Stop. Wait. Tick.
The clock ticks just one second.
Wait wait - shh shhh shh!
Okay - okay, listen: before you say another word - another fucking word - I want you to shut up for just one moment and think back... several years ago, back before her, before all of it and before all this shitstorm.
Okay, do you remember your first date?
No, seriously, hold on to that thought for a minute.
Picture her... You were late and she had already ordered her drink. It was raining, cold, and dark, and she was inside sitting by the window waiting for you. Her damp dark hair curled and twisted, contrasting against her bright white smile and intense blue eyes; she cupped her coffee with both hands to keep them warm.
The night before you had spent four hours on the phone with this girl. You wrote emails all day, and every one you sent you read and re-read it over and over. Impatiently, you kept looking for new mail and even built up excuses to push your real work aside. You ignored important phone calls. It was agonizing just how long the afternoon seemed to take until, finally, you could leave work.
You remember what she was wearing? Hell, you remember how she smelled? Yeah, you loved that outfit. The scarf, the jacket, the jeans, and a white blouse... the one with small red flowers sewn around the square neckline. When you sat down with her at the table, you could smell it: that single scent - you don't know, an obscure combination of perfume, oils, and lotion - that was uniquely her. You looked forward to that, every day, and much later after meeting for coffee, you could smell it everywhere: that blessed fragrance was in your bedding, your jacket, your car... she surrounded you, and you ached when she was missing. The small of her back; her curves that hugged yours; feeling her naked under cotton sheets.
At first, she didn't appreciate your humor and it look a month her to recognize when you were kidding and being sarcastic. She was proud, determined; you were so impressed with how she overcame her past. She was the smartest woman you'd ever dated, and the most observant - she asked the most critical questions...
There was nothing more important than her.
Now. Stop. Wait. Breathe.
The clock ticks another second.
Bring yourself back to that small coffee shop, and see her for what she actually is.
This moment is awash in anger, misunderstanding, rage, and fear; your argument has overtaken all reason and blown way out of proportion. Across your eyes is a veil of sheer arrogance. You are making her out to be that thing you hate and in this ugly moment, you see her as the adversary, the obstacle, the combatant, the problem. In this moment, you have something to prove, and you've absolutely forgotten about who she is, what she means to you, and who you are together.
The clock ticks one more second.
Stop. Wait. Remember.
Lotion. Oils. Perfume. The flash of an angry and icy blue stare; black locks; her face, tense, tight, hurt, tears streaming down her face - her lips preparing to lash out the sharpest verbal daggers she can throw at you... smart, exacting, clever: precisely what you love about her. She is, was, has been, and will always be everything you love in a woman, and nothing - not this dumb argument, not your fucking pride, not your selfish wishes, wants, or desires - is more important than her. Ever.
Three seconds. Stop.
Now... defuse this moment, and think of something else to tell her. It's that simple. And it'll always be that simple.