**An alliteration from the Admiral this week: Amsterdam, anchovies, and anger management classes. Now, I love me some alliteration, but this one took some thought. Enjoy!**
I smiled at the sound of my boyfriend’s voice. I loved it when he came home to me. “Kitchen!”
Kyle walked in carrying a pizza box. My stomach rumbled, and he gave me a full out grin. But the moment he placed the box on the counter and flipped open the lid, my hunger fled. I fixed him with a harsh glare.
“Anchovies?” I hissed.
He blinked. “Only on half.”
It didn’t matter. They were disgusting, and the smell got everywhere. He liked them, but I fucking hated them. And now I couldn’t eat my damn pizza.
“That’s just great!” I shouted. “I’m fucking starving, and you ruined dinner!”
He tried for a smile. “It’s like Amsterdam all over again.”
“That wasn’t my fucking fault!” I raged. His attempt at humor wasn’t appreciated. I was beyond pissed. “And fuck you for bringing it up!”
Kyle’s face became a mask, showing no emotion. Very slowly he reached out and flipped the lid of the box closed. The he looked at me with dead eyes. “Yeah. Okay.”
He turned and walked right out of the house. I watched him go before picking up a glass and hurling it at the wall. It shattered with a satisfying crunch. I stood there, breathing heavily, anger pouring through my veins.
I knew better than this. My temper had always gotten the better of me, and I’d overreacted on more than one occasion. It had landed me in jail, and I served three months. I’d done the anger management classes, took the lessons to heart, and really changed myself. But lately, the anger had been welling up and I’d been letting my temper leak out.
Tonight I’d exploded over pizza. That was fucking ridiculous. I got the broom and dust pan, and quickly cleared up the mess I’d made. When I was finished, I closed my eyes, found my center, and did some deep breathing. Now that I’d gotten myself back under control, I felt ashamed at my behavior.
I grabbed my keys from the counter, and hustled out of the house to go track Kyle down. He’d stuck by me through the worst of it. I’d never laid a hand on him, and I never would, but he’d endured me screaming and railing. I’d ruined our vacation in Amsterdam last year and he still hadn’t left me. I needed to fix this and fast.
It turned out I didn’t have to go far. Kyle was sitting on the porch steps, and I saw him stiffen when he heard the front door open. He didn’t turn around. I kept my steps careful and slow as I approached him, then sat down next to him leaving plenty of space.
“I’m sorry,” I said, my voice low and full of contrition.
“I know,” he murmured. He didn’t look at me.
I felt like shit. As I should. There was no excuse for my behavior and I didn’t bother to try. “I love you.”
He nodded, and then repeated, “I know.”
“I know I’ve been grumpy lately—“
His unamused snort interrupted me, and I had to give a self-deprecating chuckle.
“All right, I’ve been an ass lately, and behaving awfully.” I took a deep breath and focused all my attention on him. “I’ll get back into the classes. Clearly I need to work the program again.”
Kyle blew out a breath and his shoulders relaxed, his posture opening up. I might be an asshole, with serious anger issues, but I never lied. He knew I would get back into anger management classes if I said I would.
“Thank you.” His voice was soft. He shook his head, and then finally looked at me. “I know how much you hate anchovies. I shouldn’t have gotten them at all.”
“No.” My denial was quick. “Don’t take any of this on yourself. That whole scene back there was all me.”
He nodded. “Yeah, but I’m not talking about that. Yes, your reaction was completely uncalled for and disproportionate to the situation. Which is why you’re going to start the classes again and be reminded how to deal.” He glanced up at me for conformation, and I nodded fast. He smiled. “What I’m talking about is me being rather thoughtless. I should have gotten two pizzas.”
I smiled at that. It was one of the many reasons I loved him so much. Kyle never shirked responsibility. And while he wasn’t in any way to blame for the way I reacted, I really appreciated that he was willing to admit he wasn’t perfect. I slid across the step until we were pressed up against each other.
“I’ll call my counselor in the morning and see when and where I can go, okay?”
“Thank you,” he said again. He snuggled into my side, and I lifted an arm to pull him close. We’d be all right. I was going to make sure of it. Kyle gave a content sounding sigh and then said, “I love you.”
“I love you,” I responded fervently. I dropped a kiss in his hair, taking a second to inhale the scent of his shampoo. Then I pulled back and looked him in the eye. “Wanna go out for Chinese?”