Budding author Raheema Sayyid-Andrews looks in on a chilly night in lover’s lane:
She stares at the wall.
It was not in appreciation of the creamy peach paint or the painting that graced it, although she had recently heard that the artist was raking in some serious dough now. She would be happy for him some other time.
She was not looking for the cobwebs which usually let her know it was time for another cleaning.
No, she kept her eyes on the wall because he was behind her and she was in no mood tonight.
She felt the heat coming off the wall of his back as they lay on the bed and that pissed her off even more.
How dare he turn his back!
The silent treatment and the cold shoulder were a woman’s prerogative, everyone knows that. She was the one who was angry, she was the wronged one despite his claims to the contrary. She was well within her rights to turn her back on him but how dare he do it to her?
The nerve! The audacity! The unmitigated gall!
It wasn’t often she could properly use all three exclamations but she would savour that later too. Right now she wanted to keep herself mad.
If she were standing, she would be stamping her feet but she was not letting him drive her from her bed.
So she continued to glare at the wall.
She thought of those superhero characters who had lasers beams blasting from their eyes. If she were Cyclops—one of the X-men—she would show him. She almost smiled at the image as she felt sorry for the poor, innocent wall which would have borne the brunt of her fury. But he chose that moment to move and reminded her that she was angry.
No smiling, no matter how sexy she would look in her leather costume and her mask.
Yeah, he’d ruined that for her too!
He kept fidgeting, jostling her and making the bed squeak. She wanted to turn to glare at him but then he would see her watching him and she was not giving him that satisfaction.
He was hogging the covers too. Fine, he could have it all; her anger would keep her warm.
He shuffled around some more. He’d better not be thinking about what she thinks he’s thinking about. Making up may very well be the best part but they had not got there yet. There was a process, a formula if you will.
But now she was thinking about Einstein and that crazy hair. She snickered.
“No laughing,” she reminded herself, “you’re angry!”
Her head was now filled with paintings and superpowers, sexy leather and crazy hair and she felt the anger slipping away.
Maybe—big maybe—she had overreacted. She could sort of see his point.
She knew he had not meant to be malicious and insensitive; he was just a guy after all and subject to the limitations of his sex, so she really could not hold it against him.
And it had been kind of funny in a ‘knock-knock joke’ kind of way. She could see that now. His sense of humour was one of the first things she had fallen for anyway, so she really couldn’t hang him for that.
Alright, she would forgive him.
Besides holding this position was really uncomfortable; she was starting to get kinks. And she was starting to feel cold. It would be really difficult to go to sleep without his arms around her, her head on his shoulder and her left leg over his hip.
So the big question was how to get back into her spot without losing face.
Now, it wasn’t just a pride thing. She was a representative of all women everywhere and she couldn’t set such a bad precedent.
She started biting her nails. What to do? What to do?
He turned and she tensed.
Could he tell that she was on the verge of surrender? Had she failed all of womankind? Did this mean she had to give up her little black dress?
His hand landed on her shoulder and her heart stalled for a millisecond before the pounding started.
“Babe,” he breathed in her ear.
She convinced herself that the shiver that ran down her spine was because of the cold, night air. She glanced over her shoulder and tried to perfect the princess-to-peasant stare, the one that says:‘You are lucky I deign to spare you a second of my valuable time.’
“I’m sorry, babe,” he said, in his smooth, smoky voice. “You know I did not mean to hurt your feelings.”
He rolled her over toward his chest and drew her into her spot. She released her breath in a huff, indescribably relieved to be where she belonged.
She hoped he considered it a sigh of resignation and a signal of her forgiveness.
“I know,” she said into his chest.
She inhaled his essence; the scent of home.
“I love you,” he whispered into her hair.
“I love you too,” she said.
As they embraced, she stared at the other wall. That one held framed photographs from their wedding day.
She hugged him closer.