Coffee. Blood. Two Sugars.

(Check tags for warnings.)


The heat woke me up again this morning. Usually it’s dogs barking or kids screaming. Sometimes it’s my husband, kissing my collarbone with a smile on his face. Lips tender soft compared to the sharp smell on his breath. One time it was our next-door neighbor peeing in the corner of our bedroom.

This morning it’s the heat. The air-conditioning is broken. Has been for two years, I think.

My back is damp from laying on the sweat-covered sheets. When I move, I feel my legs sliding against each other with ease. Freshly shaved and dotted with my own perspiration. I groan, sure to keep the sound as quiet as I can in the early hours of the morning.

My fingers get stuck halfway through my hair and I have to yank them free. I’m reminded I’m still wearing cheap mascara when I rub my eyes and pain instantly shoots from under my lids. I nibble on my nails, around the pale yellow color and shredded sides.

I drop my feet onto over-worn shirts and crusty underwear. My hand nudges used needles and empty bottles on the nightstand.

I don’t pull on pants. The smell of coffee is too strong and tugs me towards the kitchen.

“Morning.” My eyes blink open to see my grinning husband leaning forward on the table, lip swollen and eye beginning to darken. Blood drips from a fresh gash on his chest and hand. He must owe money to the Guthries again. His bare knees are caked in dried mud. I roll my eyes and reach around him to grab my own cup of coffee. Bringing it up to my lips I wince at the copper taste.

There’s blood in my coffee again.