“What’s new? Something new? Anything new?”
He was shouting.
No apparent reason.
It was a hot afternoon she was sitting on the lawn, with the kid, their kid, when he arrived. He didn’t seem drunk, but his face was red from the heat and there were big wet patches under his arms. With her hand she signalled for him to calm down the expression in her face was part of it. It didn’t calm him though, seemed to wind him up more if anything. He pulled out a smoke, staggering around her, his brows pulled together he stared at her while inhaling the smoke. She hated his smoking, but then there were a few things that she hated about him, none to be raised when he was in a mood like this though. It was potentially dangerous, not that he had ever hit her, but she sometimes worried whether perhaps one day he would.
“What do you want,” she asked?
They hadn’t been living together since before Tommy was born, but sometimes he showed, usually like this, in a state, you could sense the frustration inside him, welling up, spilling over the edges ready to drown things.
“What do you want,” she repeated.
He growled, kicked up some dust then let himself fall, his behind making a thumping noise like a bag of sand when it hit the ground. He started sobbing, sniffling, wiping his nose with the back of his left hand. Then pressed thumb and index finger into his eye sockets, his shoulders shaking with each sob. When she put her hand on his shoulder he pushed her away, Tommy started crying, he wiped his eyes his face grimacing a smile. She picked up the kid, looked at him once again then slowly walked up to the house.
Will sat in the grass out front, had another smoke then got up and back into the car. She saw him leave through the kitchen window, knowing that he would head for the bar the other end of town, near where he stayed, till he could barely walk. It was his way of dealing with things and precisely the reason why they had broken up.