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2 & A Half Sugars

Illustrated by Amy Zainal @stobebby

That morning, before you came in, I was sitting in my office and drinking coffee from my most beautiful cup. My lipstick painted its jagged edges, kissing the stick figure head that was supposed to resemble my daughter. The lukewarm beverage I sipped made the old desk chair even more unbearable. Three stick-figures on the mug resembling us holding hands, our daughter in the middle, always the only thing that bound us together. 


But then you walked in this morning, you had finally cut your hair, the messy mop that had bothered me for months was now a styled wave of salt and pepper. You wore the shirt I bought you months ago, its colour complementing those dazzling azure eyes, just as I had expected it would. The coffee turned bitter in my mouth, the three sugars I had put in suddenly weren't cutting it. Why were you here? You had never visited my office. Our lives had followed the same monotony for 8 years: wake-up, take Bonita to school, go to work, come home, cook dinner, put Bonita to bed, read in bed, sleep, repeat. I glanced at the calendar, it was Monday, not a significant date, nothing special. I smoothed my hair away from my face as your hand wrapped around the door handle.


"Hi." 


"Hi." 


I moved my files on the side of my desk, clearing the space in front of the chair. You moved to the chair across from me, placing a bag on the ground beside you. You cleared your throat, had you shaved? I always preferred it like that, it felt smoother against my face. Yet, you still had missed the spots under your jaw, the ones I always cleaned up after. 


"Is everything okay? Shouldn't you be at work?" 

"It's my lunch hour," you said. I nodded, but this didn't explain why you were here. "Have you eaten?" 


"No, no, I didn't even realise the time. Have you?" You reached inside the bag, pulling out two items wrapped in tin-foil, you slid one across the table to me. Unwrapping it, the delicious aroma filled the room, my stomach growled. "Bacon and egg sandwich, no rind, salt and pepper." You clarified, I glanced at you and took a bite, perfection. 


"I haven't made you breakfast in a while, have I?” Your shoulders shrunk into your body.


“I guess it’s been a while.”


“I don’t want to say that life got busy, because that’s not a good excuse, but it did.” A beat.

“That doesn’t make sense… What I am trying to say is, I love you, and I’m sorry I stopped showing you that.”


“It’s ok.” I replied, not sure what to say to you. Those three words we said whenever we left the house, seemed a little heavier to say at that moment.


“I know all this-'' You gestured to the spread in front of me, “-doesn’t make up for everything,  I just…I thought this might be nice."


"It certainly is, thank you."


"I also have this, but I see you already have one." Reaching for the offered thermos, I sipped its contents. Columbia beans, two and a half sugars, lactose free. 

"You always made the best coffee, this stuff is terrible." I dumped the sludge in my mug out onto a potted plant, re-filling it with the coffee from the thermos. You laughed in unison with me, our hands met on the thermos. 


"I'd like to make you breakfast again, everyday, if that's ok with you." 


"I'd like that." Suddenly, the mug no longer was the fictional world I desired.

 

“And, I love you too.” Our hands had found each other again, unseparated and unforced, in the real world.

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