Wedded bliss did not last long for Aedan and Cheri. Fights had grown increasingly common since they’d gotten home from their honeymoon and had become a daily occurrence. Cheri was too lazy, letting dirty dishes accumulate around the house, never cooking dinner and leaving burnt leftovers from breakfast to eat.
“The garden keeps me busy. And my book and paintings.” Cheri would snap when Aedan said something to her, every day. It was always the same argument.
Normally Aedan just shook his head and went off to go work on whatever needed to be done around the house, but one day he just lost his patience and started yelling at her. “I do half the garden every day after work. And that same painting has been sitting half-finished since before the wedding. And your laptop has been broken for weeks and you refuse to write with pen and paper. So what are you doing?”
“Yeah and you promised to fix that weeks ago. Besides if you don’t like it why don’t you do more to help out, instead of complaining?”
“MORE? What more am I supposed to do, and when? I work all day often putting in overtime, I come home finish what needs to be done in the garden, work on renovations to this stupid house. Which, by the way, I don’t even see the point in since this filth is ruining the whole thing anyway. And then if I don’t get called back in and I have any amount of energy left I do clean up all the crap that you don’t.”
“Yeah and maybe you need to stop working so much anyway.”
“Well tell people to stop committing crimes so I don’t have to. And that still doesn’t change that you need to actually do something around here for a change. Just clean up the damn dishes.” He turned to walk away.
“Where are you going?” her voice cracked like she was crying.
“To bed. I’m tired.”
Cheri sniffled in the background as he walked away.
The bed beside him was empty in the morning, Aedan assumed Cheri hadn’t joined him there at all as it was early enough she'd still be asleep if she had. It was the first time they hadn’t made up before bed. A couple times one of them had gone to bed before the other, still angry, but they’d always ended up in the same bed anyway and woke up like nothing happened.
Cheri was making breakfast when he got out of bed so he went to wrap his arms around her from behind and planted a kiss on her cheek. “Hey, I’m sorry for last night. I shouldn’t have yelled.”
“Pancakes will be ready soon. Can you get us coffee?” He couldn’t tell if he was forgiven or not but he didn’t think so. Something in her voice concerned him, it was flat and almost cold, like she didn't care anymore.
Sitting at the table a few minutes later she told him, “I’m going home for the weekend. I’m going to stay with my dad, visit my mom while I’m there.”
“When’d you decide to talk to them again?”
She shrugged “Dad’s been trying really hard to get me to come visit so he can make it up to me, mom too. And I think it’s best if we have time apart for a couple days, cool off. I’ll make sure the house is clean, meals are cooked, and the garden’s caught up before I go. So you won’t have to worry about any of that much.”
“So you are still mad at me.”
“I don’t know who I’m mad at. I just think we need a few days apart, a few days where we don’t fight.”
“Maybe it is for the best, but I’ll still miss you. When do you leave?”
“Friday morning. I’ll be back in town Monday morning.”
“Okay, I’ll take you to the airport and pick you up. Do you need money for flights or anything?”
“My dad’s going to take care of it.”
“Okay.” He worried she'd never come back, he still had the feeling that she just didn't care anymore, but he knew he couldn't make her stay, he just had to hope for the best.
They finished the meal in silence. Cheri grudgingly picked up the plates when they were done and Aedan got ready for work.
While he was getting ready Aedan called his dad.
“Hey son, what’s up?” His dad answered.
“You’re off the weekend, right?”
“I was wondering if you could come out here and help me with something.”
“Sure, what? Anything to with whatever is going on between you and your wife, moving all your stuff out or something, or hers?” he chuckled knowing Aedan would never try to solve things that way.
“How do you even… nevermind.” Aedan was going to ask how his dad knew anything, but he realized Cheri’s dad had probably talked to his mom, and Cheri had probably told him everything. “But I guess. I want to do something that will hopefully earn me some forgiveness. Maybe dear old dad will have some sound relationship advice too.”
“Okay, I’ll be there. Mainly because I’m so curious why you’re having problems already…and your mom wanted me to try and come up and spy anyway. So you just beat me to it.”
“Thanks for the support dad, tell mom I thank her too.” Aedan chuckled and hung up.