“Why are you always so mean to me? You put me down whenever you can, even if I’m trying to be nice to you.”
Standing over the dog, she scrunches up the towel and chucks it through the open door of the bathroom. The dog seems disappointed and looks at me with a frown.
“I’m not being mean; I’m merely stating how things are.”
“Like shit, you are. You’re saying I’m insensitive. That I’m selfish.”
“Look,” I say, “all I said was that you want everything on your own terms. Which is true. It’s not a criticism, it’s just how things are.”
Sensing an argument brewing, I hold out my hand to the dog. Plodding over to me, he licks my fingers. Satisfied with how I taste, he sits by my feet looking at an angry, nude Meeko.
“And what, you’re fucking perfect, are you? You sit around drinking and farting most of the day, pretending to write. I’ve seen your internet history. You look at porn more than you do write anything.”
“It’s research,” I quip.
“Bollocks it is. You’re the first one to criticise others, and yet you’re just a bum. A smelly, sleazy bum, who does everything he can to not be a responsible lover the way he should.”
“I’m not looking to put you down. All I said was that you like things your own way. That’s it. Now you’re running through my character flaws when there’s no fucking need.”
“Don’t swear at me,” she snaps.
The dog huddles himself beneath the chair, fearing the worst. Stroking his head, he yawns and slumps onto his belly.
“Look, let’s nip this in the bud. I’m not in the mood to argue. All I want is to drink with you and then get some food. We can chill out and enjoy a lazy evening. I don’t want any bullshit.”
“See, this is it. You want the evening to pan out the way you want, and I’m expected to go along with it while you have the nerve to say it’s all about me and what I want. It’s not me that wants it all, it’s you.”
Rolling my eyes, I grab my beer and walk over to the window. The smell of weed comes wafting in from one of the other apartments. I don’t smoke the stuff, and yet right now, I could do with some.
“So, are you just gonna turn your back on me or what?”
Turning to face her, I notice how her nostrils are flaring. I’m also struck by how my attitude to her body has changed. Minutes ago, the sight of her nude flesh turned me on something rotten. Now, it was sexless. Perhaps I was just a sleaze after all. I didn’t see the big deal. I wasn’t much for confrontation. Not because I couldn’t handle my flaws being scrutinised, but because I found other people couldn’t. Meeko was no exception. Whenever I call her out on something, she gets defensive and lashes out. What waited to be seen was whether or not I could subdue her or if this was going to turn into something more. The last time we had a big fight, she moved out. She was gone for three weeks—moved in with another guy. She told me he was a friend. When I told her I wasn’t born yesterday, I knew just by looking at her that she was lying. Not that I’m an angel myself, but the truth is important to me, and I don’t like being lied to. With her glaring at me waiting for a response, I tell myself to bite my tongue and not bring it up, but when she pushes my buttons, it’s the easiest way of cutting her down.