Questions and Coffee
Short Story by: Robert Crowfeather
George’s life was now a blur of emotions and succinct details that had not mattered before. “How had she seemed this morning? Were there any signs that she would do this today? How could he have let it get to this point? What more could he have said?”
All these questions were mute points now. His focus was on minor details, things that really should not matter, especially in his current situation. It was natural for him to focus on the minor details, though. There was really nothing else he could control. The only control that he currently possessed was his innate ability to control the thoughts pulsating through his mind.
“Who was Mike and how long had he been in the picture?” “Had there been signs that there even was a Mike?” His thoughts raced as his sat on the kitchen counter of their perfect suburban home; at least he had thought it was perfect until today. Now he was not sure about anything. Sure there had been some problems. She had told him she wasn’t ready for kids yet. Should that have been a sign? Was she trying to tell him something in her own subtle way?
Neither of them had ever been very good at coming out and sharing their emotions. Everything about her made him guess, and he knew she felt the same way about him. Until now he had been convinced that he was guessing right. Now he knew that the person he thought he knew either never really existed, or was no longer there.
He looked at a picture of them together on their wedding day. He knew who she was physically, but he did not recognize the person that was his wife. That person, if she ever existed was no longer there. Replaced by someone who hid her credit card statements and was leaving him for someone named Mike.
The coffee pot began to make making a belching sound and the room was filled with an aroma that reminded him of sitting in bed with her and reading the Sunday paper. He wondered if she would now be reading it with Mike. He opened their cupboard that held their coffee cups. The first one he reached for was an overpriced one she had convinced him to buy on their trip to Florida. “Come on, you only live once.” She had urged him.
George was no longer living his one chance on this earth to the fullest, but was numb to the core. He reached for a different cup, a plain one that he had picked out when they needed to buy new cups. It was nothing special, just a white cup with a blue ring around the middle. It was the kind of thing that one would see in any normal household on any normal street. It wasn’t anything special or ostentatious, but it was economical, and that was why George liked those cups. He poured the coffee from the pot into his plain cup and added sugar and creamer like he always did.
There was a chance he might not even call into work to tell them that he needed a personal day. He had so much to do there and the place could not run without him. He could rally himself and hide his emotions in the hour before he had to be at work. They would be oblivious to what was going on inside his head.
As much as he tried he could still not get the questions out of his head. “Why did she leave?” What could I have done differently?” “Will she come back?”
He put on his nicest wool pants and dress shirt. He looked like a man put together, someone who knew what he was doing and where he was going in life. He found his keys, got in his car and turned the radio to his favorite news station. Before he put the car in reverse to back out of the drive he looked at himself in the mirror and adjusted his tie.
As he was about to pull out of the driveway, his phone began to vibrate. It was his wife. Did she want to make up? To tell him that she was going to pick up her things? She knew George well enough to know that he would go to work today, no matter what happened last night. As he sat pondering what to do the phone stopped ringing. He stared at it blankly wondering what he should do now. It vibrated again, telling him that he had a message. George listened to the message; she said she was sorry and that she would give him another chance if he would be willing to work on some things with her. George listened to the message then went inside. He found her Florida coffee cup and set it on the table. He then took the plain coffee cup that he was using and dumped the coffee out of it into the Florida one, smiled and returned to his car to retrieve his phone. He had decided that he would not, in fact, go to work today.
© Copyright 2017 Robert Crowfeather. All rights reserved.