There was no coffee in the cupboard. No Folgers, Maxwell House, Cafe Bustelo. That’s strange, he thought. We always have coffee in the house, he explored more; opening cabinets and looking in the freezer.
She never bought anything fancy. Usually what was on sale at the Kroger store. It varied from week to week. One more cabinet. He opened the one atop the stove; nothing. He then investigated the refrigerator by pulling everything out of it. Leftover chicken, week old pizza, some broccoli and corn flake casserole, milk, and back in the left corner, two little pouches of instant coffee. He grabbed them and began reading the label immediately. Mix with hot water, the packages read. He put a kettle to heat on the stove.
You can’t really call it coffee now can you,? he mumbled while emptying the contents into a cup that read, World’s Best Dad. His daughter had bought that years ago for Father’s Day. He remembered it had a red bow tied round it.
He then added sugar to the cup and mixed the two ingredients thoroughly; the kettle began to whistle. He added the hot water as he stirred then tasted it with a spoon.
You can’t call it coffee anymore, he took a swig and wiped his chin. It’s just brown powder, crystals. Better than nothing, he said.
His wife joined him as the sun came up. He saved a packet for her. They both smiled. I’ll put it on my list, she said. He nodded his head. What’re your plans for the day,? she asked.
Thought I’d go out to the cemetery and talk to her. Take her some flowers. You wanna come along,? he asked. She said yes.
The sun put a glare on their daughter’s picture in the front room as it rose. It always did. She walked into the room and noticed the picture had collected dust. She wiped it off with her bath robe. He stayed in the kitchen and she sat in the living room. It was quiet.