- Bryce McEfee
“I’m sorry beautiful. I love you.”
Art by Paul Rios
It all started the other night…or so I think…I don’t know. The majority of the time who ever really knows when or why their significant other gets upset with them. Let’s face it, most the time it’s over nothing anyway. You did this in a way…you said that in a way…you did…blah blah blah. We all do it. We all get carried away and let our insecurities dictate our moods and actions at times.
I must have said or done something to upset the delicate balance that is my flower’s roots, because when I woke up…all I got was the fake sleeper. You know, the kind of fake sleep where your lovely knows you know they aren’t sleeping, but they go on ignoring you anyway as if they were asleep just to spite you. That’ll show me. It just means no morning hug and kiss for her. Who’s the one really losing out here? Certainly not me.
As I was driving to work I realized I forgot to grab breakfast during my hurried huff out of the house. My stomach cursed me as some tailgating jackass gave me a dirty look while he passed. Stupid jackass. I gave him a nice one fingered wave, then went back to my brooding. Needing to feel as though I could please someone, I decided to stop somewhere to please my belly. I figured it would be an easy victory. Before my idea could take fruition, an irritating double vibration buzzed my hip. I had just been the proud recipient of an email marked urgent. It simply read, “CALL ME ASAP.” Knowing the sender all too well, it was probably nothing, but I headed straight to work anyway so I could get it over with.
Arriving at my desk, I called my breakfast disrupter to see what the fuss was all about.
“Hello, it’s Bryce. What do we have going on?”
“We have a huge electrical issue on the 2nd floor, that’s what we have going on. There are no lights on over the East side of the building. Half my employees are out sick and the half that are here are in the dark. I don’t have time for this. My people can’t do work in the dark.”
“Did you try the light switch?” I said trying not to sound irritated. By the tone of her response, I didn’t succeed.
“Of course we did! I know how to turn on a light switch!”
“Ok no problem, we’ll get an electrician out right away to see what the problem is.” I said as politely as I could, as the voice in my head mumbled, “Screw you. We all have problems lady.”
Adding to my fun morning, about an hour later I got a call from the electrician with the diagnosis–The light switch wasn’t turned on. Apparently someone doesn’t know how to turn on a light switch after all. Stupid jackass.
Realizing I hadn’t heard from my sleeping beauty in a while, I decided to send a text to see how that was going.
“Hi babe. How are you?”
Some 20 minutes later, all I received was a simple, “Ok.”
She was still mad. But at what?! I think she said something about not feeling well the other night. Bit by a bug or something. I wasn’t paying attention, but that’s not it. That’s not the point here. The point is I’m getting treated like crap over something I didn’t even know I did. Hell I definitely didn’t mean to do whatever it is, so why not just come out and tell me what’s wrong! I can fix it, I just need to know what to fix!
Buried in my frustration, the rest of the workday flashed by. 4:59 PM…5:00 PM, I wasn’t staying a second past. As quitting time hit, I was out the door and in my car. It appeared others had the same idea. The parking lot was already empty. Whatever. Back to me. What did I do? I didn’t do anything. I had tried several other times throughout the day to reach out and make amends, but the answers continued to come back short and then they just stopped coming all together. The usual process for these occasions is as follows: 1) I do something wrong, but I don’t know what, 2) We go to bed, then wake up upset, 3) short texts in the morning, then they gradually grow to lukewarm later in the day, and finally 4) I get home and we make up. Bangarang. Stupid, but easy. Why not today?
I pulled into the driveway, got out, walked to the front door, fumbled for my key, shook my head then turned the doorknob. A freezing chill slapped me in the face as I entered. Definitely not my typical welcoming home. Someone had been running the freaking AC all day. Seeing nothing but a pile of blankets in the living room, I went into the bedroom to give the lady an earful about strangling our environment and also have her apologize to my wallet for making it cry due to the excessive cash that just walked out of it. Fortunate for her–or maybe it was fortunate for me–she wasn’t in the bedroom.
Confused and frustrated I walked into the kitchen to see if she was out in the laundry room. Nope. I looked out back. Still nothing. Her car was in the driveway. Where the hell could she be? I trudged back into the living room and plopped on the ground in front of the couch. What the HELL did I do? Trying to distract my rising blood pressure, I turned on the TV. Right about the same time the familiar theme song started to sing, “I’ll be there for you…” a groan came from the blankets on the couch behind me. I quickly jerked my head around and sure enough there was life shifting under there. I must of disturbed the princess’s slumber because that was not a happy sounding groan.
“Sorry love, Sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you. I’ll turn down the TV. How are you babe?”
I got nothing but another unhappy groan in response.
“Ok sorry.” I said aloud trying to calm the beast while, “Geez, nice to see you too,” was swept under my breath.
It wouldn’t kill her to be the least bit warm. I went back to sulking in front of the TV. After about an hour it was time for our favorite show to come on. This was my chance to hopefully turn the tides in my favor. How could one possibly stay mad during the most “legen…wait for it…dary” show ever? I slowly scooted closer to the couch, hoping to at least get to hold her hand. As I bumped into the couch a hand crept out from under the blankets, searched around for a second, then found and lightly gripped my shoulder. Her touch was cold, but her gesture sure was warm. Progress.
Time ticked away slowly, but with each minute things seemed to get better. Her hand massaged my shoulder, then her other hand came out and they moved their way toward my neck. She must of felt bad about today. I know I sure did, even though I still wasn’t quite sure what the cause was. My beautiful’s grip tightened and I could feel her pulling me closer. The touch of her breath on the back of my neck caused my guilt to skyrocket. How could I be so stupid? I love this girl. When will I understand that it’s not always about knowing the cause, it’s just about knowing that I hurt her and doing something about that. Stupid jackass.
I tried to turn around and give her a giant hug and kiss and to tell her I was sorry for being so stupid, but her grip constricted as I jerked to turn.
“Ok, ok love. I appreciate the hug, but you’re really starting to hurt me.”
Apparently she wasn’t in a talking mood, she wanted to mess with me. All I got in response was a groan. Her gripped tighten once again.
“Ok love, seriously…enough please.”
Her gripped tightened more as she groaned even louder this time. I couldn’t take it anymore. I ripped myself from her hands. She flailed and moaned as I turned to confront her.
“Seriously! What the hell has gotten into…”
Before I could finish my sentence my eyes met hers. These were not the eyes I knew. These were not my sweet baby blue/grey eyes I loved. Staring back at me, head tilted slightly to the left, with a crazed concentrated gaze were deep dark sunken blood red eyes…two beady lasers looking to hone in on their prey. If looks could kill…
In the background the TV emergency broadcast clicked on. I stared confused into these unknown eyes. Where did my beautiful go? I had to be dreaming. I had to be dreaming. I had to be dreaming. Lost in my thoughts, I caught little sound bites of what the news reporter was saying, “epidemic…reality…death.”
She came in for one last hug and kiss. I could feel her love sink deep into my skin, my guilt poured out onto the floor. I crumbled to my knees, lost for words or any sense of what I could do to return the gesture. I looked up into ravenous eyes and said the only thing that rushed to my mind. “I’m sorry beautiful. I love you.”