The mistake had been made. He had seen the words crash on her face and reverberate through her. He knew as soon as his vocal cords had molded the air into sound waves that what had been said was both cruel and of the moment rather than actual truth or his thoughts.
Words that start out as nothing more than the collection of life experiences and circumstance. Well and choice that is part of it too. He had cared more about winning the argument or being heard, or his own hurt feelings, or whatever it was they were fighting about. But now. Now he had really hurt her.
When two people are married for several years they learn the other person. Wheather you want to be vulnerable or not you have no choice when you spend that much time together. This gives you insight into the other and you learn which words and at what tone land like a punch to the face. They could be as simple as “I will take care of it”, “yes dear” or “you’re being crazy!”
Whatever the words they were said and they had landed like cannonballs in a china shop. She had, had no defense against them and for all intent and purposes were off limits until today.
She recovers but with her dignity like armor stripped from her, she has little to lose. The words leave her mouth and cut you to ribbons. Bleeding and bruised you smile. She knows you so well but your smile is quickly replaced with blind pain and vengeance this time the words you say are pointed direct and forceful. In-kind she levels another volley on your fresh wounds.
You think to yourself someone will need to decide not to fire back or there will be three graves that are dug one for you, one for her and one for your marriage. The next words carry no demands or stipulations. They slip from your blood caked lips.
Also published on Medium.