The explosion of porcelain came, not from the impact on the wall behind him, but from the floor. The man was barefoot; this was a tactical attack. Without the freedom of movement, he would have to use words to defend himself. Thankfully, it was the only plate in her reach.
Her words came fast and barbed - things that he knew she didn't mean... but hurt him anyway. It's cliché to say that he hadn't done anything wrong, but in this case, he really hadn't. Years of fury, dammed behind her own walls of civility, came crashing out. The man would have to think fast, or drown.
His was as calm a response as he could muster. Were he in the wrong, there stood a great chance that this heat would infect him as well. He looked down, then at her. A woman he still loved, even in this moment. He remembered when he first saw her, all those years ago, and his heart bloomed in spite of the situation.
He took one step toward her; saw her anger flicker away - only for a moment. Ignoring the piercing of ceramic in the arch of his left foot, he took another step. She told him to stay away. He opened his arms as he drew close. She balled her fists and hit his chest, but they were mere swats of a fly's wings compared to his now heavily bleeding feet. The kitchen floor was awash with red, staining the grout that he himself had set 5 years ago. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close to his heart, her struggle like a dying bird in a cage, and could only say one thing:
"I miss her, too."
In spite of herself, she began to cry.