CUP OF LOVE • by Kathryn Trudeau

The glass walls of the French press were still warm. Coffee drips splattered a trail from the press to a pale pink mug, full cup of creamy deliciousness. She knew without even tasting it that it was exactly 1/3 cream. It was always 1/3 cream; it’s how he made it for her every morning.

Even when he was late for work, the pink mug stood filled on the counter, a daily testament of his thoughtful love. Yet, she did not expect that mug this morning.

The silence of the dim dawn only amplified the echoes of conversations in her head. Words. There had been heated words.

“You always do this.”

“I hate being micromanaged.”

“You’re not thinking clearly.”

“I’m allowed to feel this way.”

“You never…”

“You always…”

It doesn’t really matter what the words were; the point being that they weren’t uttered out of love. They were words pushed out in the dark night air by fear, fear of being wrong, fear of the unknown, fear of the need to change.

She knew an opportunity like this wouldn’t come for him a second time. In fact, she wanted to move to the seaside villa, but she didn’t like feeling like she was forced. She could work from home anywhere, but in that moment she’d resented him making assumptions about her work.  She longed to agree, but she wanted to do it on her own terms. And thus, a happy decision ended in slamming doors and hot tears.

When she awoke, the sight of the empty half of the bed made her stomach churn. She rolled over and mumbled to their Cocker Spaniel, who was napping on the floor, “He’s left for work, and he didn’t kiss me goodbye.”

As she rounded the corner into the kitchen, there was the mug, steaming and perfect. Consistent. Steady. Her attitude softened and she felt at ease. Things will be okay. A bump in the road but the road still goes on.

She placed her hand around the mug and slowly sat down on the cushioned bench. The worn stack of library books lay toppled from the night before. The US Citizen’s Guide to Moving Abroad, the Italian Culture 101, and Italian for Dummies stared at her and whispered, “Read us.”  She ran her finger along the spine of the Italian for Dummies. Just then, the white screen door creaked as her husband slowly walked into the kitchen, bracing himself as he tested the mood.

He held up a white paper bag as if it were a white flag of surrender. “Pastries?”

“Cinnamon roll?” She tried to hold back a smile.

“With extra frosting.”

She smiled at him, feeling all of the warmth return between them. “Let’s do this right. Breakfast and chit chat on the porch?”

“Yes, let’s do this.”

She held the cup to her smiling lips and took a long sip. The warmth, the flavor and aromas. Yes, everything was going to be okay. Love is in the smallest of details. Love is the smallest of details.

Kathryn Trudeau is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting, writing, and illustrating children’s books. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the educational and entertaining value of books and hopes to spread that love to others around the world. Join in the conversation at or

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Rate this story:
 average 3.6 stars • 36 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • A pleasant, soft story. Perhaps overwritten a bit at the opening. Still the desire to write with some style is evident, and for that ****

  • Sarah Crysl Akhtar

    Gosh. No morning kiss, huh?

    I was hoping against hope for a spoonful of arsenic, or at least a shot of irony. Thought this was a tract prettily dressed as a story. Two stars.

    • Carl Steiger

      I read the title, and skipped straight to the comments, not being up for another relationship story. So I can’t vote, but I’ll just say I now have Mary Poppins stuck in my head singing about a spoonful of arsenic.

      • Sarah Crysl Akhtar

        I’m afraid that cups of creamy deliciousness were quite effective in retrieving my inner high-schooler…

  • Jeffrey Yorio

    Very nicely done and with so many different styles of coffee in Italy. I enjoyed the story, thanks.

  • Jill Spencer

    The repetition & shift to present tense in the last two lines was jarring to me and seemed heavy-handed compared to what had preceded it; nevertheless, I very much enjoyed this gentle story about a good relationship under stress.

  • S Conroy

    I thought she’d find he’d only put in one quarter cream and that would be the end of that.
    The perfect relationship doesn’t really do it for me, but maybe I’m bitter and twisted and unqualified to vote on this one.

    • Sarah Crysl Akhtar

      It’s another Charles Addams morning…

  • Lovely writing but ended prematurely. I was waiting for them to go out on the porch, get into a conversation and have “something” happen…

  • Kate

    Lovely scene. The essence of pleasure is tension and release and you’ve captured it. Very sensory.

  • Steven Hicks

    This story was nice and gentle. I wanted to really wanted to get close to the protagonist, to feel what she felt. Unfortunately, I was kept at a distance from her through the entire story, not a fly on the wall distance, but too far to feel.

  • Amy Sisson

    Some lovely touches in this piece.

  • conrad winn

    Sweet with a splash of sour..just like life..

  • I feel that there is a lot missing from this. So much so that I hesitate to call it a story. There was no character development except for his attention to her daily cup of coffee. Nothing really happens in this snippet. It feels like a very small scene in another story.

    Perhaps some background information would help. And more conversation. The problems, as minor as they seem, are never addressed. There is no real conflict to overcome.

    One star for me. I just didn’t get anything out of this feel-good piece. Thanks for sharing.

  • Paul A. Freeman

    A bit too sweet for my tooth. I was expecting the MC to say ‘Grazie!’ for the pastries to show her capitulation (the end), but the story wafted off in another direction.

  • A good but safe story. The extra frosting melted in all the nook and crannies. It was disappointing the French dip and cream did not contain the poison I looked forward to, but as Mr. Conroy has stated “bitter and twisted”.

  • Lynn Nicholas

    A lovely slice of life.

  • Sam Rapine

    Well-written interactions, although I felt it slowed dangerously down towards a self-help book in tone around the middle. Good job capturing some of the nuances of that awkward water-testing when two people are trying to ease their way out of tension.

  • Patricia Marie Trudeau

    I could see the two characters and feel the empty void from the space left from individual that left the bed. The author was very descriptive. There was a sence of panic that only comes from the struggles of commitment. Yet the author also managed to describe closeness from the couples habits, indicating time spent. Truly the ebb and flow of relationships.
    This was a refreshing look at the intimacy.