Pavel looked up at his girlfriend, exasperated that his favourite magazines now lay at the bottom of their rubbish bin. He’d saved them from an almost certain death, though he wasn’t out of the woods yet: he needed to delicately rescue them from the bin without tipping over the stale yogurt squished in between March and April’s issue of FHM.
“How could you!?” He hadn’t looked this upset since he took his dog to the vet.
“Pavel, look. You never read them and I thought we could do some spring cleaning. Bet you wouldn’t have even noticed!”
“What are you talking about?! These are mine, woman*. Mine, got it?”
She pursed her lips and stormed out of the room. She’d had more than enough.
She wondered how it all came to this. One moment they were strolling along the beach on their honeymoon, the next thing she knew she was spending her evenings alone while Pavel was working later and later at the office. She’d felt lonely, and frustrated that she was the only one trying to make this work. Something had to give.
Later that night, they had dinner in silence. Her eyes gazed at the flowers sitting so peacefully on the TV, while Pavel looked at his plate with a small hint of satisfaction that he had saved his magazines. But he knew better than to actually say something.
The clock ticked.
“Pavel, I’ve been thinking,” she started. Pavel had enough experience of women and relationships to know that the next line wouldn’t be good. “Maybe we should spend some time apart. Y’know, get some space and out of each other’s hair for a bit.”
He didn’t know what to say. He took a deep breath and quizzed her:
“What exactly are you saying? After everything…” his voice trailed off. He’d worked so hard the whole time to pay off their mortgage, and to have enough money saved up for their first little one.
“Just that.. I’m going to my mother’s this weekend. It’s what I need, to collect my thoughts.”
He nodded, not fully present with her but in some dreamland. He looked over at an issue of FHM, and smiled wistfully, knowing that this was where he kept her surprise birthday present: tickets to Paris for the weekend. She’d always wanted to go there, ever since she was a little girl.
The phone rang. “I’ll get it,” she said, brushing his arm for a brief moment as she got up out of her seat; Pavel, staring off into the distance, was in another world.
exasperated (adj.) = annoyed and surprised
not (yet) be out of the woods = the situation is still not resolved, although it is improving.
“We’re not out of the woods yet” means we’re almost in safe or ‘ok’ territory but not yet. Heading in the right direction though.
update: Taylor Swift’s new CD has a song with this fixed phrase:
stale (adj.) = opposite of ‘fresh’. If you leave out bread for a day or two it’ll go stale.
squish (v.) = pressed hard
How could you!? = we say this phrase when we are annoyed and disappointed with someone who has done something we don’t like.
eg you find out your boyfriend has a lover:
How could you?! = How could you do this to me?!
What are you talking about?! = you are showing you disagree or are surprised with what someone has told you
woman* (n.) = this can be a politically incorrect way of addressing a woman you are annoyed or angry with. Interestingly, calling a guy ‘man’ is fine (esp. USA) eg ‘hey man, how’s it going?’
purse (v.) = to press your lips together because you are upset or angry. nb: you probably know ‘purse’ as a noun for the small bag where you put your money (especially if you’re a woman)
stormed out (v.) = to leave the room quickly because you are angry or upset
she wondered how it all came to this = how things ended up like this, especially as the beginning was good
something had to give (or ‘something’s got to give’) = if one thing or person is receiving too much pressure which they cannot accept or withstand for a long time, at some point there will be a reaction to this pressure.
he knew better = to be wise or experienced enough to know the right thing to do
get out of each other’s hair = be away from each other and what we might find annoying in each other
for a bit = for a short time
quiz (v.) = to ask a question when you want to find out the answer quickly
trailed off = you gradually become quiet or silent
little one = baby
collect your thoughts = to think about things
smile wistfully (adv.) = although you have a small smile on your face, you’re sad because you can see that what you want may not happen. It can also be used when we look back on the past.
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And what do you think will happen next to our lovely couple?