A Cup of Coffee

Don’t. A small word, don’t.

He reached out to touch her shoulder. Don’t, she said.

Mix it in with a few other words and it can be a saving grace…

You don’t have cancer.

…or a soul crushing mallet.

I don’t love you.

We spent all night making drunk love to each other and woke to the smell of sweat, sex and a spilled bottle of peach schnapps. 

I woke up happy and just watched her for awhile. Her baby fine hair was a clumpy mess. There was a hint of dried drool on the side of her mouth. She didn’t snore exactly, but there was definitely something Three Stooges in the sounds she made while she slept. As I watched this beautiful mess my only thought was, this is the most beautiful woman I have ever met

I finally got up and left her dreaming. I put on last night’s boxer-briefs and a clean tee. It was habit for me, but it drove her up a wall. I was never sure if it was the dirty underwear or the clean shirt that pissed her off most. Or maybe knowing that once I finally did shower I would put on that same shirt. Hygiene was a complication I never quite mastered. 

Our place was small, the walls thin. Try as I might, being quiet was a challenge. I managed to get the coffee in the maker, but I dropped the pot in the sink while filling it with water. She came out of the bedroom a few minutes later in my tee shirt from last night. The first time she did it she said, I like the smell of you on me. Now I think it’s just a habit. 

I’m sorry I woke you, I said. 

She yawned and said, coffee. No more words until coffee

She walked over to the small kitchen table, sat down and pulled her knees up to her chest. I could see that she wasn’t wearing anything under my tee shirt. She wrapped her arms around her folded legs, rested her chin on her knees. 

Shhhhhhh, coffee, she said. 

When the coffee finished brewing I poured her cup first. Black with two sugars.

Here, babe

She opened her eyes and smiled at the mug like it was an adorable puppy she couldn’t resist squeezing. She took the cup of coffee and sipped slowly. Her gentle slurping reminded me of her sleeping noises.

I poured a cup for me and sat at the opposite end of our little table. I was happy. 

She caught me staring. 

What? She asked. 

Nothing. I’m just enjoying the view. 

You are such a dork. 

Yeah, but you looooovvvveeee me. 

She smirked and looked down into her coffee mug. I finished my coffee and got up to start breakfast. And what would her highness like to eat this morning, I said bowing in her direction. 

Don’t call me that.

Oh come on, you love being my Princess. 

No, I really don’t. I’m not some little fucking girl, I’m a woman. 

A thousand pardons my queen! Does everything always have to be a production? She didn’t get cranky often, but when she did it was usually best to shut up and let her sort it out on her own. I bit my tongue, poured myself another cup of coffee and motioned towards her with the pot. She shook her head no. I sat back down. She sat there staring at her mug. 

I’m sorry for being so obnoxious this early in the morning. I guess I just woke up in a ridiculously good mood after last night, I said. 


We sat there like that for a few minutes before she finally said something. I didn’t hear her. Or maybe I didn’t want to hear her. 


She took a deep breath, kept her eyes on her mug and said, I don’t love you.

Copyright 2022 Rudy Martinez
©2024 Rudy Martinez