away, the alcohol doing its job. He finds it better to forget, which is the reason for his visit to the bar and why he wants to sleep.

She pads down the hall and cracks open the door. She hears a quick little snore. The bed creaks as she climbs in beside him. He groans and reaches over to take her in his arms. She moves toward his touch as he kisses her forehead. She smiles into his chest. He grins into her hair. They drift off to sleep, they events of that night drift further away with each easy exhaling of their synchronized breathing.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

thatbloggingDirectionergirl said...
Mar. 14 at 12:14 pm:
wow, this is great. I have a similar story with a guy drinking to run away from his problems. Would you mind reading it? It's called "Decoy".
 
BeeFish This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 16 at 4:51 pm :
Thanks very much! And I did read your story, it's very good! Love your writing style. :)
 
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