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Pen Your Pride

Alex Present Day

“Just so we’re clear, I want you to know I was over Josh.  If I had wanted after my engagement ended with Raj I could have found him and gotten back together with him.  But, that’s not what I wanted, so I didn’t pursue him.”

“So this entire year you’ve been working late and avoiding me has nothing to do with work does it? It has to do with what you read in Josh’s book?”

“Mostly.  I didn’t know what to do.  I was hoping you would bring it up.  Maybe that you were mad that he wrote about you.”

“So once again, you just walked away and buried yourself into your work.  You could have asked me about the book.  But, instead you kept quiet for the past year and just avoided me.  Just like you always do.  You always seem to forget that there are two sides to a story.  Fifteen years of marriage and seventeen years of being together and nothing has changed! Old habits do die hard!” Anjali gushed out in a loud voice.

“You’re right old habits do die hard, yours included! For once, I’d like to know you care enough about me to fight for me.  You could have gotten mad about the long hours, about me never being home.  You could have shown some emotion instead of your constant indifference.  Sometimes, I would like for you to put aside your attitude of whatever is meant to be will happen.  You can make the first move too! Why did you let me get away with behaving so badly and not say anything? And for the record, I did not walk away from you.  Walking away would mean leaving the marriage.  But, I’m here hoping you want to fight for us.  From the very first time we got together you’ve been the one to walk away and I’m always the one who has to make the first move to patch things up!” I defended.

“So you think I’m still the same person that snuck out of your bed so many years ago? You don’t think I’ve changed at all in our marriage?”

“Have you changed? You always run away and you never make the first move!”

“What do you want me to do? Throw a tantrum? Should I scream and throw things across the room? Should I scream and shout every time you come home late? Because I can do that! I can throw tantrums, yell and fight with you! I can act like a child if that will make you happy.” She spat out.  No she yelled out.

I looked at her and I was happy that for once she was yelling. 

“You’re happy I’m acting like a spoiled child.  Wow.  You know for the record Alex, I don’t run away.  I walk away so that I won’t yell.  I walk away so I can calm down and really see if it’s something screaming about.  Most times it’s not worth it.”

“You don’t get it do you.  I don’t want you to walk away.  I don’t want, what did you call it, to be the Good Wife.  I don’t want the perfect wife.  I want all of you Anjali.  I want you when you’re vulnerable, when you’re mad.  I want to be the person you go to when you want to share something good or bad.  We’ve been together so long but you don’t trust me enough to be there for you.  I don’t need the show.  I want to be the person you come to when you’re hurting.  I need that Anjali so I know I can come to you when I’m hurting.  I am not the perfect husband, and I don’t want to be the perfect husband.”

I ran my hands through my hair in frustration.  “I need a place I don’t have to be perfect and I’m not on show.  I need that place to be with you.  But, you make me feel like I need to be this perfect husband the one who has it together all of the time.  I’m mad that not once did you ever bring up Josh’ book.  I knew you’d seen it.  It was in very bookstore I walked by.  Hell, it even came up in my recommendations in Amazon.  Imagine that even Amazon thought I’d be interested in the book, but you never said a word! Your silence made me feel like an ass for even thinking about the book.  I know he broke your heart and yet you didn’t say a word.  Not even in passing.  Your silence made me more curious.  If you had just brought it up I never would have bought the book.  But, maybe you were playing the perfect wife.  Curiosity got the better of me and I bought the book.  Imagine how I felt when I read that he came back for you.  You never in all of our time shared that with me.”

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