musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Cold Comfort

Second thoughts. She hadn’t counted on having any. She was leaving. It was the best, the only choice to make. The only choice remaining that was truly hers alone. So why was she waiting for the kettle to boil, instead of upstairs packing her bag?

The kiss. Of course. If he’d made his exit, swift and silent, like every other morning. But no. Today he’d stopped on his way out the door to drop a kiss on her forehead. Strange. Almost as if he knew.

The kettle hummed behind her, a reminder that time was wasting. She pushed to her feet, found a mug and tea bags in the cupboard, rattled through the drawer in search of a spoon. He couldn’t know...could he?

Hot enough. She jerked the kettle off the heat at the first gasp of whistle, splashing water across the counter and into the waiting teapot. He didn’t know. Couldn’t. Not until tonight. The house would be dark, cold, the kitchen empty. He’d see her ring on the table and then, then he would understand.

No time for tea. Twisting the narrow gold band off her finger, she placed it on the table. Abandoned hope on a sea of blue Formica. He could have the Earl Grey, too. Cold comfort.

Cold Comfort by Cheryl Cooke Harrington was part of Shards: an anthology, DLSIJ Press, 1999 (out of print).

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