Isabella walks into the kitchen. Tried and slightly groggy from staring at her computer all day, she makes herself a cup of tea. She goes through the motions. Grabs a mug, this time a tall purple mug, sets it next to the keriug, presses a button, puts the mug underneath the spout, and watches the hot water stream into the cup. Then grabs a tea bag, this time peach tea, and puts it into the hot water.

    Isabella knows that this is far from the proper way to make tea but she is too lazy to care. Perhaps it would taste better if she boiled the water on the stove carefully watching the temperature. Isabella might find out one day but today is not that day and perhaps that day will never come. 

    Her timer goes off and so she grabs the damp tea bag, throws it away. She grabs her cup, sits at the table, and pulls out her phone.  She doesn’t know what she’s going to do on it but she taps onto some social media app anyway. 

    The first thing she sees is her cousin. The image is her cousin smiling in some field with her husband, David. The pair looking into each other’s eyes. They’re holding each other and Maria has her leg popped up. A caption saying “so glad I found him when I did.” 

    Isabella remembers Maria’s and David’s wedding. Maria and David had a wedding at the local church. Maria was seated in the second row. She remembers Maria walking down the aisle. The look David made at her. A look of pure adoration, of pure happiness, joy. The man had so many emotions displayed on his face it was hard to decipher each one. Maria smiled back. Her face was semi-covered by the veil she wore. It was a beautiful wedding and their vows were sickenly sweet. 

    Isabella once looked at this memory with fondness. Something she did not think about often but was ok with letting herself think about. She has many fond memories of that night. Her little nephew awfully danced to the music. His face lit up with joy as he danced with his sister. They were laughing, everyone was laughing. It was a joyous time.

    Isabella now looks at that night with a pang of jealousy. She attended that wedding with her ex, Jackson. They had been dating for a few years at that point. She knew that one day she would want to have him give her that face David gave Maria. She even considered the thought to have a kid with him. That night only amplified those thoughts. 

    Jackson broke it off about six months ago, a year after Maria and David had gotten married. Isabella has mixed feelings about all the memories she has of him. The one where Jackson and her went to go get pizza. That night ended with them dancing in the park while it was raining. One of the first few times she kissed him, they had only been dating for about six months at that point. She wanted to take it slow.

    She looks back on this with a sort of sweetness to it but soon she becomes angry. She wonders why it could have not stayed that way. What went wrong and sooner or later another memory with him is now bittersweet, a touchy subject. 

    She’s done this with quite a few.  Jackson making eggs and bacon every Saturday? A bittersweet memory. Jackson giving her a mug on their anniversary and then took her to a new cafe? A bittersweet memory.  Jackson taking Isabella on her first hike? A bittersweet memory. She then curses Maria for reminding her of her loss and quickly exits the app. 

    She sets her phone down. Then took a long sip of the tea and scorched her tongue in the process.  She sighs. It was not Maria’s fault all Maria wanted to do was post a photo with her husband. Isabella was the one who made her brain go down the bitter memory lane.

    Isabella looks at her mugs on the shelf. She spots the one Jackson gave her. It was a little mug, short but it was wide. It was yellow, Isabella’s favorite color, it had sunflowers on the bottom part of the cup. Bluebirds were flying above them. It used to be Isabella’s favorite mug. Jackson painted it himself. Isabella would drink it out of it whenever she got the chance and proudly show it to Jackson and he would smile. 

    Isabella hasn’t touched the mug for three months. She used it a few more times as something to hold on to Jackson. That was when Isabella was still crying now Isabella was just angry. She thought about going outside and just smashing the thing into pieces but something just stopped her every time she tried.  Isabella quickly looked away and tried her brain to think of something else. 

    Isabella’s brain failed at that. She then began to wonder what Jackson held on to. What memories he thought about. Was he ever able to get rid of the watch she gave him? Has he even thought about the watch the same way Isabella did about the mug?  Does he still even wear it? She would never know for he hasn’t talked about to her in months. 

    She wonders though. Wonders what memories he plays through over and over again. Does he still even think about her? Have any of his memories of her turned bittersweet? He was the one to call it off, so a few must-have at this point…right? Which ones? 

    Isabella shakes her head. She really must stop caring about him. She must stop thinking about him but that’s the funny thing with memories they come when they want. They take their own shape however they want and remind you of things you don’t want to be reminded of. They also take a hell of a long time to fade. 

    Isabella wonders. Wonders what she has forgotten, What Jackson might have forgotten. If he forgot some of the good memories and had them back would he have stayed?  Has she forgotten some? She would never know. 

    Memories what a fickle thing she thinks. Isabella had only finished half of her tea but was done taking a break. She decided that for right now work was better than going down memory lane. 

January 09, 2022 23:22

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Moon Lion
00:01 Apr 05, 2022

I think you conveyed the bittersweet aspects of an ended relationship really convincingly and I liked the story's open ended 'end'.


Annette Lovewind
00:23 Apr 05, 2022

Thanks :)


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