No Need to Argue Anymore
The sheets were soaked. Madeline shifted her head to look at the clock. 11:00 a.m. How could it only be 11:00? She’d been tossing and turning for twelve hours, praying for more than and hour of sleep. Like clockwork, waking only to experience another fever break and a wave of nausea, stumbling to the bathroom and losing whatever she’d been able to hold down to the toilet. Bathtub if the toilet was too far away.
All she could think was of the mess waiting to be cleaned up. But that would stick around until she had the strength to clean it up.
The cold tile floor hadn’t helped and the Ibuprofen wouldn’t stay down. One last time. One last trip to the hell that was the blue-tiled bathroom now making her feel as if she were stuck in a fishbowl rather than breathing on land.
And this time was different. Madeline held her head up from the toilet bowl, tears streaming down her face, and wiped her mouth. She couldn’t keep doing this. It had to end. She reached for her phone and dialed a number. It’d become a guessing game as to who she’d reach on the other side.
“Why hello. And how are you this Saturday morning?”, she heard a familiar voice answer. It was chipper this time. Happy. Not filled with sarcasm or criticism.
“It’s over.” She responded.
“Oh now wait. Things are going so well again. I thought we’d discussed this and would try to make it work. The counseling sessions, the compromise we agreed on and worked…”, his voice traveled off.
She was beginning to feel too light-headed for this conversation again. Thought for a brief moment that maybe she was overreacting. But knew that this was the end.
“No. It’s over. We’ve tried everything. I, I,” and she paused. “I don’t love you anymore.”
The other end stayed silent.
Despite countless arguments, it’d not come to this point before. Still more silence. And then a click.
Madeline looked at the phone and drew as deep of a breath as she could. That was it. After months of extremes, the relationship finally came to an abrupt halt. And she knew what she had to do now. She scrolled through the numbers in her address book and dialed Kate.
“Hey”, she croaked, choking down tears. “It’s done. I’m done.”
“Wow. For good?”, Kate asked.
“Yes. I swear.”
“Fucking finally. I’m on my way over.” Kate said.
And with that Madeline hoisted herself up on wobbly legs, clutched the sides of the wall, and decided it was time to start cleaning.