Thereafter

|Thereafter| The Fight

The “Fight” itself was not a huge fight involving broken glass or torn pillows. People are always talking about this type of couples—they are impossible, they fight a lot, and everyone expects them to break up. After a long time, however, they are still together. Then, just as you think they will last forever, they actually break up.

The fight itself, was not a ruckus.

“I gave you your freedom,” he was saying, “I know you get a lot of stress out there, and I try not to become one of your problems.”

“I’m trying too,” she replied. “I’m always trying.”

“But can you take my feelings into consideration as well?” In the heat of the moment, Derik only recalled all the times her words had unintentionally wounded him. Maybe if he calmed and thought more, he wouldn’t have said this.

And it hit her. “What?” she protested. “When am I not taking your feelings into consideration? I’m always trying not to hurt you, trying to soothe you, love you the way you can feel it, I’m making time for you. And you say I’m not taking your feelings into consideration?”

“You hurt me sometimes, whether you mean it or not. I know you’re taking care, but at least, if your words are going to be said out of sheer emotion, don’t say them at all.”

Ekko’s mouth dropped open. “You’re telling me to shut up now? Okay then, I will.”

She did as she said she would. She closed her mouth, sat down, and said nothing.

As Derik continued, Ekko did not speak. “I know you love me, but sometimes you can almost murder me. Just, please, think first, before you say those things. I get anxiety from trying so hard to hold back. Is that too much to ask for?”

“……” She lowered her head, hiding her face with her knees.

“Sorry about snapping. It’s just that I lost patience because of you.”

“……”

“Fine, don’t answer.”

“……” she dropped a tear.

“There it is again, your coldness. It’s your self-defense, but it’s what hurts me most.”

She decided to speak. “You were the one who told me to keep quiet.”

“Well it doesn’t matter anymore. Say what you want.”

“Does you being hurt mean that I have to as well?”

“Practically, yes.”

She fell silent. He felt that she needed to be hurt. She couldn’t accept that thought.

“Thanks for making my day more miserable,” he added, not realizing the change that was slowly but surely taking place within her with the power of his last statement.

The look he gave her then was cold, so much colder than she’d ever been before. As he walked away and closed the bedroom door behind him, she lay curled up on the bed, weeping silently.

He did the same, in another room, but they should have wept together, and not in two spaces separated by a thick, brick wall.

← Aggression
Waking Up →
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