Fiction, Melbourne, Relationship and marriage, Writing

Moody Man

I am gobsmacked by Herbert’s mercurial temperament.

I mean, and I don’t want to sound sexist here, but if he were a woman, then maybe I’d understand it more. Women, after all, are prone to wild mood swings. Pouty one minute, smiley the next.

But Herb, gosh, he just changes like the wind. It’s almost as if a gust blows his sunshine away and ushers in a dark cloud. Just moments ago, we were lying in bed, lazy after waking. His arm slung around my shoulders. Me, nestled into his nook. Pillow talk in low, croaky voices. He was nuzzling that bit of me, where my shoulder meets my neck. Sends me dizzy with desire. But this time, I remembered, with a thud like a brick to the back of the head, I’d agreed to meet Jenny, my friend, for brunch.

‘Herb,’ I shouted, wriggling my way out from under his arm. ‘I gotta go. Meeting Jenny in 20.’

‘But Sharn. I’ve got something going on here. Needs your attention.’ His voice soft, playful and teasing.

‘Oh hon. I’m sorry.’ And I genuinely was. Trust me. I had a bit going on that needed attention, too. ‘I just don’t have time.’

His eyes flashed, stormy and thunderous. His jaw clenched firm. ‘Fuck it. Just go then.’

‘Herb, don’t be unreasonable. It’s not as if I’m rejecting you outright. It’s only coz I’ve made arrangements with Jenny.’

‘How about you come here, and just arrive late to Jenny.’ His voice was hard, like concrete. He threw back the covers, exposing his nakedness. For split second, until I registered the anger in his face, I was tempted. He was built like a Greek god, after all. Could almost see him in those twisty sandals, starring in an epic story, perhaps as Hermes, heading to the underworld to bring back Persephone from Hades side.

But I did see his rage, his selfishness. I clocked his mood had changed.

‘I can’t hon,’ I said, skulking quickly to the bathroom to shower, dress and get the hell out before his bad temper alters the whole of my day.

Now, as I shower, I wonder why he’s like that. Indulged by his mother, definitely. Sense of entitlement, yes. But he’s not a child anymore, and surely, by now he should’ve learnt that some behaviours are just not acceptable as an adult. We all have to grow up. Why hasn’t he?

I decide Herb will be topic number one to discuss with Jenny. She’s always got good advice to dole out.

‘See ya,’ I yell out, racing down the hallway. No reply from him as I pass our bedroom. He’s still in bed, covers still thrown back, and I notice he’s furiously tending to his own need.

Hopefully, that means his mood will improve by the time I’m back.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash


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