Abby allowed her finger tips to caress the spines of the books. The bookshelves lined two of the four walls in the office, stretching from the floor to the ceiling. His desk sat along the third wall with the window, overlooking a garden. Piles of literature, mostly fiction, were stacked taller than she could reach, encasing thousands of hours of stories and adventures and escapes. She outstretched my arms and spun around in a circle singing in a high pitched offtune voice, "The hills are alive..."
"Sorry, baby," said Matt, sitting at his desk without looking up. "I just need to get this work done really quick."
"Don't be sorry," Abby said with a happy grin. "Why would you apologize, sweetheart?"
Matt typed for a minute. The bright computer glared into his eyes. His back was towards her. His strong shoulders were wrapped in a green t-shirt that Abby adored. He was hunched over his computer, which lit up his face and neck, sending a glowing glint off his glasses. The glasses framed the sparkling eyes that she had fantasized about for years before they had hooked up. She had idolized him for so long before he had ever noticed her. She had dreamed about him incessantly but she had never dreamed about the two of them together because even in her fantasies she lacked that kind of hubris. Now it was reality. Unable to contain her desire to be in his arms anymore, she gave an uncontrollable yelp and ran to him.
"You're so handsome," she said. She kissed the back of his head and hugged his shoulders.
"No, I know I'm not." He kept his back to her. She leaned into him, smelling his neck.
Abby tugged the fabric of her new dress, hoping Matt would comment on it. Her bare feet rocked back and forth on the clean carpet. She twirled around again, singing, "...with the sound of music..."
"I'm working on this new program where I design this character with two heads-" Matt started.
"That's awesome! Like two heads with separate personalities or...?" Abby jumped in abruptly and then trailed off, looking out the window. Her stomach growled and she put her hand over it. "Our robot baby is hungry."
Matt looked up at her for the first time since she'd come into the room. His eyebrows were down, narrowed over his forehead. His lips were tightly closed. His eyes were tired, but sparkled nevertheless. "Sorry, you go ahead," he said politely.
"What?" She grinned down at him. She arched her back downward and kissed his cheek.
"Go ahead and finish your thought, baby."
"Oh. Um. No, I wasn't trying to talk over you. I just thought you were done talking."
"Well, I wasn't. But you go ahead."
"Okay. Oh, I don't remember it anymore." Abby shrugged and gave a sharp laugh. Matt sighed again. Abby looked back over at him "So what's the thing you're working on?"
Matt frowned and looked back at his computer. He rubbed his eyelids beneath his glasses. He looked back at his computer and stared at the paragraph he'd been working on for the last hour. It was growing dark outside and he still had hours of work to do. He was swamped at work, and he barely got any sleep as is with Abby over every night. She had so much energy, an effervescent boundless overflow of emotions that had initially rendered her quirky and endearing, but now the hyper outbursts were the scraping of a knife against a plate that sat in his brain, unwashed and waiting for her to finally maybe think about doing a dish once in a while.
Obliviously, Abby playfully put a strand of her long messy hair in her mouth while absentmindedly picking books from the shelf. She never seemed to put them back in the right place. Through a muffled mouthful of her own hair, she sang to herself a whimsical song about kittens that she had made up. Matt cracked his neck. The shadows crowded in through the window, casting his once warmly lit office into cold empty darkness, a gloomy cave of suffocating fear.
Opening to the first page in a sci-fi horror novel, Abby spat the hair out of her mouth. "What do you want for dinner, Matt?"
"Jesus, baby! I'm trying to work!" Matt said loudly. He slammed his fist on the table and Abby jumped. Her eyes widened and her lips parted. He looked up at her, turning halfway in his swivel office chair. She took a step back. Her lip quivered. His voice quickly resumed the soft, gentle tone. "I'm sorry. I know I'm annoying. I know you hate it when I try to get work done. I'm so annoying."
"Matt, I never said that!" Her eyes bloated like an engorged drowning rat. She stepped towards him, reaching out, and he leaned back, away from her, looking down at his desk. Her hand fell to her side. The room seemed to be moving around them, as if they were on a very smoothly running train hurtling somewhere unknown in the darkness.
"Sorry, baby, I know you are disappointed and annoyed with me."
"Sweetie, no, I never said that!" Abby yelled. She waved her arms anxiously, desperately in a flourishing brandishing motion. Her voice escalated to a higher pitch and she could feel herself on the verge of tears inexplicably. She wasn't sure what was happening.
"Please stop yelling at me," he pleaded.
"Matt... I'm not yelling at you!" she screamed at top volume. "I never have! I never do!"
"Okay. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Abby pounded her fist into her thigh, releasing a sharp pain that almost felt refreshing in her mind numbing rage induced trance. Her lips twitched and her chin wrinkled up like a pug. "Okay. I can tell you don't wanna hang out tonight. I'm just gonna leave you alone." She choked and tears poured down her cheeks and onto her chest as if running off in tiny gutters of insecurity.
"Fine. Leave me. I know you want to." Matt's eyes watered also, much quieter and more graceful than Abby's. Their mutual inner turmoil was a malicious monster that thirsted for these tears, licking it's lips expectantly.
"I'm not leaving you!" she screeched. She ground her fingernails hard into her palms. Her tears grew snotty and her voice cracked as she began to blubber like a gooey baby. Matt's neighbor's dog barked from the apartment next door. Matt winced.
He said, "It's okay. I know you don't want to be with me."
They weren't crying together. They wept separately, alone on two different islands identically floating in the same ocean.
"What? Are y-y-you breaking up with me?" Abby stammered. "Can we talk about this?"
"We are talking about this."
"Do you want t-t-to...?"
"This is all you, baby."
"Then please don't... don't break u-u-up..." she sobbed.
Abby shook violently and leaned against the wall with the door. She slid to the ground, unable to stand she was crying so hard. She bent her knees and pulled them inwards, tucked her head down and sobbed into her lap. Her skirt piled up around her waist. Snot ran through her long wavy hair, globbing it into a messy congealed nest. Tears soaked the weird dress she looked frumpy in but mistakenly thought made her look "adorkable." Chubby unshaven white thighs poked out from the dress, clapping against each other as she writhed. Her skirt rose up enough that her pink and turquoise little girl underwear flashed into view. Her sobs were loud and shrill like a child's. She cried so hard she started hicupping and rocking back and forth, struggling and gasping to breathe. Oxygen was tight and thick around her, strangling her snotty throat like a throbbing snake.
"You win. We're staying together. Whatever you want."
"Please hold me?" Abby blubbered.
Matt sighed and walked away from his desk and knelt beside Abby on the floor. He put his arm around her trembling shoulders. His voice dropped to the gentle soothing tone. "You're okay. We're together. We're fine."
"Yes. Let's never talk about this again."