As Richie closed his statement, he expresses his disappointment in Tara’s lame attempt to get him to be jealous. He felt that she had risked too much and had annoyed him greatly by the lack of trust in him to speak openly about the dress. The icing on the cake was when Richie pointed out the obvious. Tara’s lack of trust had set up a cascade of events that ended with her not having her favorite dress in her closet anymore. Had she just spoke with him when the gift was initially given, things would have worked in her favor and she would probably not only had the pink dress in her closet, but a few others like it in other colors too.
Totally disarmed, Tara’s face turned bright red. Her emotions was all over the place. Richie was not ending things. He was not angry. He was barely hurt. His disappointment was stinging her sharply as she hated to disappoint Richie. She took pride in her ability to please her man and to find out that she had done the exact opposite was a tough pill to swallow.
Her only avenue of recourse was to throw a blame at Richie for not having broken the silence earlier. The shaking of his head was more a warning than a denial that left Tara further flushed and also hesitant to press the matter. He had said that he needed the time to collect the data because she had been ultra quiet and withdrawn.
But, didn’t Richie know that whenever things got weird in their relationship, she took her distance to protect her heart? It was reflex. An automatic protection program. Guys were not to be trusted 100%
Richie’s instant darkening of his eyes sucked the breath out of Tara. As he leaned in and uttered, between very pursed lips, that Tara’s lack of trust was her own problem to fix. The weight of the air in the room felt like the ocean had fallen on her chest. Tara was realizing that she alone was responsible for her feeling of trust in Richie.
But, but. She hesitated to rebute his remark. But. See. If only Richie had acted in a trusting way… the idea trailed off the edge of her mind and never made it to her lips. Richie had not really done anything other than remain quiet. As much as she wanted to be right and angry at him, Richie had not done anything but hold his tongue until he had all the facts in place. Once he did, he didn’t attack or accuse. He just laid down the facts clear and crisp.
Tara crossed her arms and with a huff, exclaimed that Richie was wrong for making her wait so long and that this all could have been avoided if he had only asked about the dress.
Expecting Richie to retract himself as if beaten and outsmarted, Tara rolled over to pretend to sleep, thus ending the conversation and leaving Richie to fume.
The way the sheets were peeled back with authority and the way her rear end got swatted caught Tara’s full attention and swung her about swiftly looking to Richie for answers.
The look on his face said it all. He was not buying her line. He was throwing it back to her. This time however, there was no pushing the ball back in his court. The conversation was wrapping up and she was not winning this round.
Biting her lower lip and leaning her head slightly, Tara waited for the angry outburst that had never shown it’s head.
Instead, Richie rolled over, pulled up his covers and made himself totally comfortable. The man was ready for sleep. Conversation was over.
As Tara accepted the end of their conversation, she rolled over to the very edge of the bed and gathered her thoughts. This was a new side of Richie. She had never pushed the envelope this far. He had never handled her so effectively. Maybe, when sleep would eventually find her, she’d figure out what to do next, as she could not have Richie walking around thinking he had found new leadership grounds in this relationship.
Slowly drifting to sleep, Tara’s mind found peace. Her marriage was intact. Things were not over. Life had not ended. Richie had not cornered her about over-reacting about the dress either. That was good. She got away with that. A smile appeared and she giggled quietly to herself.
Her breath halted. Richie was not asleep. His hand had found her side. The way he was holding her, she felt he was reading her mind. He whispered something barely audible. Her face flushed over pink. She held still.
“You’re not off the hook young lady… you still have to pay for your sins”
Tara had never heard Richie speak like this. The tone in his voice. The power behind the whisper. The way his grip tightened about her. Before she could jump out of the bed, Richie pulled her back into himself and hugged her very tightly.
Putting on the best playful fight she could, her ears paid very close attention to the words slipping out of his mouth as he set the record straight about her behavior and what he thought of it. Eventually, he had the better of her and she felt snuggly safe in the arms of her man. Her face was many shades of pink and red as he laid down the law. Tara didn’t budge. She was hoping that the lecture would go from the verbal law to the practical application of said law.
She was not disappointed at all. The thoughts of pink brought out the best and brightest pink. Richie cared. Her heart felt safe again. Things were alright with them now that they had talked.
After Thinking Pink
The conversation of the night did not end that night. Tara and Richie took additional time to talk and discuss the various details for their moments of silence. Many lessons come out of their talks.
One thing was clear to Tara, whenever she tried to make Richie jealous, it hurt his feelings and his response was to pull away until she stopped acting like a child.
She was pleasantly surprised that Richie wasn’t bothered by the nature of the gift as much as the lack of conversation about the gift. From his perspective, as long as the guy giving the gift had no ulterior motives and was not trying to disrespect him by making a move, no gift was out of bounds. This was way different than anything Tara was accustomed to when dealing with guys.
Turns out that the ability to talk openly was a huge important thing for Richie. Not having his wife be able to talk to him about anything was very hurtful and equitable to infidelity. Richie hated not being trusted to be cool about whatever Tara needed to share. He rather she over-share than keep silent.
Tara was also surprised that Richie wanted her to get her dress back. While she pushed back and gave all manners of explanations why she couldn’t take the dress back, Richie’s tone made it ample clear that he was not only not accepting no for an answer, but the expectation was that the dress was to be put into high rotational use.
Tara was not ready to admit that she was loving the opportunity to use that dress against Richie once more. There was so much potential there, as she enjoyed the way he watched her shimmy into the dress before this whole disaster took place.
Maybe, with this new tone of his, the dress could find it’s way home. Maybe, once she worked through her internal insecurities about the dress, things would get back to normal internally. Well, that’s what Roxie kept telling her would happen.
When a box appeared with a neon green version of the pink dress, Tara knew that she had to bring the pink back home. Her hubby was really cool with the gift. It was not for her to question why he was not like most guys and was not jealous. It was for her to enjoy the fact he trusted her this much to allow her the freedom to enjoy herself. That pink dress really did make her feel good about herself. Now she had one in green and that tickled her pink.
She new just what bag to get too. Roxie was more than happy to go shopping for such a bag. This turned out pretty OK after all.
Richie texted Tara, while she was at the mall shopping for a purse. The note mentioned another benefit gala coming up in honor of the survivors of cancer in their church. This time, the color was red. Attached to the text as the red gown she had been eying for a long time… laid out on her bed. The note next to it, in Richie’s handwriting, said “secret admirer”
Tara’s redness lit up the entire mall. Roxie teased her about the importance of open communication. A tear of joy started to make it’s way up. Who knew that pink was such a powerful color that often led to redness of cheeks!