Bomb Disposal

I couldn’t remember when we’d stopped shutting the door to the toilet in the mornings. 

A trickle of apologies carry into the bedroom, but they’re nonsense because my head’s stuck in the sheets. A defensive “You know how I get!” is all that cuts through.

“Yeah, and how you are,” my tone steady, the volume low.

“Huh?”

“Can you close the door!?”

“Oops! Sorry!”

Click.

I hear the flush, then more running water.

“Come on babe, don’t be mad,” she stands sheepishly at the room’s threshold, picking at the lint on her top and rubbing it absently into a ball between her fingers.

Her legs are bare, with just a hint of stubble. Her knees knocking.

The cute card.

“Well, say something.”

“OK. You’re impossible.”

“You could try harder,” lifting her head. The proud Taurus seeing how standing her ground would fly.

“What,” my blood fizzing, “so it’s MY fault?”

The room’s pretty stuffy already, and all my sighing’s not helping.

“Well, you know, if there’s a fire… you don’t throw petrol on it,” comes the sensible yet insensible reply.

I look hard at the ceiling.

“I can hardly smother it can I…

Man, this always happens. How come I’m responsible for how you act? How come I get to be the bad-guy?”

I’m pissed, but still I feel petty, like maybe I’m forcing myself to keep angry on principal. Or habit. I don’t want to lecture her, I’m not her dad.

This isn’t romantic.

A soft “I know,” comes with that hopeful, searching look that maybe the cut’s not that deep. That the water’s passing under the bridge.

She studies her toes.

Gah! She’s so disarming, like a bomb disposal expert. Makes sense, seeing as though she’s built so many.

I tighten my lips to suppress the smile that’s coming, despite myself – ignoring the fact that these scars are definitely adding up.

“You’re crazy.”

She jumps on me in a heartbeat, sprawled on the bed and buoyant.

“But you love me,” giggling like a brook, her hands crawling up the duvet and tickling my chest underneath.

It was something I couldn’t have admitted to ten minutes ago, but “yeah, I guess I do” is the reply.

For that, I get a kiss on the forehead, right between my eyebrows.

Throwing back the blankets I stand and open the window to let some fresh air in.

Mostly won-over, part of me still wants to ask why the sweetness always follows the sour but it doesn’t seem fair anymore, and kind of pointless.

Maybe I’ll ask her next time.

 

 

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