“It’s like walking on seashells trying to talk to you!” she said.
“You mean eggs,” he said, “it’s like walking on eggshells.” He snorted to make his point, left the table and went into the other room.
And somehow that ended the argument this time.
She heard the television blare up. People laughing. She couldn’t imagine what in life was so funny anymore that an entire audience would laugh. She took a deep breath and tried to calm herself down. Her nerves zapped with electric anger. She stuck her hands in the dishwater and watched as they sizzled and spat. It was getting harder and harder. She stopped scrubbing dried pasta off the plate and swore she’d give that one to him at the next meal.
The next night was the same thing. “How the hell do you think my day went?” he said. His eyebrows were set in that mean way they had of placing themselves whenever he talked to her lately.
She poked at the cioppino she’d thought would please something inside him. “What the fuck’s this?” he had growled.
“You don’t have a clue what it’s like out there,” he went on. He worked on a mussel, fork and knife teasing it open. It slid from the plate and flew off. He sat staring at his plate, building up steam, and then shoved the plate off the table and banged out the door.
“Broken shells,” she whispered as she picked them up off the floor. “Seashells.”