The couple stood side by side at the kitchen sink. Conor began to fill the basin with lukewarm water and flicked on the kettle to boil. Emily was always using all the hot water for the kids’ baths, he thought. Surely at the age of 3 his youngest could learn to love a quick shower? Much more economical.
Meanwhile, Emily loaded what she could clumsily into the dishwasher. The less he has to wash and moan about the better, she thought. I can’t be bothered with the silent treatment and rumbling resentment tonight.
“It’s unlike anything I ever imagined”, Conor mused as he stared out of the window.
Here we go again, Emily thought. Please don’t start on about how we should all be following the fucking paleo diet. It’s hard enough getting the kids to eat anything other than fish fingers every evening but he wouldn’t know, she thought resentfully. He’s always at the gym and if I have to hear about Crossfit and its myriad of benefits one more time I’m going to lose the will to live and scream very loudly directly into his annoying face.
Instead she replied rather curtly and with more than a hint of sarcasm:
“I can’t wait to tell my mother about this.”
Emily’s mother was constantly criticising Conor at the moment. As a teacher he had 8 weeks off during the summer and he’d done nothing around the house. Instead he chose to neglect the kids, abandoning them with his parents so he could go to the gym. Almost obsessively it seemed. Who goes twice in one day?
“That shouldn’t go there” Conor announced.
Oh for fuck’s sake, she thought. He’s such a patronising arsehole when it comes to packing the dishwasher. She felt like telling him she wasn’t one of the kids in his class but she bit her tongue and started to noisily rearrange where she had put the saucepan and colander. No more fighting tonight.
Emily straightened up from the opened dishwasher: “Can you move a bit, to the left.” she requested.
She didn’t want to slam the dishwasher door into his knee as she was closing it although she often felt like doing just that. Repeatedly. A smile crept across Emily’s lips as her mind drifted into a bloody fantasy involving her husband and his right kneecap.
Conor replied “Yes.” A one word answer delivered in a rather monosyllabic tone. His mind was already wandering to the rather filthy episode he’d enjoyed in the car whilst dropping Jennifer home from the gym that evening.
Why couldn’t Emily perform blowjobs the way Jen could? He thought. In the last 4 years had they ever even shagged in the car? I’m sure she hasn’t realised how it takes me an extra 5 minutes or so to get back from the Box. He concluded.
What was he staring at? Emily thought. He had become so distracted lately and if he wasn’t spending his life at the Box he was attached to his phone. He even took it into the toilet with him for God’s sake.
Emily’s attention moved from her husband’s vacant profile to the basin of suds in which she was sure his hands were by now shrivelled and prune-like.
“Look at that!” She exclaimed as she pointed out the almost perfect heart-shaped bubble that was resting on Conor’s newly tattooed wrist. It’s a sign, she thought. Everything is going to be okay.
Conor withdrew his hands from the basin, destroying the heart in one foul swoop. He shook them dry and silently walked out of the kitchen.