Barbara gritted her teeth, her father had been right,
Alan was a pig! The indignity! How dare he do this! She loved shopping, but he always spoiled it by bitching about every cent she spent. God she hated this petty debate every time she spent a dime on herself. Couldn't he just enjoy the fact that she looked good?
His grim funeral director's face stared back at her over the breakfast table. Barbara tried to coax him out of his foul mood with what she hoped was one of her winning smiles. Alan sat there, seemingly unmoved by either her attempts to lighten the mood, or the aromas of coffee that mingled with the sweet pungent smell of grilled bacon, filling the kitchen.
He had the credit card bill open, lying accusingly in front of him on the table. His features looked as if they had been carved from a slab of granite. His eyes were cold and hard, as though he was about to announce some great natural catastrophe had occurred. This happened every damn time the credit card bill arrived and it made her feel sick to her stomach!
She found his rigid control over the finances unsettling, as if nothing in her life was really certain or stable. She had always found shopping a comfort, but Alan had destroyed the pleasure in that, making her feel guilty, with his constant scrutiny of bank statements.
She longed for the time in their early marriage when he had been lighter, before his constant nagging about money, when he had treated her like a princess to be pampered and spoiled. In an attempt to rekindle those early feelings, she tried to summon up a smile but saw not a glimmer of his mood melting.
A trickle of alarm slid through her, refusing to be squelched. He did seem more angry than usual this morning. There was something in his manner, coldness, and distance that hadn't been there before.
She watched as his eyes narrowed and his fork clattered to the plate. She shivered a little and moved in her seat as she felt a wave of cold wash over her.
Like a volcano, Alan erupted, "You have to be fucking kidding? This is a credit card statement?"
She watched as his cheeks flushed and his nostrils flared. She heard the rush of air over his teeth. He was barely containing his rage. His sudden ferocity shocked her. He had gotten angry before, but he had never exploded quite like this.