She had long suspected her husband of being unfaithful. Far more than she could take, it was also far less that she deserved. There was only one way of keeping her man, of saving her marriage. And desperate times called for desperate measures. So she sent a boy out to the forest.
He returned that evening, blown in on an ancient breeze, black eyed, a little dusty. A scent of ghosts. In his hand he held a small paper wrap. She paid the boy as agreed and as his trace bled into the night went through to her kitchen.
By a kerosene light she carefully sliced the contents of the wrap – her love. Dicing it finely into a thousand delicate kisses. When she was satisfied with her work she scraped it into a old tin mug. Fresh and steaming, a little sugar completed the brew.
She took her love through to the room where her husband sat finishing his meal. ‘Cafe’, she said kindly as she handed it to him. ‘Gracias,’ he replied, not looking up. In a vast and airless silence he slowly finished the drink. And as he gazed long and hard into the dark, the past, present and the future became clear.
He placed the empty mug down on the table, stood up, took his jacket and his hat from where they had been resting on the hook by the door and made his way past the kitchen. He walked along the dimly lit hall. Out into the warm evening air. He never returned.
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