“Motherfucker! I swear he does this on purpose”, she mumbled as she grabbed the unwashed bowl of chili that he had just left on the kitchen island. She was doing the dishes when he walked in the back door, home from a workday that she knew he despised.  He grabbed a can of the ready made stuff, heated it up in the microwave, ate silently, left the greasy remains, grabbed a beer from the fridge and quietly – oh, how cooly – left the room.
Still, he could have put the dish in the sink where she was rinsing them off. He could have done the same with the empty tin can (recycling had become second nature for them all).
He could have said hello when he walked in.

At least he said a pleasant hello to the kids. That was something.

When had she taken to calling him a motherfucker, she wondered? It left a terrible taste in her mouth after she spit it out. Even if it was just to herself. But those bitter, heated, words were simmering behind her lips more often lately: motherfucker; bastard; son of a bitch; asshole. Was she beginning to think of him in those terms?

She knew it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t, was it?

She had been where he was now. She had been there more times than she cared to count. He knew that about her, but he seemed to have forgotten. He seemed to have forgotten that she knew how it felt; forgotten that she could sympathize; forgotten that she’d had years of experience with it. He seemed to have forgotten long, long ago, because why else was it that back then, when she desperately needed him to show that he noticed her, that he wanted her pain to go away, that he cared, would he have chosen to walk around her like he had just seen an embarrassing stain on the floor that he didn’t have the energy to clean up?

Of course, he had no idea what had been going through her head those couple of years. And, of course, he hadn’t bothered to sincerely ask either.

Now it seemed that it was her turn. Her turn to notice, to care, to want to take the pain away. And she did, with all her heart. But nothing she tried worked. She found herself wondering if depression was contagious. She thought she’d recently read an article in Psychology Today that reported some studies had come to that conclusion. If it was actually contagious, did he catch it from her? Was it her own doing that had led to this point in time? To this end of a long unravelling? Were they really at the end?





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