Coffee | Original flash fiction by Kieran Higgins


Over the hiss of milk being steamed, and the rustling of paper coverings stripped from straws, I think; I can’t do this.

You wait for I reply, I think; I don’t know what to say.
You want me to justify, to preach, to extort, to extoll, to defend or just plain explain.
I can’t.
I can’t do this.
My breaths are ragged, unheard beneath the din of happier people in happier times, inconsequential drones in obsequiant hives.
Black marker pen notes a name I once wore with pride.
Your gaze makes me shrink, and wonder what corrugation really means.
Sorry is the lede
But there’s no follow up.
In the end he did have something you didn’t, but he shared it with me only once, and I didn’t get to keep it (not that I thought I would, if you could call what I did thinking).
In the end it was you, not me. In the end, there is nothing save no more picnics and French films and a empty seat waiting for chai.

photo credit: marcusjroberts January 21, Tapped & Packed via photopin (license)

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