Coffee 1

My coffee was cold when I got back; a lot colder than it should have been. I must have lost track of time. Matthew’s eyes had followed me, unblinking, from the restroom all the way to my seat across from him where I sat now. He said nothing, but his body language told me everything I needed to know.

He sat back in his chair, slowly drumming his fingers on his legs. His other hand was loosely draped around the handle of his empty coffee mug. His broad shoulders were slumped. He regarded me with a wounded look, a small frown appearing between his eyebrows. His chest rose and fell evenly, but one could see that it he exerted a great amount of concentration to regulate his breathing. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see his knee bouncing erratically under the table.

His eyes never left my face.

I took a sip of the coffee. It still tasted good. Matthew turned his gaze out the window to the busy city street. I lowered my cup and looked down at my hands, at the gold band which ringed by left ring finger. He must have already noticed it.

“I didn’t think you’d come.” It was Mathew’s low voice which broke through the murmurs coming from the other coffee drinkers and the mechanical sounds of the coffee machines. I said nothing. “I didn’t think you would risk being seen with me again,” he sighed. I kept silent. His eyes narrowed. I hugged my purse to my stomach and fiddled with the zipper, not meeting his glare. I opened my purse and searched for a pack of gum.

“Have you come to deliver an invitation to me?” he asked. I looked up, startled. His voice took a sarcastic turn. “No really, congratulations. It’s not like I was planning on continuing this longer than you wanted. Isn’t that what we had agreed on?” He paused, taking a deep breath. “But the truth is that you felt something for me. You developed feelings that you were ashamed of. It turned into a commitment that you didn’t want anyone else to know about.” I tugged my cardigan closer around me. “Our commitment,” he added bitterly. I shifted in my seat and tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear. The speech I had rehearsed in the restroom dissolved from my mind as I considered the reality of our situation; of what I had gotten us into.

The End

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