She walked down the gloomy street, wondering where it all went wrong. The car, the woods, the yelling. How did she get here?
Just a month ago, she was laughing with her ardent lover, feeling the wind blow in her hair, unworried.
Maybe it all started at the gas station when she dropped her cup of coffee, or maybe it started when they missed the turn. It is impossible to trace back to the source because everything is interconnected. She needs to learn this. She’s overthinking. Overwhelmed, trying to place the blame on someone. She’s so lost in thought that she doesn’t see what’s right in front of her.
She had an intense feeling like she always does these days. Following her intuition, she stopped walking and turned around. Looking around at the street that she was so accustomed to. She had taken this route with her lover countless times. A sign catches her attention. She walks closer to read it, she speaks it aloud, “division is everywhere, stay united.” She thought about her lover. The person who was once her oasis, her home, her safety. Now they are divided. At least that’s how she thinks of it. Guilt sinks into her. Is it her fault they are done? She thinks about the last time they danced together, what she would do to be embraced by her lover. They may have been a secret to everyone else, but their love was mighty. She thinks about this powerful love and where it went.
She had waited a lifetime for a love like that. She kept walking until she got to her apartment. Pulling out her keys from her hand-woven purse gifted to her by her one true love. Once again, being reminded of this deep love. She puts the key in the lock, turns it, entering her apartment. While walking through the door, her eyes scan this desolate place. Thoughts start racing about the energy that once filled it. Now, it just feels lonely and dull. Everything feels this way.
She walks over to her couch, breathing deeply, letting out an immense sob that has been welling up inside her ever since that moment. That moment. How did it even happen? It undoubtedly must’ve been the coffee? Right? She thinks of the moment that the coffee spilled. Without thinking, she snapped viciously at her lover, blaming the spill on them. She regrets that, that’s when the tension started. It started an argument between them. But every couple argues, right? Surely, it wouldn’t have led to where it did.
She gets up off the couch, not allowing herself to sink deeper into the cushion or her sadness. She walks to the kitchen, pouring a glass of wine. Maybe some Merlot will relieve the pain? Doubt it, but she can try. After a glass or a few, she feels anger. She picks up her phone; she wants to call them so bad. She wants to apologize. She wants to go back in time and choose a water bottle instead of the coffee. She can’t go back in time.
The memories flood back. The argument caused them to miss their turn. A turn. How simple, yet the most critical part. Missing the turn caused them to get lost. And oh, this just made everything worse. The tension in the car grew, blame being tossed around, both of them accusing each other of things. Many things hurt her lover.
She wishes she can go back and change the things that caused the hurt. Maybe she wouldn’t keep them a secret. Maybe she would apologize more. Maybe she would have said yes to moving in together. Then, just maybe, everything would be different. She has to learn this lesson, that we can’t reconstruct the past. What is done is done. She doesn’t want to accept that.
The hurt in that car grew and grew until her lover’s eyes were filled with tears. They were both crying. Both attempted to express pent-up, deep emotions. Angry at each other, trying to find a way out of this windy road that was surrounded by woods. They couldn’t get any service on their phones. They were lost.
She thinks, what if they had just pulled over? Maybe if they had just tried getting service, calmed down, and spoke to each other in a calm manner. Then it could be different. But you never think something devastating is going to happen until it happens.
With the wineglass in her hand and her eyes filled with fury and tears, she throws the glass across the room, breaking down. She thinks it’s all her fault. This is all she tells herself every day. She just can’t handle the guilt. She needs to apologize. She needs to hear her lover tell her everything is going to be okay. She feels like she is losing her mind. She can’t escape that night.
When the sun was setting on the windy road, they were still arguing. Over nothing at that point, at each other’s throat. Her lover steers the car while crying, yelling at her that their relationship can’t remain a secret anymore. How did a fight over spilled coffee escalate to this? This is just how emotions are. Especially ones that have been buried so deep. Buried emotions want to be dug out so bad, that just about anything can coax them out.
With all the yelling and crying, they didn’t even notice it was pitch-black outside. No street lights. Just the darkness and the mere headlights coming from the car. Her lover couldn’t even see the road. They should have stopped then. They couldn’t see the windy road was about to make a sharp turn. They couldn’t even predict what was going to happen next.
Thoughts of how the fight could have ended dominate her mind. They should have stayed united, but issues endlessly divided them. With the wine glass shattered everywhere, she sees herself in the reflection of the wine on her floor. She sees herself, and in some odd way, she knows her lover would say she looked beautiful. This thought led to more anger.
Anger because she can’t go back. She can’t even speak to them. She can’t apologize. She can’t ask for forgiveness. She can’t hear her lover tell her she looks beautiful anymore. She can’t even drink a cup of coffee now. Because she believes that the cup of coffee killed her lover.