Danny sat in front of the TV staring at what was on the screen but not actually taking any notice of it. Even with his reservations about the weekend away with Tracey he didn’t consider things going the way they had. He figured if anyone was going to be upset and offering little more than the silent treatment it was going to be her not him, but some how she’d completely turned his thoughts around, not once, but twice.

Danny took deep breath after deep breath, slow and steady in a quiet relaxing manner concentrating on each breath rather than his surrounds, a technique he’d learnt during his anger management classes to calm himself down. During those classes he’s also been taught to remove his mind from the current situation and place it in a “happy place” to calm down. He wasn’t quite at the state of needing to remove his mind but he knew continuing the conversation with Tracey, on it’s current path, would put him there.

The pity for Danny was that Tracey wasn’t seeing things the same way. She knew Danny didn’t have the truth about her time away, she suspected, because of Danny’s reaction, that he hadn’t spoken to Sharkey and she knew that he was hiding something. Whether her real reasons for disappearing came out or not she wanted to know what it was Danny was hiding.

“I’m waiting for an answer Danny?” Tracey said looking directly at him.

“So am I!” Danny grumbled back momentarily forgetting his deep breaths.

In an effort to stop the conversation Danny pushed himself out of the chair and plodded heavily to the kitchen. The kitchen wasn’t far enough away that it would stop conversation if Tracey wanted to talk but he hoped his stepping out of the room was enough that she wouldn’t think to initiate anything. In the kitchen he dropped his empty beer bottle into the bin, opened the fridge and grabbed another bottle. Twisting the top off he took another few deep breaths, dropped the cap in the bin on top of his last empty and padded back to the lounge chair.

“I guess despite all your talk about wanted to resolve this situation between us, you really aren’t ready to forgive and forget that we both played a part in this, so I’m off to bed. Maybe tomorrow we can have a rational conversation.” Tracey said a few minutes later.

“Perhaps tomorrow you’ll drop this stupid fucking lie!” Danny muttered under his breath.

It was the first night since Tracey’s return that the two of them had slept in separate beds, or rather slept apart, because Danny slept in the lounge chair still holding his empty beer bottle.

Tracey had tossed and turned most of the night, waking often and each time feeling for the opposite side of the bed to see if Danny was there. Each time there was no lights on in the house and because of the make up of the rooms she couldn’t tell if the television was turned on but she couldn’t hear voices so if it was, the volume was low.

Each time she woke up she felt bad about the way the conversation had gone down, she hated the idea of keeping the real story from Danny but she hated fighting even more. She knew that she’d pushed him too far during the evening and she knew it was a credit to his anger management that he hadn’t reacted the way he used to, but she didn’t regret the entire episode.

The problem she had was that she wanted to tell Danny the truth, she wanted to have it all out in the open, but it wasn’t as simple as that because explaining the truth to Danny had ramifications. Even at his lowest of lows where his anger controlled him more than his drive to be the Touring Car Champion Danny would never have gotten violent with Tracey but his reactions to news he couldn’t control, or understand could not be underestimated. It was the unknown that forced Tracey to, leave in the first place, stay away as long as she did and keep the full story from him when she returned.

In the lounge room of the holiday house Danny zoned in and out of conciseness, he didn’t really sleep he just napped. He’d gotten up once after Tracey went to bed for another beer and realised half way through it that he really didn’t want it. He struggled through the bottle anyway, nodding off twice before he finished it.

Sleeping in the chair wasn’t a deliberate thing, he was angry at Tracey and the thought of being close to her annoyed him somewhat but he saw no reason he should give up his bed. Truth was there were three other beds in the house he could have chosen, but somewhere around about midnight his brain convinced him that sleeping in the chair, although somewhat uncomfortable, would make Tracey feel guilty. Had his weary mind been firing on all cylinders it would have told him that such thoughts were ridiculous, that Tracey wouldn’t feel guilty because he chose to sleep there and was not forced there, but that was not the case so there he sat drifting in and out of naps rather than getting a reasonable sleep.

Each time he woke from a nap, none of his naps lasting much more than forty minutes a piece, his mind kept wanting to think about what had happened and how the conversation he’d so wanted to have had gone wrong. It was a power game he was having with his mind and one he just wasn’t winning. It wasn’t until about 5:30 in the morning, he knew the time because one of the morning news services had just started on the TV he hadn’t turned off, that his mind stopped thinking about the past and tried to make him think about how best to re-approach the situation with Tracey. The problem with that was that after such a crappy night of sleep Danny wanted to keep his mind as far away from the topic as he could. So adamant he was as he tried to go back to sleep with dawn’s early light streaming in the back door that he would have been happy to ignore the entire topic until they got home the following day where he could immerse himself back into work.

While Danny tried to convince himself that he didn’t want to talk about their situation Tracey’s mind was telling her the opposite. She might not have woken until 7am but when she did wake her first thought was that she was going to sit Danny down and over the kitchen table she was going to force the situation that he seemed so reluctant to resolve in any manner other than his own the night before.

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