Scene from a Young Marriage

argumentShe stands in the doorway, arms folded and jaw set. He is in big trouble.

“What did I just say?” she demands.

Not taking his eyes off the computer, he says, “I dunno.”

“You weren’t listening to a word I said, were you?”

“How could I? You were across the house.”

“Alright smarty, how did you know I was across the house?”

“I heard you.”

“But you couldn’t hear what I said?”

“Not from across the house.”

“That is so not true.”

“It is true.”

“You didn’t hear me because you tune me out. You always do.”

“I just said I heard you.”

“You heard me but you didn’t hear what I said?”

“Exactly… what did you want?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Don’t change the subject.”

He beats his head against the keyboard.

She turns away but not for long. “What if I had fallen down basement stairs?”

“What?”

“I SAID what if I had fallen down the stairs. I’d be dying alone in a stinking basement and you would be up here pecking away at your computer. Is that how you want to end our life together?”

“No.”

“Then don’t tune me out.”

“I meant no, you wouldn’t die in the basement.”

“Yes, I would.”

“You could call me on your cell phone.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, who carries a cell phone around the house?”

“I do.”

“Why?”

“In case I fall down the stairs.”

She stomps back across the house.

He waits until she settles down then mutters, “Don’t fall down the stairs.”

“I HEARD THAT!” she yells.

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