You’re sitting in front of me, the sun falling on your face. It lights up your eyes as you tell me something funny. I laugh on cue with you, but my mind has wandered off. It is lost somewhere in the depth of your eyes. Or maybe in that lock of hair that has strayed onto your forehead. I can see you, as you lift up your cup, swirling it like the colours in my mind. The yellows join the blues and mix with the greens and the reds to form a dark shade of brown, just like the liquid you blow into. You look up and catch me staring at you. Instinctively, I blush.
The redness that has crept over my face takes me to a time in the past; a time when we knew so little that each other was all we had. My red lipstick stained your neck as I pressed my lips against it. Your hands were right there, in the small of my back, pulling me toward you. As our bodies kept pace with each other, we passionately made love that night under the whirring fan. The fan, so full of dust that its blades were now brown. Brown, just like the colour of the liquid you were now sipping. You look up at me with a question on your face, a hint of concern hidden somewhere. Why wasn’t I sipping my coffee? I lifted my mug as the blue rims of your sunglasses caught my eye.
I lay down on the beach that day, panting after chasing you along the coast. You came back and plopped right next to me. You smiled, a perfect set of teeth gleaming at me, and pulled me into a tight hug. I pushed you away and looked up at the sky – clear blue and absolutely cloudless, as if the Gods knew this was to be a perfect day. The hues of blue ran down from the sky and formed a large puddle at the horizon, which came crashing at our feet every few minutes. The space between us seemed to vanish as we moved closer that summer day. And somewhere in that blue that surrounded us, I accepted you, knowing all I had was to lose. I felt your hands cupping my chin as you drew your lips to my forehead. You ruffled my hair like you always did, forcing my sunglasses back onto my eyes. I could see the blue now, with a tint of brown. Brown, just like the colour of the liquid I had now finished sipping.
You called for the cheque, pulling me back to reality, away from those faraway places that made me smile. Yesterday may have been, but today wasn’t mine. You look right at me, for the first time in many months. Your eyes are boring into mine, like you’re still searching for some part of me to love. I can see the pain that failure brings you; it is evident in your eyes. You pull me close, into a final embrace, hoping I’d give you a reason to stay. But I offer none, and just like that, I watch you walk away. You keep walking until I can barely see you, lost in the brown of the trees that line the lane.
Brown, just like the colour of your eyes. Those eyes that spoke volumes to me; for them words would never be enough. They knew me so well, every nook and corner of my body, every inch of my mind, they could read. Brown, just like the colour of the coffee you made me have on our first date. Rich, brown and pure, brewed perfectly right with no adulteration. Why would you like to consume something in a way it wasn’t meant to be? I had no answer and quietly accepted the steaming hot liquid. It was bitter, but I swallowed and refused to let you know. What started off as a compulsion, turned into acceptance and eventually, approval. The brown espresso was what you stood for in my life – pure, unadulterated and perfectly brewed, but eventually bitter.
I opened my inbox a month later to find a mail from you asking me how I was doing. Great, I thought. I’d managed to wash off all the colours you left me with – the greens, reds, yellows and blues. Save for the brown. The brown I’d always keep with me. It’s a part of you that is now mine, a part of me, in the form of my morning cup of coffee.