“Here’s your card,” I say, handing over her debit card. “Do you need to know how much I spent?”
(she didn’t bite. we have to do something else.)
“Okay. I just thought you’d want to know so you don’t overdraft. Must be nice, Mommy Warbucks.”
“I’m not Mommy Warbucks. How much did you spend?”
(there we go.)
“I thought it wasn’t important?”
“It’s not. It seems like it’s important to you, so how much did you spend?”
“193 dollars and some change.”
“No you . . . didn’t,” she pauses, furrowing her brow. “You never spend that much.”
(she’s thinking about it.)
“I did. But what does it matter? It’s not important.”
She reaches for her phone.
(we gotta stop her. she’s going to check her account balance.)
I reach for her phone. She jerks it away.
“You don’t have to check. Don’t you believe your husband?”
I poke and swipe across the screen to block her attempts to get into her account.
“Stop!” she spits. “How much did you spend?”
I leave the room with the hopes she’ll follow me, which will further distract her from checking her balance.
“I told you already. Why won’t you believe me. You know, it’s disrespect like this that makes Jesus cry.”
“Fuck!” Something slams in the bedroom where she is.
“What? What happened?”
I rush back in and find her scowling at her phone. She looks up, passing the hate from the phone to me.
“God damn it. The thing—“ her anger trails off. “I can’t.”
She slams her phone down on the bedside table.
(shit! hope she didn’t break it.)
“What happened, sweeite?”
“I was trying to log into my bank account. It was trying use my faceprint but you were fucking around. Now it wants my password. I haven’t used my password in months. I can’t remember. I’ll just do it later.” She gets up and storms into the kitchen.
“I’m sorry. Do you have your password saved?”
“Yes. I do. I just have to look it up. I’ll do it later.”
She heads off into her bathroom to get ready. I turn my attention to the groceries that need to be put up. After a few minutes I hear her voice but can’t make out what she is saying.
“Sorry, Sweetie. I didn’t hear you.”
As she walks by, heading back into the bedroom, she says, “I said, ‘I love you.’”
“So you’re not mad at me anymore?”
“So, you were mad at me?”
I sneak up behind her. “Yes you were.”
“I was frustrated.”
“With me. . .?”
“With the—“ she reaches for her phone.
“Which means you were angry with me.”
She grabs her clothes from the bed and turns to go back to her bathroom.
“Yes, damn it, I was angry with you.”
“There’s no reason to be angry with me. It was God who made your phone mess up for disbelieving you loving husband.”
(don’t bring god into this again. she’s gonna know that something’s up.)
She walks away without even a look, returning to her morning hygiene; I to the groceries.
“You stinker!” She says, coming out of the bathroom as I’m putting the bread in the cupboard, the last thing to be put away.
“What? Do you want me to put the bread somewhere else?”
“No, not that. You only spent $90.”
(uh oh. she’s on to us. she must have remembered her password.)
“Yeah. So? That’s what I said.”
“No you didn’t. You said you spent $190.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did. And it says right here,” she holds up her phone, pointing at her account ledger, “ that you spent $90.83.”
(she’s got us. might as well come clean.)
“I didn’t say I spent $190,” I pause for effect. “I said I spent $193.”
Her eyebrow raises incredulously, but at the same time a smile, defiantly, stretches across her face.
“And, this is all on you, anyhow,” I add.
“How is that?”
“You originally said it didn’t matter how much I spent.”
“But. . . Wait . . . Ugh. . .”
“Fine. Whatever. But, you’ve got to give me this, how did you not know something was up when I brought God into it.”
She stops huffing and puffing. The smile creeps back across her face.
“You know you love me,” I continue. “I keep you on your toes. This level of tom foolery takes hard work to pull off. I am not good at anything else, but I am a master rascal.”
“I tell them at work that you make me so frustrated sometimes,” she steps forward and puts her arms around me, “keeping me guessing,” she leans in close, touching her nose to mine, “and laughing.”
She kisses me softly.
I lean in, touching my forehead to hers. I hug her tight.
“Shut up, baby. I know it.” I let her go and walk off to the bedroom.
She swats me on the butt and goes back to her bathroom.