Four days before their imminent wedding, my mother stood before her fiance in the living room, tears streaming down her face. She had finally stopped yelling and now they stared at each other, absorbing the thick silence that hung around them; her hopeful and anticipatory, him blank as a stone.

She wanted him to say something, but eventually it was my mother who broke the silence. In a manner quite rare for her character, she seemed to have disregarded the importance of the apology she was obviously not going to receive. Instead, my mother simply stepped toward him and threw her arms around him selflessly.
She whispered in his ear, 'I love you.'

I watched from the corner of the hallway, unnoticed. His arms hung deliberately at his sides, motionless, heavy as steel. His silence was the loudest thing I had ever heard.

She held him tightly for minutes as he stood there expressionless and cold, unresponding. When she finally dropped her arms and ran out the door, he was left standing in the same position he had held since I'd been there. He now directly faced me, sitting on the stairs, watching.