He underestimated her silence. He also misread it. The silence was only a façade, which shielded anger, hurt and rejection. It concealed words of anger that she knew she never had the courage to utter, false accusations, which would only prick more and tears that only threatened to overwhelm her.
She wore the façade like her second skin. Monosyllabic responses or acerbic taunts now punctuated their silences. They had ceased fighting as well. They knew too little of each other for that these days.
His half-hearted attempts added further bricks to her carefully-erected wall. She rarely frequented that room, which once lit up with his presence. She told herself it was temporary. She wouldn’t stop using the study just because they had once used it together. It was one they had built with great love and care. The table they had spent months ferreting the furniture shops for; the chaise-longue they had designed after none they saw matched up to their expectations; the glass bookshelf that they could never amicably divide between themselves.
Today, the study only reminded her of what she wanted to forget. That space spoke of his innocence, devotion and commitment; words, she wanted to purge her mind of.
While reconciling with the study would have probably paved the way for an apology, she wasn’t about to let go just yet. She didn’t mean to punish him with her silence. It was the only way she knew to not hurt him.