It’s been awhile since I’ve posted some real writing. I wrote this last week based entirely on the phrase “my cappuccino is a choppy sea” which came to me randomly. Maybe I should make it an InMon prompt.
We sit in the very center of the café, swaddled by the muted bustle of coffee mug chit chat. I’m staring down at a froth-topped cappuccino. Giant bowl. Tiny handle. I don’t think my fingers are that strong.
“We’re just not the same people we used to be,” he says. He is half apologizing to me, half justifying himself. He hopes I will look up. I take the spoon and swirl the foam into my coffee.
“We want different things now.”
But he doesn’t want something different. He just wants out. My cappuccino is a choppy sea, swishing and swirling and slapping up in waves against the sides of the cup.
“I just don’t think I can make you happy.”
But I am happy. At least, I was until he bought me this cappuccino, this wretched ugly storm I hold in my hands. For a moment, I feel like I’m drowning. Then I remember to swallow.
“I feel like I’m holding you back.”
What does he even mean? Nothing. Nothing at all. Just sounds to fill the vacuum as I mop up a caramel-colored drip from the table with my sleeve. Now my sleeve is sticky. Stupid, stupid. Where are the napkins? He disappears for a moment and returns with a stack. But what thin paper handkerchief could soak up this ocean?
Why can’t he just ask me to look at him? Why can’t he have the guts to make me face him? Because he’s nicer than he is good. If he had been good, he would never have chased after me, or begged for my phone number, or paid for my dinner, or made me addicted to his smile. He would have known that he would get bored with me, and he would have left me alone. Because he wants excitement and flirtation and impassioned wrestling bouts. But I want a hand to hold, and a soul to talk to, and a band on my finger.
No, he is only nice. Guilt is his only motivation to be good. And he is not what I wanted. I wish that made it easier. I wish it meant I could flash him a smile and walk out with my chin up. But my heart is stronger than my pride. One little crack, and everything else stops working. It’s raining on my cappuccino sea, now.
“You’ll be so much better off without me,” his voice is gentler, but only because it makes him uncomfortable to see me cry.
“What you mean,” I croak out after another swallow and a few clearings of the throat. “Is that you will be better off without me.”
He makes an objection, but it is weak, and empty.
“But that’s alright,” I still can’t look at him. “You can have your life. I don’t think I want it any more. Buy me another coffee?”
He blinks and stares and eventually stutters, “uh, sure.”
“Make it to-go.”