Why we fight

They were at it again. Rose and Parker were arguing again, oblivious to the fact that they were being eavesdropped. Little Linda was standing near the wall, just beside the door. It was about the broken window in the attic this time. Rose was adamant that Parker fix it soon but Parker believed that it was least of their concerns since no one used the attic. Linda sat down on the cold floor, her teddy Mr. Stuffy in her hands, as she quietly listened to the banter.
“There’s stuff in the attic,” Rose yelled and Linda could picture her cleaning the side table at the time.
“It’s all trash. And it’s not like all of it’s gonna fall down the window in a week. It can wait,” Parker said with a tired tone laced in his voice. Linda could imagine him laying on the bed, switching channels on the television, the sleeves of his T-shirt rolled up and the loosened tie hanging around his neck.
“It’s going to rain this weekend. It was forecasted. The storm is going to damage all the stuff. And it’s not trash.”
“A rain won’t destroy anything. I’m busy as it is. I don’t have time for this.”
“I never told you that you had to go up there and fix it yourself. You can call somebody.”
“Easy for you to say. Do you have any idea how much it would cost?”
“You say that like I don’t know the value of money.”
“How would you? I’m the one who has to work hard all day to earn, while you’re here spending it like nothing.”
“That’s not true. I have to handle all the budget, buy the groceries and stand in the sun bargaining so save precious pennies.”
Linda was tired of these arguments now. Everyday they argued about the same thing. It always started with something new – buying new clothes, need for a new appliance or like in this case, repairing the broken window.
They seemed to fight over every thing recently. She didn’t want them to fight. She wanted them to love each other like her friend Stacy’s parents do. Stacy’s parents never fought. Then why did hers?
Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t realize that her mother had now opened the door, shocked to see Linda sitting on the floor.
“Linda?” Rose asked softly.
Startled by her voice, Linda jumped a little.
“Mommy.”
Rose realized what Linda was doing there. She offered her a hand to help her stand up. She ushered Linda towards her room and helped her settle in her bed.
“What were you doing out there,” Rose asked, even though she already knew the answer.
“Why do you and daddy always fight? Are you going to get separated? My friend Josh said that parents who fight don’t love each other. Don’t you love daddy?” Linda asked fervently.
Rose was shocked to hear what all went through her little girls mind. She never thought their fights would affect her that way. She wondered how long had her girl been troubled by these thoughts.
“My sweet Linda. I love your father enough. I fight not because I hate your daddy, but because I care. Although, we don’t fight, simply argue. It means that the relationship is still alive. I love your father, but there are a few things we don’t see the same on. We fight because… Uh… Because we want each other to understand. And we release our frustrations in a healthy way. We both know that we don’t mean any bad things, we both understand that. We aren’t getting separated, not for a long time. Your daddy’s stuck with me,” she smiled at the last line with a glint in her eyes.
“But Stacy’s parents never fight,” Linda asked, perplexed.
“Maybe they do, you never know. Or maybe they have some other way to confess their love. Maybe they bond over some other thing. Everyone is different. Everyone lives in a different way. Don’t worry if you don’t understand. With time you will. Just know that your daddy and mommy love each other.”
“Promise?” She asked, still worried. It hurt her to imagine her parents separate, so wanted to be sure that it wouldn’t happen.
“Promise,” Rose said as she tucked her in. “Now go to sleep.”
Rose shut the lights as she exit the room.
In her room, she lay beside Parker, wondering. The world had set an image of a perfect relationship. People assumed that if a couple fights, they’re not happy; if they go out often, they’re happy and getting along, whereas, it may be the other way – they might be struggling with their relationship. Why is it that people assume things. She wasn’t able to sleep, though she was pretty tired. Parker sensed this and turned towards her.
“What’s the matter?” He asked as he stroked her hair in a slow, loving way.
“Our little girl is growing up.”
“Go to sleep, my dear,” Parker said and kissed her on the forehead. Soon, they were both asleep.

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