The bug

He thumped his computer angrily, muttering, “What the hell…?” under his breath. His wife looked on anxiously, biting her finger-nails.

“Can you fix it, baby?” she asked breathlessly. “I’d die if I have to re-do my sales report. I spent a good hour on it.”

“Gimme a minute,” he said brusquely. “Get yourself to the kitchen or something. I can’t fix anything if you’re hovering behind me. Jesus, some space, please…!”

Her face fell, and her arms, which she had folded across her chest, dropped to her sides. Immediately, he regretted being so rude to her, but it was too late to take it back. She bit her lip, and he noticed that her hands were trembling slightly. He wanted to say the right thing now, but his mind drew a blank. She looked at him for a while and turned away, walking into the kitchen.

He sighed. He wished he had been nicer to her lately, but it was too stressful. She was too clingy, too docile. He didn’t know what happened to the independent, strong, outgoing girl he had married 5 years ago. And their arguments were more frequent lately. They fought about every little thing.

He looked at the computer dejectedly. He remembered they had an argument about it too. She had insisted on buying it second-hand from a colleague of hers, who was leaving the pharmaceutical company she worked for. He was completely against it, because he wanted to invest in a used Cisco router that had been refurbished which he had come across at a great price, which would certainly make the internet network in their home more accessible. Without consulting him, she went ahead and purchased the computer from her friend, lugging it back one day. They had a huge argument and didn’t speak to each other for 2 days.

Now, he just wanted to smash the damn thing apart. He looked at it, not knowing where to start. It was an old run-down thing. Looking towards the kitchen, he could see her sitting on the kitchen bar stool, quietly drinking orange juice from a cup. She was still beautiful, even though the efforts at making this marriage work was obviously taking a toll on her.

He paused for a moment as he stood up, thinking quickly. Then, with all the strength he could muster, he kicked the computer out of the living room.