He walked along the street with his hands deep in his pockets. It wasn’t particularly late in the evening but the sky was overshadowed by purple clouds flocking above him. The street was nearly deserted, except for a homeless man who had pulled his coat tight to keep out the chill of the night. Joel wasn’t cold even though his jacket was unbuttoned and he wasn’t wearing an overcoat. The anger boiled in him and he thought about how the evening had ended. The argument had gotten out of hand completely and somewhere inside he regretted that he had acted so violently. The slam of the door behind him still echoed in his ears and he was grateful that none of the neighbors had come out to see what was going on.
Why did she put such pressure on him? It was so unnecessary to nag all the time, he had enough of that at work. Everyone hanging over his shoulder and wanting him to be in a thousand places at once. Couldn’t she at least respect him and leave him alone, talk about other things? Planning ahead, how are you able to do that if you’re struggling with what’s here and now? She should have been able to tell from the fact that his knuckles turned white when he grabbed the wine bottle. But no, she kept talking non stop. Vacation, going away somewhere? Weekend in Paris? Oh, couldn’t she just shut up? He felt his fingernails digging into his hands when he thought about it. He felt something warm and wet, he must have pressed so hard he penetrated the skin.
No, I can’t go now, I have three reports to write with deadlines next week and a hundred other things to do. But New Years then? A cheap flight? Celebrating in New York, that would be something, wouldn’t it? Anne and Tom did it last year, and they got engaged there! I don’t give a fuck about Anne and Tom. Oh, did they? Well, I don’t think I can take any time off till spring. Not sooner? He saw the disappointment on her face. But? No, no buts I can’t take this anymore! I’ll go home and sleep. You don’t care about me anymore? You never have time for me! Is there still room for me in your life… That was the last he remembered, a hurricane of words swirled around him and he lost control. Overturned the table. Glasses and plates, cutlery fell onto the floor. For one second he still had the wine bottle in his hand. The next he saw it smashed on the floor. The red wine was flowing out, but it looked thicker, like it was mixed with something. He blinked heavily and tried to focus his eyes. Saw her lying there, crushed glass still on her skin by the temple and blood was still flowing and mixed with the wine.