The pencil snapped in her hand and he was grateful because it gave him something to look at instead of the cruelty in her eyes. “You’re nothing,” she spat. “A coward. A yellow-bellied fool.”
He winced at the words, a scathing reply on his own tongue that he swallowed down. But then resentment followed, why could she spout vile but he had to take the high road? “Call me a coward, but at least I’m not the one sabotaging this relationship because you’re scared of a little criticism.”
“You’re criticism is garbage, Jeremy.” She crossed her arms, turned to the window and threw the pencil pieces at the glass. She liked to make loud noises when she was angry. “Why should I value your opinion?”
It was like a slap in his face. “Because, you love me?”
Her laugh was tight and short. “Yea, cause that has anything to do with this. You call me a coward for wanting to do more, see more. You call it running away.”
“It is running away!” His voice boomed across their living room. “You’d be leaving me.”
God, he hated when she rolled her eyes, and there she was, rolling. “I’ll be gone for six months. It’s not the end of the world.”
A hot flush crawled through his body because he hated that he cared more than her, that he so obviously was the more invested one. “Fine,” he said. “Go.”
“I don’t need your permission,” she reminded, spite in her words despite getting everything she wanted.
He saw red, but it blurred from the tears in his eyes. “You did. But you don’t anymore.” And then he walked to the door.
Three words: Pencil, Yellow, Garbage