“Why didn’t you answer the door? I’ve been out here in the cold banging for the past ten minutes!”
“So-rry, okay! I was on the phone in the bedroom talking to my friend and I didn’t hear you knocking.”
“You knew I was coming over! Am I not important enough for you to remember? And who’s this friend of yours huh?!” he demanded.
“Why do you need to know who I’m talking to? It’s a friend! I’m getting sick and tired of all this arguing!” She storms past him and slams the bedroom door close.
“You think you’re the only one who can slam doors, is it?” he retaliates, and angrily stomps out, closing the front door so hard that the lock fractures.
She was his mistress. They had been together for two years now – she had freshly broken up with her first boyfriend, and had run to him for comfort. One thing led to another.
He was a father, and he knew he was old enough to be her father but he didn’t care. He was a rebound, but so what? Here was this attractive girl in her mid-twenties who Fate had shoved into his arms, and he had seen enough of himself in the mirror of late to know that he could ill-afford to turn down a gift like that.
It had started so well – the dinners, the music, the flowers, the lovemaking (he’s still got it), the sneaking out of the apartment at 3 am so as to not wake her house mates. The newness and thrill of the relationship lasted for all of six months before they descended into the zone where all lovers end – familiarity, and not in the well-loved pair of sneakers kind of way, but a fertile breeding ground for contempt.
He returns at midnight, only to continue their argument in the bedroom. The issues that have simmered just under the surface of their fantasies all boil over.
“Why haven’t you introduced me to your parents?” he bellows. “Are you ashamed of me?”
“How am I supposed to introduce you to my parents?” she asked. “How do you think my father will take it? Of course he won’t approve! You’re… ” she stops herself short of bringing up his age, just in time.
She recovers. “And what about you? When are you going to leave that bitch? I thought you said you love me, right?!” she yells.
“I have to spend time with my wife and sons, you know! I am their father, after all! And stop calling me all the time to check on me, okay?! Why are you so controlling? Sometimes I feel like I am the mistress in this relationship, not you!”
“FINE! You can go and leave then! Run back to your fucking family! Run back to that bitch of a wife of yours!”
The tears come hot and fast, and he does not raise his eyes to look at her crying ones.
He is silent for a moment, furious at how much they were arguing in these past few months. Why did it have to come to this? He tries to remember the paradise he had envisioned, that they had envisioned, and looks up instead at how he had exchanged one hell for another.
One week later, and they have made up, like they always do. Some flowers, a hurried I’m sorry, a half-hearted I love you and soon a tenuous peace is restored. She builds up their fragile beautiful castle once again – there are candlelit dinners, cuddles on the couch, Taylor Swift playing in the background and her prince restored once more in his rightful place while they both wait for their fairytale ending.