She sits quiet and alone. As she always is, quiet and alone. She stares into her cup of clear, black tea, refusing to look up. She notices her reflection. Her lips are pouty and the shade of a sun dried apple as they sit firmly on her face. She makes her way up to her curled nose and her rosey, rounded cheeks. Her face was flushed like she had been crying all night. Her eyebrows are furrowed as she looks deeper into the dainty ceramic cup for hope. Nothing. Her reflection only mocks her. She tries to see a different side of herself through the rippling, watered down tea, she only sees a scared girl, searching for someone stronger than her. She continues to focus in on the tea, wondering how the world would be if it were just a simple cup of tea. How could the world react? Her sinister plot now has an action and a reaction. What would her family think? Her beloved friends? What about her darling fiancee? But, if she thinks that he’s so darling, where is he right now? Why isn’t he out looking for her? All these questions start to consume her. She feels all the thoughts and moments of pain crushing her insides. She has to do it. She has to carry out the deed.
She tries to distract herself by looking at her gloveless, hand small and pale. The one black leather glove was left behind as a clue for someone to find her before she pursues. It’s her last hope. She wants to be caught in the act and taken away, locked up. She could never turn herself in, of course, no one would believe her plot. She moves to the other hand, the concealed hand that hides her beautiful engagement ring. Where is he, her darling husband. Is he even wondering where she might be? Only time will tell if he ever finds her before someone else does.
The restaurant is empty, as she liked it. The night outside is becoming darker, and the once warm, comforting cup of tea is now as cold as her. She realizes how cold she’s become and pulls her olive green coat close to herself. Her legs are almost as cold as ice, but there was no use in trying to warm them. She thinks about the coldness and how it wouldn’t last for long. Soon there will be precious toasty, red blood covering her, warming her fragile body. It will all be over soon. But how long would she wait to pull it off? She could do it now or maybe later. She takes another sip of the cool tea and sits it down in frustration.
She looks across the small table to the dark, wooden chair that seems more lonely than she. She begins to imagine who all had sat in the very chair and what about the chair where she sits. Have they ever contemplated such a task? Have they ever stared at themselves in their, or looked for hope in their tea? Will she be just another person sitting down having tea? Were there couples, or perhaps two friends out on a Friday night sitting at this very table. She thinks about the couple. A boy and a girl, sitting having the best night of their lives, laughing, hugging, kissing. Where is her fiancee? She misses him and surely he has to miss her, or at least she hopes he does. She lifts her coat sleeve up to reveal a watch. She has been gone for six hours. Six hours beforehand she told her future husband that she was going out to buy milk. Isn’t he worried?
She tells herself it’s now or never. Tonight is the perfect, crisp night she will finally pursue her arduous task to end her life. She contemplates how she will pull off such a task, will she jump off the tallest bridge where underneath lie a shallow pond or shall she slit her wrists and let the warm blood run out. She realizes that this is the hardest part, choosing the perfect decision to end her life. She can’t decide, so she begins to hold her breath. One deep inhale, holding until her eyes slowly turn up and her lips become blue, one slow exhale, and then nothing. That was the last breath she took on that night in the diner, awaiting her future husband who never came. There never was a future husband, because with her there was never a future.
--based on Automat painting by Edward Hopper-- @ellowrites