by Robert Salley

The morning sun poured in through the open curtains and he woke. Still there, in the bed he fell asleep in last night. He reached for his cell phone. Ten missed calls and five messages. All from her. His eyes closed and wished the pain in his head away.

He sat up, naked, and the woman ran her hands slowly down his back.

“Where are you going, it's 7:00AM,” she said half asleep.

“I need a cup of coffee,” he replied pulling up his jeans.

He picked up a pack of cigarettes and shook it. He flipped the lid to confirm there were none left. He put his wallet in his back pocket, clipped on his watch and buttoned up his shirt.

“I can make a pot,” she said as she struggled to sit up.

He slipped his feet into his shoes and tied the laces, “That's okay. I need to get out for some fresh air.”

“Are you okay?” she said running her hand through her hair.

“I just… I need to get a cup of…”

“Coffee… You said that,” she interrupted.

He leaned over the bed and kissed her on the mouth, “I'll call you.”

He walked to the door, grabbed his jacket off the coat hook and stuck his hand into the inside pocket. He pulled out a ring and stuck it on his finger. It was cold and stung his skin.

He looked at it. He wanted forgiveness, but for now he'd settle for coffee.