I don’t want the confrontation but she needs it, so I go out there and put the kettle on. She doesn’t say anything at first, just overpacks her bag and triple checks the unnecessary. Looking beyond her reflection in the buffet mirror, she asks, ‘What are your plans for the day. Busy?’ Two sugars, one of coffee, seven eighths water, top with milk. Things taste so sour. Through the steam I tell her, I’ll probably play it by ear. One last lick of eyeliner goes on and a small tut comes out. ‘I won’t be home later,’ she says.
Julie comes over to borrow a cup of sugar, which seems so far fetched I laugh right at her, but she tells me no, she wanted to bake cookies and thought she had enough because who runs out of sugar anyway. I tell her that I only have the synthetic stuff now since Darren’s diabetes and she deflates a little as she remembers, so I ask her in for coffee which tastes a bit like old dirt, because I don’t have any real sugar, and I find myself apologizing to her even though I know I don’t really care.