Story-A-Day May: Unravelling

When she started out, she always pulled her stitches too tight and she would end up barely able to move the needles. She got over that, in time, but she missed the precision of those tight stitches, the even rows, the way they clung together. Once she had let that go, eased off a bit, she found that she was dropping stitches and not even realizing it until rows later. There was probably a way to ease the dropped stitch back in, if she had more experience she would probably know how to do that. She didn’t, though, and instead she had to unravel row after row until she reached the one with the missed stitch and then she could slide the needle back through the stitches and start again. If she was one of those ‘think positive’ people, she could have probably come up with some sort of meaning for the dropped stitches, for the unravelling, but she just found it a pain in the ass.

It helped though, the knitting did, it kept her mind off everything else that was going on. She had tried losing herself in old TV shows – Friends, Full House, Seinfeld, but instead of sinking into their comfort she found herself yelling at the screen. Chandler and Monica had been amusing in the first place but now she just wanted them to grow the hell up, Uncle Jesse was still cute but she didn’t want to watch him try to cling to his youth, and when she found herself throwing a pillow at the screen when George was on, she had to turn it off. She couldn’t concentrate to read. She wanted to go to the gym but she didn’t dare leave the house in case he called – she didn’t want to risk having that conversation in public.

It was over. Her brain knew that. Her heart though? Her heart refused to accept it. Her brain played that last argument over and over again. It knew that when the door slammed behind him on Friday night, everything else shut with it. Her heart saw his clothes in the closet, his toothbrush in the stand, his shoes in the porch and it hoped. It hoped that this was just a dropped stitch, that they could unravel the rows of their argument and pick everything up again. Maybe they could knit everything tighter this time.

On Monday morning, she had an epically long scarf, a headache, and a meeting she couldn’t miss. With ibuprofen and with squared shoulders she headed into the office and walked the tightrope of her day. On the bus home, she pressed her forehead to the glass and let the streets become a blur as she daydreamed about him waiting for her when she got home. Brain be damned, her heart wanted him there, wanted to pretend none of this had happened. She told herself that if he was waiting at home, she wouldn’t bring up the fight. She could let it all drop, all those angry stitches, she would just sail in with a smile and make supper. It wouldn’t be hard, all could be well.

She ignored her brain and held that hope in her heart until she got inside and saw that his shoes were gone from the porch. She was going to have to learn how to weave Friday night in, and just keep knitting.