She ticked the last box off her to-do list in her thick black journal. She had saved months for this, it was a reward somewhat for her; for the effort,the hardwork.It was worth it,she concluded.
She felt his hands caress her back and sighing underneath her breath, she let out a small smile, tucked her journal into her handbag and clutched it close to her before heading towards the kitchen.
She stirred her coffee slowly as she heard footsteps behind her. She tightened her grip on the silverware and fumbled with the hem of her top as he placed his palm on her hand.
“Do you find me repulsive?”
Her eyebrows creased as she turned to him. Her throat felt parched as his stare on her intensified; not wavering a bit.
“No, I don’t.”
“Then what is wrong? You never look at me anymore.”
It was barely a year since they got married and here they were, in a quagmire she had predicted. Getting bored of her marriage. Unmet expectations. Or was it falling out of love? She was uncertain but she knew the ship had hit rock bottom. How could the latter be the case as they had courted for three years?
“Leo, I just need some space. Ok?”
His face went bland, lacking any expression whatsoever as his gaze drifted from her momentarily to the floor. He exhaled sharply and sat on the kitchen stool beside the table.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
She coughed as she refrained from sipping her coffee. “Do what exactly?”
This. I want a divorce, Beauty.”
She dropped the tea cup on the saucer loudly as tears slowly welled up in her eyes. She gently dabbed at her eyes with a face cloth and felt her head throb slightly. She quickly took out a small mirror from her handbag and saw the mascara that had smeared across her face.
“Can we talk about this when I come back from work? I’m running late.”
He shook his head vehemently. “No! No, Beauty. We will talk about this now. All you’re thinking about right now is work, really?”
She walked past him to the parlour and her eyes wandered frantically to every corner of the room. She hurriedly lifted the sofa pillows one after the other, looked underneath the cushions, rummaged through the drawers and placed her hands on her thin waist
“Where is it? Where are my keys?” she stretched out her right hand towards him.
“We’re having this discussion right now, Beauty”
She looked at him with blood-shot eyes and crossed her arms. “Really? Fine, let’s do just that. What is the problem, Leo? Why do you want a divorce?”
“Because of you, Beauty! I barely recognise you. All you care about is work, work and work some more. It’s like I don’t even exist anymore” he ranted.
She pointed at him “You’re complaining about me working? Do you know how hard it is for one to keep two jobs right now? I’m working for our future and this is the thanks I get?”
He scoffed. “Oh please spare me that nonsense. You work two jobs because you’ve got this grand plan ahead of you being part of the elite in the society and stuff. And need I remind you, I have a job as well. You’re too rigid, Beauty.”
“So planning is a bad thing now,huh?”
He gestured with his hands, “My God, you plan a lot, Beauty. That’s why you carry that journal of yours everywhere. Everything has to be proper in your world. So many do’s and don’ts. The same menu every week, the same cologne, definite colour of underwear lined out for the week…”
She interjected, “What are you? A pervert now?”
“Your husband. I know you. I’m not finished. Need I remind you that you were on contraceptives and did not bother to tell me.”
She sighed, “Again with that? Can’t you just let it go? Besides, I told you afterwards.”
“Yeah, you did. Like three months after that. I can’t even touch you more than twice in a month. And this condescending attitude of yours is starting to pose as a problem.”
She replied with her chin jutting forward, “You want to go there, Leo? Well, let’s talk about your lifestyle. You are so careless with literally everything. Production in your company has reduced so drastically and you don’t even know ‘cos you’re so nonchalant. You literally reek of alcohol everyday you come back home from work. You are beyond irritating but you don’t see me making such a fuss about it…”
“Excuse me?” he raised a brow.
“Irritating. You heard me right…”
They barked incessantly at each other till Leo snapped to her utmost surprise. He raised his hand to strike her and stopped midway to her face. Her mouth gaped in awe as she felt her heart sink to her stomach and a tear ran down her flushed cheek. Leo bit on his lower lip, as he grimaced at the thought of Beauty hating him ,the look in her eyes had said it all; fear, disappointment, scorn. He hugged her tightly and ran his hand down her thick, brown hair and felt his shirt dampen a bit.
“I’m sorry. I did not mean to. I just need this to work and not only for me but for us.”
She sniffed “We can’t do this alone, babe. We need help. Counseling, Leo.”
He grinned and said “At least, we finally agree on something.”
She looked up to his face and her lips slowly curved into a smile, wide and unfeigned and replied “I guess we do.”