I looked down at the cappuccino in front of me. My eyes fixated on the foam art on top. I couldn’t get myself to glance up. I knew what his face looked like anyways. I didn’t need to see it to know. Bored, blank, and yet somehow still beautiful. I was afraid to make eye contact in case I got lost in his eyes.
I glanced around me instead. The coffee shop was bustling with activity. The sound of the espresso grinder, the music playing from the speakers, the voices of so many conversations.
I could feel the butterflies in my stomach turn into heat that slowly crept its way up my neck. I focused instead on the bruises in the shape of fingers that had formed around my wrist. A physical reminder of why I had broken up with him in the first place. He owed me. He was in the wrong. Not me. That stuff was mine, not his. He had already taken enough from me. I would no longer let him take anything else.
Before I knew it, the warmth from the nerves shifted to anger as I remembered the past. It bubbled up inside me before exploding the words I had meant to say since the moment I met up with him today.
“I’m taking the bed. And the couch. The T.V. All of the furniture. It’ll be gone by the time you get home from work tomorrow. Try and stop me and I’ll call the police. I’m taking back what belongs to me.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
The deep voice echoed throughout the coffee shop, silencing the other voices. Everyone looked over at the table by the window where a small girl with a pink face had her head down, looking into her lap. A tall, muscular guy with dark hair looked ready to break something. To break her.
He stared at her, demanding an answer to his question.
The silence in the coffee shop had turned to whispers accompanied by an espresso machine. The tension was so thick, no one dared to move.
The girl said something inaudible to the people now listening in on the conversation. Her head only lifting slightly.
Her small fingers were fidgeting with the hem of her skirt. The man across from her had his hands placed into fists on the table. The veins running up his arm were popping out, the muscles were tensed up.
She took a final sip of the coffee in front of her, finishing it. Setting it down with a clink, she stood up. She grabbed her purse from the back of the chair, and looked the man in the eye.
“You have until tomorrow after work,” she said with defiance as she walked out the door with an air of confidence.
The man stared after her, bewildered. He looked around, and then saw me, staring.
“What the fuck are you looking at?” he said before standing up and storming out angrily.
I watched the spot where they had both left for a second longer, before returning my attention to the bored but beautiful man before me.