Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The White Cup




The White Cup

The kettle coughs once or twice and then groans as the blue flames of ignited gas dance beneath it and the water for her tea begins to roll. She sits at the kitchen table and watches it in the half-light of the moon, an eerie luminescence that seeps through the dark house. She is memorizing the moment. She never wants to forget what it means to be free.

Her body aches. She arches her back slightly and pushes her shoulders back. She runs her hands slowly through her hair, but her hands suddenly become his hands, and she shudders. She shakes her head abruptly, shakes away the memory, and her fingers flutter in nervous exhaustion as she steadies herself in the chair.

It was the cruelest goodbye. Unfinished, incomplete, the hint of dependency still hanging in the air when he stopped at the front door, turned, and said, "I still love you. I guess I'll always love you."

She had hoped for something different. She had hoped to see his anger or to hear him spit out some unforgivable rebuke so that she could slam the door after him and be done. Instead, he left her with a lingering uncertainty, confused emotions, perilous second thoughts.

The kettle sputters into a whining whistle. She rises from the table and places it carefully to one side, then reaches into a open cupboard. She takes down a white cup and drops a tea bag into it. As she fills the cup with steamy water, she feels the heat drift across her face. Her eyes flutter unexpectedly, and she realises she is crying.

She walks from the kitchen and down a short hallway into the bathroom. There, she turns on the light and looks at herself in the mirror. She barely recognises the grim face that she sees as she splashes water across her brow and down her cheeks. For a moment, she wishes that the cool drizzle might wash her whole being away, that she could somehow evaporate into light and never be seen again. She laughs vaguely at herself. "Drama," she murmurs quietly. "So much silly drama."

She returns from the bathroom to the kitchen and picks up the phone. She dials quickly, and when she hears his voice on the other end of the connection, she says simply, "Would you like some tea?" Then, after a moment, she completes the vignette when she adds with a whisper, "I'll leave the front door open for you."
 







 








 
 


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