The Coffee Cup The coffee cup sits on the cherry wood table, steaming with fresh black coffee. The mug shakes as angry footsteps stomp into the kitchen. Husband and wife scream at each other as she throws the box of love letters that weren’t addressed to her. Vulgarity spits from the once sweet lips as she accuses him of everything possible. She wonders if the sidewalk engraving of “John and Kate” really was his. He huffs and puffs and tells her to leave it alone; but, as she throws his dress shoe at him wondering why he ever had the audacity to do this, she realizes she can’t do anything about it. She runs towards the door and throws on her old track shoes, preparing for a non-stop five mile run. “You can’t just leave!” he shouts. “Why not?” she said, “that’s what you did.” As she leaves to run her tears away, and he goes up stairs to cry; they both forget about the coffee cup on the cherry wood table, no cold with neglect. Bardstown Road Cars zoom down Bardstown Road as red lights stop them in their early morning rush. Windshield wipers frantically wave their hands as the rain threatens to blind the drivers. The air is caked with overpowering smells of hookah bars, pizza parlors, and midnight beer parties. Construction is loud and hippies beg people to buy their “Make the world peaceful again” shirt. Life is normal down on Bardstown Road. Meanwhile, screams fill the air in Atherton High School. Feet move like panicked ants from an anthill as pop after ear shattering pop threatens to steal the very air they breathe. Police officers, counselors, and security guards try to find the handler behind the deadly weapon. But no one else is aware of the Atherton shooting off of Bardstown Road. Friday Night My favorite nights are Friday nights. One day out of the week, we both get to sit together without any interruptions. With her being a High School Teacher and me being a Police Officer, we never really have time to sit at our table fit for two and ask how each other’s day went. She has her floral chair with the cushion seat that her grandma made, her monogram engraved at the back; I have my wooden chair I made myself after years of lessons from my dad. Maybe over a cup of coffee or tea, we talk about life on the opposite side of the jobs we lead; hoping and praying that the neighbors across the street won’t hear us whispering sweet secrets through hazelnut steam. I’ve been waiting for her, though; and I am never supposed to wait. Not when it comes to this night. I’ve been calling her phone leaving message after worried message, trying to understand if the voice on the other end of the phone that’s telling me she’s not here is just a sick joke. After a few hours—after the coffee isn’t hot and the steam isn’t thick enough to whisper through—I get an unexpected knock at the door that interrupted my anxious thoughts. It’s her, I think; I must have locked the door on my way in. I’ll throw on another pot of coffee and she’ll tell me how bad traffic was today. I threw open the door expecting to see the most beautiful women in the world; but, I am encountered by my colleagues informing me that she wouldn’t be sitting in her floral chair on Friday nights anymore.