35 miles. That's it. 35 miles, and the silence will be over.
I glance over at Dean: eyes straight ahead, knuckles gripping the steering wheel so tight they've almost turned white. The mood between us is so cold, icicles may start forming in the corner of our SUV.
35 miles until we reach his parent's home. Where everyone will be happy and laughing. Except us.
Gosh, it wasn't supposed to be like this. Two years into marriage, and this is where we are. Barely speaking. At Christmas. I take in a deep breath, and wish I could blow away this tension as I exhale.
Dean glances over at me. "You ok?"
I stare out the window. "I think we both know the answer to that question."
He doesn't answer. Doesn't make another sound until we're pulling into his parent's driveway. The outside lights are on, and garland drapes over the front railing. Festive. Just like his mom to go all out. No doubt she'll have mountains of food inside. Which sounds glorious. I may eat my weight in cookies, and not even care.
I reach for the door handle.
I stop and glance over at my husband. His brows are furrowed, as they always are when he's worried. Most days I think it's cute. Today I don't have the energy for him. He opens his mouth, but I cut him off. "I know you didn't want to come today. But I appreciate you doing it."
He nods. "I know it means a lot to you."
Tears sting my eyes. I open my door. "Let's just go in and pretend we're not mad at each other, ok?"
I don't even turn around to see if he follows me inside.