We were fighting.
We were fighting and I was mad. Really mad.
I was the kind of mad that makes you emphasize the "T" at the end of the word with a curled lip -
"No, it wasn'T."
(he recoiled a bit in fear after that one)
What were we fighting about? Oh, I don't know. A salt shaker, then ab workouts, I believe.
Obviously not the point.
I could feel my eyes flashing and sparking as I spoke, and I didn't try to reign myself in.
"You don't say whatever. You don't say whatever to me."
We were sitting on the bed, he was staring at me and talking softly and I was staring at him, feeling the strings and bonds of my anger thrumming right underneath my skin, and all of the sudden, I got the unmistakable urge to laugh - I mean a nearly undeniable grin pulling at my cheeks and eyes, like when I crossed my eyes at Amy during 12th grade physics and we laughed so hard that I got sent out of the room. I tried to fight it and couldn't. In order to stop the tide of laughter sweeping up from my toes, I had to break eye contact and look down.
Of course the right thing to do would have been to just lose it and grab him around the neck and pull him down onto the bed with me, making him laugh too...
But those bonds under my skin held me back from doing that particular right thing.
In the end, it's true, "whatever" has now been taken out of the vocabulary of "us."
And I may have cried on his chest for just a moment and apologized for being so effed up...
But that would be admitting defeat, no?
Either way, I did it. And I'm glad.
Sometimes, when you lose, you win.