Coffee was the one vice she refused to give up.
Especially now. Now that she had finally gotten rid of that last pack of smokes.
She knew how bad they were. But that didn't stop her from having one. Just one little cigarette a month.
Surely that wouldn't tempt the cancer gods too much?
She always knew she'd have to give them up eventually. Her little rebellion. Her dirty little secret.
No one had to know.
But that was a lie. She knew.
She couldn't unknow, so one day they'd have to go.
She felt sad on the day. The day she had decided upon out of the blue. She hadn't even had her one for the month. It was just time.
She tossed them in the trash and knew there was no going back. She would never buy another pack and she would never pull them back out of the trash.
That was something she could not bring herself to do. Nothing ever came back from the trash.
But she still had coffee.
Sweet coffee, whose kiss she first tasted at twelve.
Back then she had doctored it up too much. Chocolate and milk. Sugar and cream. She never masked the taste, not completely, but she certainly did not appreciate it yet.
Later she left it for espresso.
Flavors. Steamed milk.
So many exotic combinations, so much heady excitement.
Later it would make her ill. She loved the scent, would drink it in with every sense but the one that most desired it.
She told herself she was happy. She tortured herself so deliciously, breathing it in, savoring it on the clothing of others, their skin, their breath.
But never again could she consume it as it had once consumed her.
Then one day coffee was back.
Black. One sugar.
So simple. Steady. Undemanding.
A sweet kiss. A soft caress.
She'd never leave it again, she promised silently, wrapping her hands around the warm mug. Letting it warm her in that gentle, familiar way.