Sitting at the dining table, with a glass full of orange juice in one hand, he spoke,
“I will get late today.”
In the kitchen not too far from the table, she was preparing breakfast for herself. There was a time when she cooked for him as well.
“The launch of our project has been preponed to the 28th of this month. The workload has doubled. I might have to work on weekends as well. There is so much to do!” He continued.
She did not respond.
It was 9 AM. Both of them were ready to leave for their respective workplaces. He was a software engineer and she was a senior graphic designer in an advertising firm. Both of them earned well. Even after spending on bills, daily needs and other expenses; they saved substantially. However, it wasn’t something to write home about. Living in a metropolitan city comes with its own distinct demands and sacrifices. His daily commute to the office took him more than an hour from his house. Hers was just a twenty-five-minute walk. He obviously always left before her. Both of them generally reached at 10 AM. He was going to get late today.
“Ahem!” he tried to catch her attention.
She was oblivious. Her mind was somewhere else today. Her mind was somewhere else every day. There were far too many countless tidbits to ponder upon, thoughts to think, stuff to take care of in her brain. She had a faint idea that he was speaking to her, but she deliberately chose to ignore him; lost in the labyrinthine mazes of her own self. As soon as her ‘uttappam’ was done, she served it in a dish and sat in front of him. She had just put the first bite in her mouth when he spoke again.
“Please pay the electricity bill today.”
“What? Why? You had to pay that na!” she replied.
“But I just told you why I cannot! I just gave you the reason!”
“See for yourself now. You never listen to what I am saying. This gets irritating. Alright, I will tell you again. Open your ears properly this time! I am going to work a lot more this week. I will not be coming home at my usual timing. I will also work on the weekend. So you have to pay the bill. Do you get it, you stupid woman? Okay, even better. Let me speak slowly so that even someone like you can understand: This. Week. Is. Going. To. Be. Hectic!” he seemed agitated.
“I think I forgot to turn the stove off!” she exclaimed and got up to check, ignoring him yet again. She checked and it turned out that she was right. Gas was leaking because she didn’t turn the knob. She turned it off and got back to the table.
“You were saying?” she asked in a casual tone.
He was losing his temper and when that happened, his voice got louder by the second.
“What is this yar! I am sitting right in front of you, talking to you about something important and you don’t even have the slightest courtesy and decency to pay attention! What the fuck kind of behavior is this?”
“Oho! I am listening now. You can speak again. Speaking is tax-free in Delhi.” She laughed.
He wasn’t in the mood for jokes. He said nothing, got up, and went to the kitchen sink to wash his hands. He did this deliberately. This was something she despised from the bottom of her heart. She hated that despite having a separate wash basin, he washed his hands in the kitchen sink.
“No yar Pranjal! Why the hell would you wash your hands there when you know I do not like it?” she shouted.
He smiled and said nothing.
She lifted up the glass, which still had some juice left and kept looking at him. She then loosened her grip on the glass. It fell down and broke. The tiled floor was now dirty; strewn with glass shards and sticky orange liquid.
“Clean it up now.” She said and his temper went through the roof.
“You dumb bitch!” He shouted loudly, terrifying her. His eyes were burning with rage. It was an overreaction of the worst kind. She felt as if he would hit her and froze in her place. He, however, calmed himself quickly. Something must’ve crossed his mind in that instant. He turned toward the main gate and was ready to leave. Glancing one last look at her terrified face, he picked up his bag and got out of the house.
She sat there still for a few minutes more before calming herself.
As he drove his car out of the basement parking, nobody noticed his bruised, bleeding fists. A few hours later, someone would find slight blood stains on a random wall.