The Mug is Stained

I love the writer’s group. The energy that is shared each week is really quite unique. It pushes each of us to write in ways we wouldn’t usually attempt and leaves us both exhausted and wanting to write more.  The prompt I’m going to share with you this week is the mug is stained.

Story by Genevieve:

It’s been days since I’ve heard from her. I have to face the facts. Louise isn’t coming back. She left most of her things but I knew in my gut I’d seen the last of her. I’d have to get rid of her stuff but not just yet.

I stood in the doorway of her bedroom, cup of warm tea rapidly cooling in my hands and looked at how she’d left it. A pile of laundry was heaped on her never used reading chair. Dirty clothing scattered across the floor, along with used dishes and old car magazines. She’d taken her favourite perfume and jewellery box but otherwise it seemed like she could be back any minute. Except for the bed. If it wasn’t for the perfectly made bed and open curtain I would have thought she was just out for a walk.

Absent-mindedly I collected the dishes and headed for the kitchen. I didn’t want to look at her discarded things any more, they reminded me too much of myself.

Louise had stumbled into my life eight months ago. An exuberant young woman looking for a place to stay. We were close. I knew about her ‘attacks’ as she called them. The constricting feeling of dread that overcame her whenever she began to settle down. Sometimes she just had to leave. That’s what she told me and as much as I believed her I never thought it would actually happen. I pushed her out of my mind, held back the tears and plunged my hands into the warm dish water.

Slowly. I’d slowly erase her. First the dishes, then the posters, the knick-knacks, clothes… One dish left. I grabbed the mug with a soapy hand. The white one with blue polka dots. It made me pause. I stared at it a long time, soap suds popping, water dripping onto the floor.

The mug is stained, I told myself. It’s stained and I won’t be able to clean it. I let the mug fall from my hand. It smashed against the ceramic floor scattering to all corners of the kitchen.


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