(Part of) What I wrote today…
David walked over to Anna’s seat and plopped himself down beside her with a coffee in each hand. He held one out towards her and in unison, they both said, “Sorry-” and ended up each cutting the other off.
They avoided each other’s eyes and both broke out in an all too familiar grin that felt as if they were still a couple. Anna’s mind came back to the reality that they were no longer a couple quicker and that her father was dying. Still, as painful as the distraction was, it was bittersweet. She brought the coffee up to her lips. It smelled burnt and soured. It was everything that one would expect of free emergency room coffee.
Part of her, a deep feeling, one of familiarity and trust, wanted to reach out and embrace David. Only he was no longer hers. She was the one that had broken off their relationship. He had always wanted children and that was a large part of their separation. Or at least that is what she kept trying to tell herself. The truth was far more convoluted in biases. But now, ten some-odd years later, did it really matter anymore?
Still… the feelings lingered. The desire to feel close to another human being, even when the most important man in her life was ending.
She lifted her right hand and took a big sip of the coffee. She felt the burning sensation it caused as it boiled her throat on the way down.
Pain and grief. An immutable couple.
David sat in the decades-old dated green chair on her left side and reach out his right hand to hold her left hand. She met his face and saw both pity and love in his eyes.
She felt herself yearning to be with him again. She closed her eyes and focused on how her hand felt within his. He had always been a kinesthetic person. Always wanting to hold her, hug her, kiss her at random times which was always the wrong time. She would be making dinner and he would swoop in from elsewhere and attempt to kiss her on his way to another part of the house. Could she not see she was busy with making them dinner? His timing was always terrible.
When they drove places, he would often reach out and take her hand into his own and after a few seconds would feel the need to pull her hand back out. It’s not like she disliked holding his hand but it would always start to feel clammy. She hated it.
She could feel the moisture growing even now as he still held her hand in his own.
She tried to focus on something else.
She did. Her father was dying in the next room.
Feeling a rush of anger and resentment over how she had allowed herself to dawdle over her life with David while her father was barely clinging to life was too much. Anna pulled her hand out of his and started to stand.
David looked towards her and said, “I didn’t mean-”
She cut him off, “I know.” She then started towards the doorway and ended up spilling her coffee all over her front. She groaned in pain as the coffee was just as painful burning her right breast as it was going down her throat. David started to stand but she just dropped the coffee and blurted out, “I need to get some air” and started sprinting.