An Ending

This is my first attempt at publishing fiction here. We’ll see how it goes. Depending on the reception this may be a recurring thing. Here it is:

An Ending

            When she came downstairs he was already sitting at the kitchen table wearing the worn out terry cloth robe she thought he’d thrown away months ago. He looked up as if to see who it was then looked back down at the table. In his hands he held the creamy translucent white mug with the gold flower and butterfly pattern around the rim. On the surface of the coffee convection patterns swirled. Without looking up he said, “There’s coffee,” gesturing limply towards the coffeemaker.

She took a mug out of the cupboard. The mug that her grandmother had drunk coffee from every day. The pink and tan flower pattern she would never have picked out on her own, but kept because it was her grandmother’s. It was a memory made solid. She poured the coffee into the mug and set it down on the divider between the sinks, balancing it precariously by cupping her hand over the rim. She stared out the window. Outside sat a wood frame swing set in need of new paint and scattered toys, made even more garish than they already were by the brown lawn they sat upon. She sighed and looked down. The purple bruises on her wrists had begun to turn yellow and green. He cleared his throat.

She turned to him. He shook his head. He was just clearing his throat, not trying to get her attention. She turned back to the window.

“Maybe,” he began uncertainly, “Maybe we should…” He trailed off.

She didn’t respond. The silence was acid, eating her away from inside. But she didn’t want to talk. Talking wasn’t going to change anything. She felt his eyes on her back. She turned and their eyes met for a moment before he looked back down at the table. Again she turned back to the window. Too many missed opportunities. None of them mattered anymore. The choices had been made and now only the consequences were left.

The chair scraped on the floor and footsteps padded towards her. Awkwardly he put his arms around her. She stiffened. He held the uncomfortable hug for a minute. He wanted to make it work. The hug and them. Neither of them would. She lifted one of his arms off of her.

“Please,” she said, exhausted. “Don’t.” One more sip from her mug and she set it down, still nearly full, in the sink. She walked back up the stairs.

Without saying anything more she walked away. She knew that in any way that mattered she would never be coming back.