It was unthinkable. He’d specifically told her to have dinner on the table when he returned home from work, but here she was, rushing around to make him happy (or, as it were, make him less angry).
“Sit down,” he said finally.
“Just a sec, sweetie,” she said, moving past him toward the kitchen. “Let me just get the muffins out of the oven. They’re your favorite and—”
She sat. Her shoulders trembled a little, but he chose to ignore that. She’d gotten herself into this mess in the first place, after all.
“You know you’re in trouble, don’t you?”
“What had I asked for?”
“Dinner on the table by the time you got h-home from work.”
“Yes. And what did you deliver?”
“But wait, just let me—” she began, her day rushing through her head, all of it trying to get out at once.
“No buts. Either you’ve made me happy, or you haven’t.”
“Yes, but there were extenuating circumstances!” she spit out before he could stop her. She clamped her mouth shut again when his eyes flashed, but it was too late.
The back of his hand hit her cheek before she had a chance to escape. Not that she would’ve tried to escape; that only made things worse in the long run.
“Do not speak over me,” he said, his arm poised for another blow.
“Yes, of c-course. Forgive me.”
“You’ve done this to yourself, you know,” he said, his hand coming down on the top of her head this time. “You’re in control here, and you’re the one who’s always making me punish you. Why do you do this to me?”
This post is part of Flash Fiction February.