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a shot of ex-presso

A couple, who is no longer a couple—but at one moment of time, was certainly a couple—grab coffee.


The girl starts. She is doing well. Actually, she says that she is doing “good”—funny, the most common human exchange is a grammatical mess and, often, a lie. Nevertheless, the girl is doing good. She is in a new relationship, and with a girl now. She feels virgin again and a fool at times. She does not tell him this because she wants him to feel small. What she does tell him is how amazing it is to date a girl because it feels like she is dating a best friend. She reads my mind, she says. We share clothes. We love cooking together, and she’ll try anything new. She is not describing her relationship but stabbing him with their past.


He is not cut by her words. He tells her he is single and enjoying his studies. He does not know what he will do after graduation, and he has not thought about it much. He tells her all of this, and this is all he tells her because he does not want to stab her. He has no interest.


She feels victory on all fronts. Of course she has won; he has not even put up a fight. He knows she thinks he feels small, and he lets her relish in victory. Yet the hole in her stomach grows upon their departure, a bottomless pit that is disappointed by this reunion. And he, well he leaves feeling full, the same fullness he has felt since she left his life.


She pays $6.50 for a vanilla latté with oat milk to sip during her speech, and he does not get anything because he does not drink caffeine.


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