After he deposits her at the therapist’s office, he goes down to the bookstore café and settles in for an afternoon espresso. Before very long, the therapist shows up, too, and she’s with him. They look like a couple, out for an afternoon on the town.

They don’t see him right away, and it seems to him that he’s watching two people he’s never met before. He wants to go over and tell them what a lovely couple they are, how he wishes he had a girlfriend as lovely as she, but he tries to keep his mind on his coffee instead, even though it’s so suddenly bitter.

A few minutes later, she spots him at his corner table and waves but doesn’t smile.

* Couched was originally published (online) in the March 2018 issue of Eunoia Review.
Poets And Storytellers United
Writers’ Pantry #43

14 thoughts on “Couched

  1. Oh dear…they make movies about this sort of thing…Reality is not sweet. If it is autobiographical (hug)….if it is not (no hug:) Enjoyed this one.

  2. Very nice. I think he needs to join in for couples therapy. He dropped her off, so she must have known he’d be around, probably he always gets a coffee. He’s the one reading something more into it, I think. He seems controlling, and will think any man she speaks to she’s interested in. Why should she smile? She probably can read his face, and has been talking to her therapist about this very situation! (That my take on it.)

  3. An inspired title, Ron, and a wonderfully complete piece of flash fiction. Placing your characters in a bookstore café was inspired. I have so many questions: why was she seeing a therapist and did your protagonist suspect that there was more to her visits? Did she know he would be waiting in the café? I love the expressiveness of the coffee that’s suddenly bitter, the wave and lack of a smile.

    • Damn, lost part of my comment. (I hate how your comment box won’t show it all at once. Bad enough on laptop, hopeless on tablet. So … back to laptop now.) I meant to say it’s intriguing how we don’t know what;’s happening etc. Or something like that..

  4. So interesting to me that everyone assumed she is the wife of the fellow. Perhaps she’s just a friend who he’d like to be more. Hmmm At any write, an enigmatic write that has us all wondering!!

  5. The fact that the writer add the bitter taste to the coffee i interpret the taste of heartbreak,
    Sorry guy stop taking her to that therapist
    Happy Sunday Ron


  6. Maybe it is showing him he needs to listen or perhaps she’s spinning her life into the arms of another. Great write with so many ways to look at it.

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