The past few weeks he and she filled their time with work and preparing for the impending school year. Hers began a week earlier than his, though she wouldn’t be able to participate in the learning. She just worked at a school. He was about to begin his fifth and final year of undergrad work. Although they still worked on building their portfolios, they felt like most of the time nothing was accomplished. Deadlines were approaching fast as she battled with the notion that she already acquired enough student loans at this point and that maybe a cheaper certificate program would be a better choice. In three short months her grace period on her loans would end and the sum of her debt was to be due in increments she was afraid she couldn’t afford. He was worried about whether he would get into the schools he wanted for graduate school, though money was something that came and went in a vicious cycle he chose not to fight with.
This day, however, began with the sound of running water.
She awoke slightly at the sound of a stream of water splashing atop more water. At first it seemed normal, the fish tank made a sound like that. On previous occasions, she had woken him to ask if something was wrong with it or if it was spilling. “No,” he would say, “that’s just the sound it makes in a quite apartment.” Checking her phone, she decided 7:30am was far too early to wake up when she didn’t have work until 11am. She nestled her face into the pillow adjusting it until her face was caress and prepped for more sleep. The sound of running water, again, grabbed her attention until all the sudden it stopped. There was no familiar trickling noised escaping from the living room where the fish tank sat, no more running water, just quite apartment. Her eyes snapped open wide as she jumped up to her feet in a millisecond. Without yet waking him, she ran out into the living room. All she could see without her glasses or contacts was the tank at the halfway mark. She almost couldn’t believe her eyes.
“Babe! Babe! The fish tank!” She cried out. He didn’t even hesitate, as he leapt from the bed to see the disaster in the living room. She grabbed her glasses to better see the mess. The water had sprayed across the entire room, slashing the couch, the expensive purple rug they loved, and drowned the carpet. The outcome was simply murderous, not only to their apartment but to their relationship.
They both had separate ways of handling the situation. She approached it calmly, throwing down towels and moving things into positions where they could dry. He was totally freaking out without a better way to be described. From his stress emerged anger, which spewed into the morning air, hurdling towards her with high velocity. She attempted to disengage by stating that his anger would do nothing for the situation, though this bomb wasn’t as easily diffused.
They headed down the street to their grocery store where he rented a rug doctor to suck up excess water. Deciding she had had it with his temper, she stayed in the car while he went in. The woman at the desk was taking her sweet time, as he impatiently grew even more frustrated. The woman attempted a joking banter but he dismissed it and went on with the rental.
When they got home, they went back and forth pushing blame and anger in every direction until he finally, after two hours, finished sucking water from the rug and the carpet. They had both had enough, sitting in separate rooms doing their own thing until they had to carpool to class and work. Time had seemed to ease the tension as he came from where he’d been and apologized for his behavior. Not every day could be the best but luckily the worst had already past by 10am.
That night, they enjoyed a lovely meal of shrimp Alfredo, watched TV shows, and drank a nice glass of whiskey.