“Why do you do that?” my girlfriend Sara asked.
“Do what?” I said, since I am a simple man.
“Why do you insist on using that cup every day? Even after you’ve washed it, it’s still a stained mess,” she said.
“Because,” I said, since I am a simple man and she probably wouldn’t appreciate my mansplaining.
“And that’s it? Because? What the heck does that even mean?”
“It means it’s more important to me than some shiny new cup. I’ve had this cup for twenty-some years,“ I said.
I stared into the coffee, black as the nights in the Arma Mountains, when to make any sound would offer Taliban fighters enough intel to blow you away, or even five of your buddies.
I was about to take a sip when Sara noticed more of the interior of the cup.
“I mean, look at that. It’s so scratched and stained, I don’t know what to say except ‘Why?’” Sara said. I’m sure she was just trying to plumb the depths of my male mind.
She was right, though. Its interior wore the dark scratches where thousands of turns of a spoon or field knife had stirred two sugars into it. If we had sugar.
Finally, I took a sip of my coffee and it scalded my tongue. Again.
“Damn it, Sara. I keep it because it’s important.”
“Gahhh,” Sara huffed and stalked away.
“If only…if I had held my tongue,” I thought. With Sara, too, for that matter.
Wrote this 250-words of less story for Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Threads feature. I was supposed to use the phrase “if I had held my tongue” anywhere in it. Oh, and somehow think of a wee story in which to place it. No idea where it came from.