Flash: Argument

“So the boys are coming over tonight.” Reported Kryler as he rinsed the breakfast dishes.

Natalie rolled her eyes. “For video games or playing D&D?”

Kryler shoulders tensed as he put his hands either side of the sink. Blood vessels popped on his arms, despite his wiry frame. His preferred form of exercise was running after their daughter. He inhaled, picturing Mia’s laughter. She had been at his mom’s this week so Natalie could concentrate on today’s presentation, which would either make or break all the efforts she had put in for four years. With the five-year old out of the picture, the fractures in his marriage had gone from simple cracks to huge gaping holes.

“For setting up the alpha testing of our next video game product.” He was surprised the words were recognizable since his teeth remained gritted the entire time.

Behind him the chair scraped as Natalie stood. “Planning on actually selling this one or giving it away like the last time?” The sneer dropped his wife’s voice an octave.

“For the last time, NotGolfHobbies was a legitimate games distributor by every resource we had available.” He turned around, crossing his arms protectively in front of his chest. “Only after they got Rodger’s Retrieval did they stop paying anyone.”

“Which you didn’t figure out for nineteen months!”

“It takes time for video games to find legs and royalties to come back.”

“When you first decided on playing games as a career, you said feedback was nearly instant.” Natalie walked towards the front door where everything she needed was precisely laid out.

Following her, Kryler dug his hands into his elbows. “Yes, feedback is instant. But, as I have since learned and I keep telling you, royalties are not.”

Natalie snapped open her briefcase for one last check. “Well, I can’t keep being the only one bringing in money. Would it kill you to find a real job?” She snapped the briefcase shut.

“We agreed I would do programming until Mia is in school.” Kryler eyes stared off to the side; he blinked back tears of pain. “That way one of us would be home.”

Shifting the briefcase to her left hand, Natalie turned the doorknob with her right. “Well, it’s July and she starts school in two months. Why don’t you start working on that resume?”

The door slammed between them.

(words 393 – originally appearing at Breathless Press 9/8/2013 for the 2/12/12 Sunday Fun (original photo of unknown copyright so not posted here; republished in new blog format 3/4/2018)