Sarah left the house angry and hurt; a combination of slamming doors, hostile words, and tears. They fought every weekend now or so it seemed. She supposed, as she wiped her tears with the back of her hand, that she and Terry would fight weekdays too if their work schedules weren’t so different. Terry worked the swing shift at the local plastics plant from three to midnight and Sarah taught second grade. In the two years they had been together Terry had wanted her awake when he got home, so somehow she had managed to get by on five and a half or six hours a night during the school year.
‘Maybe that’s why I’ve been so weepy and irritable,’ Sarah mumbled as she turned the corner going towards the playground.
She seldom walked around the neighborhood since it was a sure bet she’d run into one of her students or a talkative, concerned parent. But it was almost dinner time on Saturday and as the sun slowly dipped behind the maple trees, Sarah felt a chill and wrapped her cardigan tightly around her shoulders.
As she sat down on the green bench at the edge of the playground she shivered, not from the cool air, but from the memories of the ever persistent arguments with Terry.
She couldn’t do anything right anymore, at least not according to him. His shirts had too much starch, or too little. The roast was too salty or too dry. Today he was critical of her clothes.
“Great, now I need a new wardrobe,” she laughed sarcastically, looking down at her worn white sneakers and frayed jeans.
She sighed and closed her eyes tightly to hold back the tears that came reliving this latest argument. Someone at the plant had repeated a joke about a school teacher being dowdy and unsexy and for whatever reason, she’d stopped trying to figure out why, Terry had come home angry with her.
“I could have lots of prettier women, younger, too.” He banged open her closet doors rapidly pulling her neatly hung slacks and dresses and throwing them to the floor….