One & A Half Hours Later
Interstate 378 | San Myshuno / Newcrest
The roads were clear, quiet, with only a handful of cars coming and going on both sides of the highway. Usually, this late in the afternoon, traffic would be a loud, cluttered mess but something about today … was different. Today was like … it was just them out there, like the city had collectively decided to stay out of their way — or Salim’s way anyway. Almost like they knew what was coming or had all received an email or some other kind of secret correspondence that Camilla wasn’t CC’d on, because the absence of rush hour wasn’t the only thing that was different this trip — something else was off too …
The rain tapping on the windows was the only sound streaming the entire ride as silence and tension filled the small space between them. This distance, this coldness, this whole … vibe, it was something she didn’t recognize — something she had never felt with him before.
She stared out her window, replaying the events of the day, trying to figure out what she could’ve possibly done to make him act like this towards her. Everything was fine, before she left this morning. He wished her luck on her interviews and kissed her goodbye — normal, everyday stuff — but later when she returned, not even a hey or how was your day — nothing, and that was something he never did.
She wondered if she should say anything — ask if something happened or if he was mad at her — because if he was, she wanted to know what she did so she could fix it, but at the same time she worried that pointing out this huge elephant in the room, or car in this case, would just make things even worse. The difference in his demeanor, the way he was sitting over there not talking to her though, was so obvious, it had to be intentional. He had to have wanted her to know he was feeling some kind of way — so maybe he would just bring it up on his own?
Or maybe … she would take her chances and ask him anyway because this silent treatment thing he was doing — the way it was making her feel — she couldn’t take too much more of it.
She shifted her body in his direction, taking a deep breath before asking the question. “Are you mad at me?”
She waited for a response which didn’t come right away. Instead, he kept his eyes on the road, lightly tapping the steering wheel, like he was thinking of what he wanted to say or more importantly, how he wanted to say it.
“Yes,” he responded in a cold, almost callous tone.
She slumped in her seat, realizing she didn’t have an actual response prepared for that. Even with her suspicions that this sudden change in behavior was brought on by something she might’ve done, she didn’t expect him to actually say it — not like that anyway.
“Okay …” she paused, trying to gather the words for her next question, “why are you mad?”
“Cause,” he answered in the same tone as before, “we keep having the same conversations about the same things then when we’re done, you go right back to doing the same shit we just talked about.”
“But,” she frowned, “I haven’t been home all day to even do anything.”
He sighed, “I’m not talking about today, Camilla.”
“Then what are you talking about?”
“The other day when we talked,” he glanced at her, “you didn’t intentionally leave out what’s going on with all your bills?”
Her bills? That’s what this was about? He was angry at her about her stuff? Something that had nothing to do with him?
“No,” she shook her head, “I just didn’t see what it had to do with what we were talking about.”
He scratched his head, shooting a quick glance her way, “So, you didn’t see you being behind on payments for almost $30,000 worth of debt being relevant to the conversation we were having about … bills?”
“We were talking about rent and stuff, the kind of bills we have to pay together … so no, I didn’t feel like it was important to bring up.”
“It wasn’t important enough to bring up but you still made sure you hid them in the sofa like a fucking twelve-year-old though, right?”
“I wasn’t hiding anything, like a fucking twelve-year-old,” she rolled her eyes, leaning into the door.
He glared at her, “So how did they get in the sofa then?”
“I don’t know, Salim,” she threw her hands up. “I had them in my hand when we were talking, they probably just got pushed aside when we were doing it or something.” she frowned, raising her voice just a little, “Why are you making such a big deal out of this anyway? It doesn’t even have anything to do with you.”
She looked out the window, directing her attention to the scenery outside. There wasn’t much of it, just endless rows of trees and old weathered buildings in the distance. The sides of the road was wet and messy with puddles of water gathering from the rain that hadn’t frozen over yet. Walking would surely be a nightmare for anyone who was unfortunate enough to have to do it — but it had to be better out there than where she was at the moment.
“This whole stupid argument …” she mumbled, “for something that’s not even your problem.”
Not even his problem? Everything was his problem. The moment she decided to lose her job, keep yet another secret and go back on everything they promised each other — it became his problem — and now she was acting like it was no big deal, like she could just do whatever she wanted, like she could be as irresponsible as she wanted to be with no real accountability and he was supposed to just sit there and let her do it. He was supposed to let her do whatever the fuck she wanted to do.
“How is it not my problem?” he shouted, “You don’t have a fucking job, Camilla! You do remember that right? You need a job to pay bills, the bills we’re supposed to be paying together. So if I’m picking up the slack for your side of everything cause you got fired, remember that? Who’s going to pay your bills, the ones you’re so far behind on, the ones you just said aren’t my problem?“
“Okay Salim! I know!” her voice cracked as she fought back the tears that were so determined to make an appearance, “I know, okay? God.”
“You’re over there getting mad but I want you to remember that everything you can’t do, I have to do and if you weren’t always thinking about you all the time, you would get that.”
“I’m not always thinking about me,” she said softly, covering her face.
He shook his head, “Yeah, okay.”
Super awesome reader of mine 😀 Enjoying Camilla’s story? Wanna be the first to know when the next episode is out? Yeah? Cool! Click below to subscribe and get updates sent right to