Tess Kincaid's Prompt for Oct 9th
Image: Michael Sowa - from the Little King
I always knew it couldn't last, they were just too different. She wanted the paper early in the morning, he wanted to sit over a leisurely cup of coffee mid-morning, and have what the Brits call 'elevenses', while slowly perusing and neatly folding back page after page.
She wanted to hear the thud of the paper on the doormat while she was coming out of the shower; she liked slipping into a robe and scanning the headlines while slurping her boiling hot coffee. It didn't take her long, but it helped her to face the day.
He wanted to have his shower, shave and get dressed, clear last night's bottle and glasses away, let the dog out and feed the cat, have a quick cup of tea and a piece of toast while checking his messages. He would then stroll down to the shop in the village, to pick up the paper and the latest gossip.
When she first moved in, the question of who read the paper when didn't arise. They'd stay in bed for as long as they decently could to savour each other's presence, then get up at the same time and, more often than not, shower together. I'm sure you all get the picture. But they had been together for some time before she even moved in and now, after two years of intimacy, love's first, sweet, careless rapture had worn a little threadbare.
It wasn't just the paper, of course, other long established habits had crawled into their relationship; minor irritations had emerged and, as so often happens when goodwill is overtaken by impatience, cracks had appeared which threatened the fabric of their lives together.
It was inevitable, they broke up. Everything they had bought together, they split fifty/fifty; when she finally left, his apartment seemed very empty all of a sudden. He was surprised by how sad he felt.
I tell you though, not half as sad as me; when she left, she took with her the love of my life, Juliet to my Romeo, Hero to my Leander, Laura to my Petrarch, Isolde to my Tristan, Beatrice to my Dante - I could go on, but I think I'll stop here - my one and only Queen. We'd sit together on the table, she filled with sweetener, my belly holding the sugar, happy in the knowledge that we were a pair no man could put asunder.
How wrong we were.