Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)
- TITLE: Don't Let the Sun Go Down
By Francy Judge
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Wait a minute. I did nothing wrong. I just wanted Barbie to help me look for the bike pump in our overflowing closet. Then she screamed, “I’m too busy writing…look for it yourself!” I calmly replied, “I don’t know what color it is or what it looks like. Barbie got nasty, screaming even louder, “Red...like every other bike pump. Leave me alone for ten minutes!”
He left out a few key elements. I had to leave for work in ten minutes. I screamed so Ken could hear me. Plus, he can never find anything in the house…and who doesn’t know what a bike pump looks like? Ken didn’t want to bend down and dig through the forest of shoes.
The argument wasn’t only about the bike pump; soon every annoyance or pet peeve jumped to the surface, their minor disagreement becoming a war of words.
Of course I don’t like to look in that hall closet. Barbie collects shoes, enough to dress a small country. And why shouldn’t she help me? That morning I fixed Barbie’s computer, went food shopping, and was about to take Ken Jr.’s bike to the bike shop for repairs so she wouldn’t have to drive him to school every morning.
Somehow Ken turns every argument around so I look like the bad guy. I know he helped me that morning, but that wasn’t the point. I only had ten minutes to rest and wanted to read an email from an editor that I had been waiting for weeks. He would act like I had two heads if I asked him to help me search for something before he went to work. I didn’t bring up his negative quirks, but he brought up everything he hates about me. “You care more about writing than being a good wife.” He said, his words slicing my heart.
Ken stormed out of the house, refusing to take the bike to the shop or even say another word. Barbie stormed out of the house, hopped on her bike, and rode to work, trying not to let her tears smudge her mascara. Josie stayed in her room and pretended she didn’t hear the yelling or the tension that consumed the house.
I usually put Barbie’s bike in the car after her shift and drive her home. This day I was determined to give her the silent treatment, but it would have to start after I made sure she was okay to bike home.
I considered the silent treatment was my only option since I had nothing to say to Ken. Ken called me at work that night to ask if I needed a ride, his tone obviously not happy. I said, “No, I’ll ride home,” and hung up the phone. The ride home was brutal, against the wind with a nip in the air. When I dragged my bike through the door, he sat at the table with his back turned, playing Family Feud with Josie.
Josie said, “Hi mom.” Ken said nothing, so I said nothing. But my heart ached when I heard him laugh with Josie. We’ve had so many fun nights playing games at dinner. Ken’s laugh always makes me laugh.
If only they would have listened to the scripture verse: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Eph. 4:26
Even though Barbie always comes to bed late, I missed feeling the warmth of her body when she finally wiggles under the covers. She never came to bed that night.
The next day, Sunday, Barbie and Ken tried to keep the silent treatment, passing each other in the hall with eyes averted. After a couple of hours of this, Ken gave in first.
I handed Barbie the new bike bump I bought and smiled. “This house isn’t big enough to keep the silent treatment going.”
“I agree,” Barbie said.
So their battles ended with a new bike pump and a kiss.
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