Life Without Coffee
Life Without Coffee bittersweet stories

aknier I occasionally remember to write things
Autoplay OFF   •   3 years ago
I gave up coffee for her

Life Without Coffee

6:00 am on a Saturday morning

The last place I wanted to be was out of bed

Especially without any caffeine in my system

But here I was, dressed up and well-combed

On my way to finalize my divorce

It's always a sad thing, divorce

So of course I felt sad

But there was something more, too

Overwhelmingly, I was relieved to stop dealing with it

To no longer be responsible for her trips to rehab, her drinking

To no longer have to forgive her for cheating time and time again

After today, she'd be somebody else's problem

But still, I was a bit sad

She hadn't always been that way

(Or I wouldn't have married her)

She used to be charming and fun and always an adventure

Trouble is, as we grew up I got ready to settle down, and she kept searching for bigger, more dangerous adventures

I'd miss her, I really would

But I'd already been missing her for the past two years

And I was finally ready to be done waiting for the woman I loved to come back

7:00 am, I arrive and the courthouse

I see my lawyer on a bench, sit down next to him

"How're you doing, Noah?" he asks me

"I'm okay." I answer

And I really am

Not great, but not bad either

Just okay

I wished I'd stopped for coffee beforehand

But Ruby hated even the smell of coffee, so I'd gotten out of the habit of drinking it

I'd done so many things for Ruby

At 7:30 we were supposed to go in front of the judge

Ruby, of course, wasn't there

She's always late

At 7:45 she rolls in in sky high heels and sunglasses

I know that look

She's hungover, and didn't go home last night

But still, she puts on the facade

"Noah! I'm so sorry. It's just--I don't want to do this, I still love you!" she weeps

"Ruby. You don't love me. If you love someone, you don't cheat on them every night. If you love someone, you go to rehab. You don't love me, and I don't love you. We're getting a divorce.

" I explain calmly

I must have said that to her a thousand times

But she never seems to hear me when I do

But this time, it seems like she finally gets it

She sniffs and nods her head

We walk into the building, me following my lawyer and Ruby trailing behind me like a lost puppy

The ruling goes quickly

We have no kids, no pets, and basically no money

We've agreed to sell our apartment, and we each get half of the money from that sale

Now, all that's left to do is sign the papers and finalize the thing

"Noah-" Ruby chokes out

She's beginning to sob again

I open my arms and she runs into them, sobbing

I hold her, stroking her hair a way I've done so many times before

"Come on, Ruby. Sign the papers." I ask

She signs, hands the pen to me

I look down at the woman I'd been in love with for five years

The woman who I'd hoped to start a family with

The woman who had hurt me time and time again

I sign the papers

And breathe a sigh of relief

8:00 am

I go into a coffee shop

Ruby's gone, out of my life

I sit in a chair, pull the box out of my pocket

I open it, look down at the rings

We'd agreed to sell them, split the profits

They look so hopeful, sitting there in the box

I remember the day I got them

That was a happy day

Now I haven't had a happy day in a long time

"Hey there, what can I getcha?" A voice behind me asks

I turn around, surprised to be inturrupted

My surprise results in me dropping the rings on the floor

They roll, crashing into the toe of her shoe

"Shoot, sorry!" I exclaim

"Oh my! Proposing are we?" She asks, a dreamy look in her eyes like she wishes someone would propose to her

"No, divorcing, actually." I reply

I hate to see the happiness disappear from her eyes

"Sorry, that was so rude of me!" She tries to cover, hand flying up to her face

She's quite pretty

I hadn't looked at her face before

She's really pretty, in that girl-next-door way I'd always loved

Ruby was a bombshell, tight skirts and low cut tops

Which is what I thought I wanted, at the time

I guess I expected her to change when we got married

That was where I went wrong

This girl is the exact opposite of that, though

She doesn't look like she's dressed just to make someone jealous

She looks like she really likes what she's wearing

And that, I think, is why it looks so good on her

She's wearing a locket around her neck

That makes me smile

My mother always wore a locket

"Sir?" She asks, and I realize I've been staring

"Sorry!" I exclaim, embarrassed "I was just struck by how beautiful you are."

She blushes deeply

Crap! I didn't mean to say that! Not out loud, at least.

We smile at each other, each vaguely embarrassed for a moment

But in that split second, I make a decision

I'm tired of not saying what I want

"My name's Noah, and I'm sure this is entirely too forward, but you're beautiful. Can I take you out sometime?"

She said yes, her name is Heather, and she'd love to go out some time

And as I walk back to my new apartment with my to-go coffee that has Heather's number written on the side, I'm happy

Not just okay, happy

And I know it may be too soon to move on

And I know things could end badly again

But for the first time in a long time, I have hope...

...and coffee

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