“It’s not working,” he said. “The way you’re living life is not working.” He’d sat her down gently, intending to break the news over an hour’s worth of coffee, but once faced with the task he leapt in unable to contain himself.

She glanced up from her steaming brew knowing he needed no prompting to continue.

“You see, I’ve been watching you, and your ‘trying’ is misguided and quite pathetic. You’d be better off sweeping all day.” He hadn’t meant to sound so harsh but her unwillingness to launch a defense before his brutality started fueled his ire. He used to know a fighter in her, but that person was gone. Before him sat a passive being of small attempts. He wanted his old lover back.

She reached for one of those petite plastic thimbles of milk, pulled off the foil top, and added it to her coffee. She had given up the substance years earlier, but now faced with an attack, she decided to distract herself. Reaching for the wooden swizzle stick, she created beautiful swirls that reminded her of images she saw on Nova.

“You have so much,” he offered. “Not everyone is offered such a repertoire upon landing on the planet.” She nodded involuntarily. He no longer was playing fair, tugging at her subconscious. But it hardly mattered. This conversation had no end, so there could be no winner.

She glanced up from her art and met his eyes. “What would you prefer me to do?” she asked. “Apparently the tenor of my existence is an annoyance to you.”

“I’m not here to prompt drama,” he retorted.

“Of course you are,” she said more calmly than intended.

“You see, this is the kind of thing I’m talking about. You won’t fight for yourself any more.”

“No, I won’t,” she replied. She reached for her coffee cup and took a sip. The milk congealed on her tongue due to an unpleasant chemical reaction with her highly acidic saliva. At least that’s what she told herself. She wasn’t much interested in the realities of science for they didn’t contain the romance she needed to thrive. She reached for his cup of black coffee and took a sip to cleanse her palate, and then reset the cup in front of him. “Thank you,” she said. “I needed that.”

He assumed she meant the coffee. He didn’t know that his words had sparked her memory of romance. She stood from the table, and reached for her satchel. “I suspect that I’m done here,” she said, and left unceremoniously through the door.


Anonymous said...

this is so compelling. i could have been this woman sitting there, this story reminding me of a relationship from my 20's where i lost myself and allowed the image i had of me, to be dictated by someone else.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could turn the page and keep reading this.

Girlplustwo said...

oooh. nicely done. i sort of want the chapter before this one. do you have that one?

Johnny C. said...

Radical! I search blogs at least half my day looking for entries like that.

Slim said...

All I can say is, ooooh. Very interesting! I simultaneously think both, 'This is enough' and 'I want more'

thethinker said...

This is the sort of thing that makes me want to keep reading.

Emily said...

I too am intrigued. And I agree with work in progress, this stands on it's own but I'm curious for more.

Unknown said...

I love the line, "I suspect that I'm done here." Now THAT is class.

Rachel said...

I'm hungry for more, need more. Didn't want the post to end. I loved the last quote
"I suspect that I am done here". That should be in a movie. Lovely writing

deezee said...

I suspect more will be coming...let the muse speak!