Although I was the first one awake again the following morning, I stayed in bed, not in the mood to make breakfast as I had the previous morning. As I lay there thinking about the hike and the evening at the cabin the anger I’d felt returned. All I had wanted from the trip was some time with people who mattered. My friends were practically forcing me to choose between them and Clay. And he hadn’t been much better.
I wished I’d never come.
When I noticed movement on the other side of the bed I snapped my eyes shut and pretended to be asleep. I wasn’t ready to face him, not prepared to rehash the argument from last night.
Why couldn’t they all get along, even if it were only for my sake? They didn’t have to move in with him, just accept that he was important to me even if they hadn’t been able to see all his wonderful qualities? No one was perfect all the time. And why couldn’t he treat them as kindly as he treated me? He seemed almost jealous but I couldn’t figure out why.
When he scooted against my back I remained rigid, refusing to relax as I normally did. I knew in time I would get over this feeling, but in that moment I allowed myself to just be irritated with all of them, fully believing it was justified.
Perhaps sensing something was wrong, he whispered, “Are you awake?”
When I didn’t respond he lifted himself on one elbow to peer at me over my shoulder. My eyes remained squeezed tightly closed, but I suppose it was obvious I wasn’t sleeping. He pressed down on my left shoulder, rolling me onto my back. I angled my head to the right, keeping my face turned away from him.
“Look at me,” he commanded. Reluctantly I did as he instructed, unsure what compelled me to always do as he wanted.
“I’m sorry I upset you. When we get back home I’ll make it up to you.” His attempt to placate me fell short. I wasn’t ready to forgive him right then. I wasn’t willing to let my friends off the hook either.
“It’s fine,” I replied in a tone that indicated things were anything but fine. I didn’t want to give him the opportunity to apologize again. His weak attempt just fueled my hostility. Even though I had no interest in eating I suggested we get up to have breakfast. I pushed back the covers and stood. He reached for my hand but I turned just before he could grab it, pretending I didn’t see his effort to keep me in bed.
After I got dressed, I stormed down the stairs. Then, making a last minute decision I headed out the front door, letting it slam behind me.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Placate and is part of something longer I am working on.
This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after I Was As Angry As the Bubbles in the Hot Tub.