Shuffling into the kitchen with her house coat and slippers still on, Bethany filled and turned on the kettle. She stood mindlessly rubbing her eyes sleepily until she felt awake enough to gather their mugs, a couple of tea bags and some milk.
Once the kettle had boiled she began her tea making ritual. Dropping the tea bag in first, she poured the boiling water over, added some milk and stirred the mixture together. Then squeezed the bag against the side of each mug leaching out all of the heavenly caffeinated liquid she could before dumping the tea bag in the compost and dropping the spoon with a clatter in the sink.
By-passing the use of the proper teapot was most certainly causing her grandmother to stir in her grave, but then, Bethany always did consider herself a rebel.
She’d been staring down at her cold tea when the clambering sounds of her husband coming down the stairs made her look up. In his hand he carried two large suitcases.
“I guess I shouldn’t I expect you for dinner?” She asked, noting that her voice still sounded groggy and tried. “I didn’t know you had a business trip, where to?” She asked, taking a sip of her cold tea.
“I’m leaving.” He replied.
“Well, of course you are.” She chuckled at her own wit.
“No, Bethany, I’m leaving you.” He corrected. “And our marriage, and this home.”
“Oh…” She was dumbfounded.
Bethany recalled the night before, their romantic dinner, the love-making. They’d been fighting and off for far too long, sure. But…this? She’d thought it had been re-conciliatory sex. Now she saw it for what it really was, consolation or goodbye sex.
She took a sip of the reached and bitter tea, still processing this new bit of information.
Her husband stared at her for a time.
“It’s Sheila, isn’t it?” She asked. This new secretary he hired always wore sexy high-heeled boots and skin-tight pencil skirts. She dressed like a tart.
“Sheila? Good God no,” he paused, “let’s not do this okay? It won’t change anything.”
“No, we’re doing this. Right now. Right here. I need to know.” Her anger struck out like a venomous snake.
His silence tasted bitter.
“For fuck’s sake, who is it Thomas?” She stood up from the table and began spewing out names of every possible women they knew. It was horrific behaviour and utterly cliché, but she couldn’t help it.
“Stop it, just stop it,” he cried out in defence. “It’s Johnathan, Okay? It’s Johnathan”
It was Johnathan. Figures. There was no way she could compete with a man. Bethany’s legs were wobbly, she had to sit down.
“I’m so sorry. I truly am.” There was a sadness in his eyes. “I never really meant for this to happen” He stepped forward, thought better of it and turned away.
Bethany silently watched her husband open the door, suitcases in hand and leave, closing the door behind him. There wasn’t anything else to say.
She picked up his mug from the table hurled it across the room, it hit the floor and shattered into tiny pieces, just as she had shattered into pieces.
There were no tears. And no anger. Just a silent void, that Bethany knew would remain for a while. After a time, she collected a towel, broom and dust pan and swept the tiny pieces of the broken cup.
Cleaning the floor after her angry outburst, Bethany realized something she hadn’t thought about before. She was a coffee person after all.
Hey there lovely people in the big wide world of the web. Can you please comment and let me know if you like this one? I am unsure of the ending. This particular story has been sitting in a dusty folder on my Mac for a while. Much appreciated!