The Last Straw

“You’ve burned dinner for the last time!” screamed Nathan, throwing the plate of charred steak and potatoes across the room.

The supposedly unbreakable Corelle plate shattered easily against the wall, leaving a trail of gravy which gravity slowly pulled toward the floor. By the numerous visible stains adorning the wall, it wasn’t the first time this had happened.

Nathan gave a cold stare, “I come home from work, and all I want is a hot meal. Something decent. Something edible!”

Standing up aggressively, Nathan knocked over the rickety wooden chair he’d been seated on. It clattered noisily onto the linoleum floor and the table vibrated from the commotion, the silverware making a slight tinkling sound.

“Is that too much to ask?” quizzed Nathan.

He paused a moment, expecting an answer that would never come.

“Well… IS IT?” he demanded.

His eyes wild, Nathan brushed his shaggy brown hair out of his face. He crossed his arms in cold anticipation, his muscles flexing beneath his flannel shirt. Met with deafening silence, he continued on.

“Fine,” he began. “If this is how you want it to be… you’re leaving me no choice.”

Nathan spun around and exited the kitchen in a heated manner. From the next room, the sound of the hallway closet being opened broke the dangerous silence. What followed were rustling noises and mild grunting as Nathan shuffled through the closet’s contents. He was obviously searching for something and when he reentered the kitchen, it was clear what he’d been looking for.

“I promise you,” Nathan started in a hushed voice, rhythmically tapping the business end of the wooden baseball bat against his open palm. “This’ll hurt me more than it hurts you.”

Nathan began moving forward slowly. His eyes narrowed and his cheeks tightened. When he got in one of his moods, he had the ability to become wildly unpredictable, not to mention, dangerous. He wrapped both hands around the handle of the bat, raising it above his head slowly for dramatic effect.

“Never again,” whispered Nathan, bringing the baseball bat down with all his might.

The first contact hit home and only fueled his rage. It felt so good to take a stand that he couldn’t stop himself. He indulged in the mindless violence, taking in and savoring each moment. Twelve swings later, Nathan finally dropped the bat to the floor next to the wooden chair. He leaned against the wall to catch his breath, a smile quickly growing on his face.

Nathan wiped the sweat from his brow with his sleeve and looked over at the remains of his microwave oven. Broken glass and splintered white plastic covered both the marble counter and the floor. He felt confident that he had made his point.

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