I crept under the duvet, turned the bedside light off, and got ready to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep. Just as my eyelids started to droop, familiar, muffled voices made themselves heard,
“Right on queue”, I muttered, bitterly. Not that they’d hear me, they never did.
I tried to shut my ears to them, but regardless their bickering remained crystal clear.
The first voice came, not yet loud but still seething and heavy with pent up frustration, “You’re going to bed? At this time? God, you’re so fucking dull.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m tired”, came the weary, more gentle response.
“Tired? Jesus! Its only 10pm.”
The angry voice now started to shout, “What on earth have you done all day? The house is still a shit tip. The kids were screaming and fighting all day, and, let’s be honest, you look like crap. House is a mess, kids are a mess, you are a mess. Why the hell are you so tired? What about your life is so hard that you have to be permanently knackered and miserable and just so bloody disappointing?”
By now, as always, I found my desire to fall asleep replaced by my desire to listen a little more. As if aware of this, they fell silent. Then, just as I began to drift off, I heard the timid voice speak, trying to appease her protagonist.
“I know, I know, you are right, but I am trying my best. The baby woke me a few times last night. I was worrying about that motor insurance claim. We still haven’t booked the campsite. I’ve a lot on my mind.”
“How about”, came the response, increasingly livid, “Stopping thinking and moaning and worrying, and just fucking do something? Eh?”
The quiet voice became shrill, “You try doing something when you’ve got three screaming kids around your feet all day, and every time you do something it gets undone, over and over and over.”
Her opponent, was quick to respond, “Just listen to yourself, will you love? Stop your moaning, then maybe the kids will stop moaning. Do more with them in the day, then they’ll sleep better at night. If they sleep better at night, you sleep better. Then nobody’s knackerd. Then you can get your shit together. It’s not rocket science really, is it?”
Silence once more, then abruptly, the abuse continued.
“You know, you used to me so much fun! What happened? What did I do so wrong? Why can’t we still go drinking and partying and oh, I don’t know, having a bit of sex here and there? Would it fucking kill you?”
But before she could finish, “I knew you’d change. I knew you’d let yourself go. I just didn’t realise how heavily you and your big fat arse would fall. Not like your mates, they are still fucking gorgeous. Their kids aren’t always covered in mud. Their homes aren’t full of dust. You. Are. Pathetic.
Nothing. And then, “I’m sorry. I thought I’d be different.”
Her speech became garbled, faster, harder to make sense of. I heard, “The Russia situation and world war III”, I heard, “unpaid bills”, I heard, “how can I help my boys be happy?”, I heard, “I forgot to take the turkey mince out of the freezer.”
It became unbearable, and I started to feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety. I decided to take the situation into my own hands,
“I’ve had enough of this.” I declared out loud.
I snapped the bedside light back on, and sat bolt upright in the bed,
“Just shut up, the pair of you.” Now it was my time to shout.
I jumped out of bed and I went downstairs. I turned on the computer and I fired up my blog.
I ignored the voice that said it was too tired to bother, and the voice who said everything I wrote was shit. I began to write.
Within seconds, they fell silent.