His face was peaceful with deep sleep, all the angry lines smoothed out. Hannah watched emotionless as her husband slept soundly, as if nothing had happened. Hannah would have almost dismissed the memory of the fight as a figment of her imagination, had it not been for the shattered glass on the kitchen floor.
Her eyes welled up with tears as she slumped down on the floor beside the bed. The fights, the disagreements between Tommy and her had gone from bad to worse. Nowadays, not a single night passed without a disagreement between them.
She rummaged her desk and took out a worn-out leather bound diary, one of her most treasured possessions. Her clumsy fingers dropped it to the floor. It fell open to reveal an old photo of Tommy and her. It was a snap taken at Tommy’s birthday about four years ago. Covered in chocolate,they were grinning widely as they indulged in a lavish cake fight. Not being particularly fond of big crowds, they traditionally celebrated birthdays at each other’s place with few close friends. She had baked that cakeespecially for him. How much he loved her cooking. Almost every date of theirs had been a celebration of the success of her numerous cooking experiments. The memory seemed almost painful now.
Where had all that happiness gone? She hardly baked anymore. She couldn’t remember the last time she had snuggled in bedbeside Tommy, just talking. They had become two mechanical beings living in the same space. Each caught up in his own world. Even as her train of thoughts continued, realization hit her hard. She tried to fight it off. No, they both had needed her to take that job,she tried to convince herself. Tommy had lost his job and they were facing difficult times, she tried to reason with herself. But deep down inside, she knew better. Even after Tommy had found a new job, she hadn’t quit.Well,the extra money didn’t hurt. Or maybe it did……..
As she leafed through the pages of her recipe book, still intact except for a little moth-eaten at the edges, her heart already felt lighter. She couldn’t imagine how she had stuck to her boring job for so long. Finally she had gotten her priorities right.
Hardly an hour later, was her home fragrant with the baking. The scent of vanilla essence and rich cocoa hung thickly in the air. As she took huge gulps of this delicious air, contentment was at its fullest. Her life was back on track. She resumed her position on the floor beside the bed. But this time, lovingly she watched him snore.
By: Maria Mathew