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.”
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 www.facebook.com/trudeaubooks or www.katietrudeau.com.