Friday, April 6, 2012

Marriage: A Sharp and Intimate Fragment

Just as I was drifting to sleep I heard the sharp bark of my dog and a soft knocking at our front door.

I laid there for a moment, annoyance rising in my chest. 

My husband was working late this week and must have forgotten his house key.

I trudged sleepily and grumpily down the stairs.  Riley was now whimpering, her whole body one entire vibration at her excitement to see John.

I unlocked the door and opened it to see my husband standing there looking sheepish.  The outside light shone on his face.  He looked very handsome when he left that morning in his tan checked sports jacket and lavender shirt.  He still looked good.

He also looked tired.

I was tired too after a long day of tending to feverish, sick kids.

I opened the door wider.

“How could you forget the house keys?” I snapped.

He whispered unperturbed by my tone, “I’m sorry.  In my rush this morning I forgot to grab them.  Sorry babe.”

“Well, I can’t exactly leave the door unlocked when I’m going to bed.”  Unnecessarily stating the obvious, I turned and stomped back up the stairs, into our bedroom and flung myself back into bed.

I willed myself to fall back asleep.  I tossed this way.  And that way.  My legs seeking out cooler spots beneath the blankets and settling there until they became restless again.

I waited.  Wondering what he was doing down there.  Irritated. Why wasn’t he coming to bed? 

My conscious kept whispering at me…"What if those were your last words…"

I became annoyed with myself.  Why couldn't I just turn off?  Go to sleep?

Go to sleep!  Sleeeeep!

You are so sleeeeepy...

"What if...what if..."

Funny thing about a conscious. You can’t get away from it.

I threw the comforter back from my body and dragged myself out of bed once again.

As I descended the stairs, halfway down I peered over the banister I saw him by the light of the stove checking emails, messages…or maybe just facebook by way of his phone.

I came to the landing, noticed his jacket that he’d hung on the banister.

Once again, not in the closet.

I stifled a frustrated sigh, pushed down my rising annoyance and put my mind to the reason I’d come down.

He heard my footsteps and came around the corner towards me.

I put my arms around his waist and his went around my back.  My head rested on his chest and my face turned to the side, I said the words that I all too often find difficult to say, “I’m sorry for getting mad.”

He hugged me close and responded, “That’s okay honey.  I'm sorry I woke you up.”

We stood like that for another moment and then our arms fell away.

I ascended the stairs once more and crawled back into bed.

I could hear him in the kitchen getting the coffee ready for the morning and then he too came to bed.

After a kiss good night we went to the far sides of our large king sized bed.

And then our feet found each other beneath the sheets as they often do before sleep eventually made its welcomed introduction.


Robin noteverstill said...

Oh, I know this feeling. My husband is the person I feel most free to snap at, and also the single person in the whole world for whom I feel most badly about snapping. Glad you got some peaceful sleep.

Kristin said...

such a great post january. thank you for sharing this is your great writing style. i was drawn into your story that i can relate to as well.