A day forever etched in his memory. The sun was shining and smiling so peacefully, brightening up the world. The summer’s breeze, so strangely cool today. It was a perfect day which turned out to be the darkest day ever, blacker than a night’s sky not adorned by the moon and stars.

The world was at peace. People took to the streets in little groups to enjoy the rare cool summer’s breeze with drinks and all sorts of grills, except them. They remained indoors, doing something rarer than the cool breeze blowing outside. They were destroying their home.

The breeze carried with it the hint of a mixture of different sweet scents from the flowers in their garden outside as it swirled into the house. The reason for the ongoing destruction had been lost to anger. Rage had taken over and everything was expressed through screaming and shouting. Little secrets and vulnerabilities were getting exposed by both parties. Each being petty, trying to wear the other down both mentally and physically.

The house was neat, as always. No single speck of dust was found anywhere, and the rat that always taunted them by running all over the sitting room while escaping the traps in ways that even Jackie chan would have to be proud of was now caught in one. Jerry must have been surprised to see the couples quarrelling with voices that rivalled Zeus’ thunder that it forgot there was a trap at the spot it decided to hide at, so as to get a good and surprising view of the spat-turned-full quarrel. And now presently sweating its balls off because he didn’t know what was going to happen to him when they discover him in the trap, with the amount of rage emanating from the two of them.

The house as neat and livable as ever, the home getting dirtier and haunted by the second.

The house in one piece, but the home breaking off piece by piece.

Vulnerabilities exposed to counter the other, everything lost to anger, no voice of reason.

“How can you say that to me? … I told you that in confidence…  You know how it haunts me… That was too low even for you… You are a fool.” She said through sobs and misty eyes laden with tears and with a voiced as cracked and broken as their home. “I can’t believe you said that to me. I hate you” She said, crying her eyes out.

He was already feeling bad and was calming down because in truth he also couldn’t believe he said it. The past she shared with him three years ago when they were decided to be one. And she wanted to tell him everything because he deserved to know her dirtiest secret. He deserved to know if he wanted to still hang his clothes in a cupboard that had such a skeleton in it.

He was already walking towards her to beg, to tell her he was sorry for using it against her. With each step he took, he picked up pieces of the home that had broken off and littered the place. He was ready to spend his life repairing and making it whole again, no matter what it took.Then he heard it. What she said after, for the life of him he couldn’t remember. The broken pieces he picked up along the way now shaking in his hands.

Then he heard it. He heard what she said after.The broken pieces he picked up along the way now shaking in his hands.

Then it hit him… he could hit her.

He would need his hands to be free in order to do that. So he dropped the pieces of their home he had picked up along the way to beg the love of his life for forgiveness, kept walking towards her, and then he struck her clean on the face.

The rat shuddered and squealed in his trap. If the man could do that to his wife, then what was going to happen to him? Where was poison when you needed it? That would be mercy compared to what the man was going to do to him.

The woman stood there, dazed and shocked. Her previously misty eyes were now clear and she was holding her cheek with both hands. Too shocked to let out a sob, to make a sound, to talk, to even breathe.

Still too shocked to see the second blow coming and duck. Another clean hit. And then another and another.

“How dare you call me a fool?” He asked as many times as the blows he delivered to her.

*            *             *             *             *

He couldn’t remember if he dreamt that night or if he even slept at all. The alarm buzzed on at 6:30 am. His eyes wide open staring at the ceiling. ‘How long have I been staring at the ceiling?’

He turned lazily to put off the alarm clock and then used that same hand to rub and grab his wife tenderly as he did every morning. She’d wake up with a cute little moan and grab his hand, give it a gentle squeeze, tap it a few times and then rub it. Their way of saying I love you before having to open their mouth. But her side of the bed was empty.

Did she get up and go to the bathroom when he wasn’t paying attention? Maybe he did sleep after all.

He got up, stretched and went to join her in the bath, opened the bath and it was empty. He looked at the sink and saw a purple rectangular box, a case. He smiled as he walked towards it. How long had this been here? His darling must have planned to give him this morning. Guess she’s downstairs.

This was his chance to take a peek at what she got him. What was the occasion? He was too excited to even think straight.

He opened the box, and saw the white instrument, with two pink lines on the little monitor. A wave of emotions and memories flooded him as what happened yesterday came pouring back to him. He remembered everything the very hands that held the pregnancy test right now did yesterday.

He fell to the bathroom floor crying, still holding the kit.

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