“Oh, Big Steve! Keep bouncin’ that ass Big Steve! Oh- Greg? Is that you? SHIT!”
The pan was already searing hot by the time Greg cracked his first egg and dropped it on. Almost instantaneously, the egg sizzled from translucent to white. Eyes weary, he used a fork to scramble it as he cracked then added a second. He thought back to the afternoon before, and let out a breath.
Darlene entered the kitchen. She caught his eyes and buttoned her lips, then shifted her weight to one side and shook her head.
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” said Greg.
Darlene sighed. “Babe if you just let me-”
“I said I don’t wanna fucking talk about it!” Said Greg, zinging the fork into the white plaster wall.
“But babe.” Darlene moved to his side. “We need to discuss it, that’s all.”
Greg returned his attention to the eggs, fuming through his nostrils as he stared bleakly into them.
Picking up the iron pan by the handle, Greg lifted it high overhead before slamming it back down into the stove top. “Dammit Darlene, what do you want from me? What do you want me to say?” His chest heaved up and down for five heavy breaths, but she issued no response. “I mean, c’mon babe! How the fuck is talkin’ about it gonna make things better? Let’s be real here, you and me-”
“What about you and me?”
Greg shook his head. He picked up some of the scrambled egg remnants, turned his back to Darlene then flicked them into the sink. He turned the faucet on and ran his hands underneath the water stream. “We’re fuckin’ over. I mean, shit.” He gulped. “You know it, I know it. I ain’t gonna heal from this sort’a thing.”
“Well you could if you try! It was a mistake, I admit it-”
“I DON’T CARE!” Greg was surprised to find himself on the verge of laughter, even as his heart sank into his stomach. “Baby, put yourself in my shoes for a second. I come home, from a hard days work, lookin’ a grab a cold beer, maybe sit on the couch, watch the game for a little bit.” Flapping his arms up into the air and gazing towards the ceiling, Greg continued. “Lo and behold, I walk in on my girl messin’ around with Big Steve the professional fly-swatter-guy. I mean shit, Darlene! What the fuck kinda job is that, even? FLY SWATTER? You know you could just buy the equipment for about four bucks or something.”
“It was a big fly, babe, and I already told you, I made a mistake.”
Greg put his hands on his hips and shook his head. “A mistake would’a been kissin’ him. Maybe even sleepin’ with him. But dammit babe, I walk in to see the guy sittin’ on your face in my bedroom, shit! I don’t know whether I should be more mortified, repulsed, angry or just weirded out! I’m out their bustin’ my tail everyday, and for what? To come home and see Big Steve over here gettin’ rim-jobs about two feet from my pillow?”
Darlene sighed, then came closer. “You know that I love you, Greg,”
Greg shrugged. “I mean, not exactly.”
“Aren’t you gonna say it back?”
“I don’t know, I’m pretty sure I don’t feel like sayin’ it back.”
“You’re really going to hold this little tiny mistake against me?”
“Babe,” Greg shook his head, threw a dish-towel down, then started away. “Just think about what’s gonna run through my head every time I gotta kiss you, and there’s your answer.”
– Thomas M. Watt