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04 January 2017 @ 07:25 pm
Coffee on a Saturday Morning (Tagline: No. Don't tell me I can't.)  
Author's note: Came back to this site after a long time away and read through a few old posts. Haven't posted anything after the new rule about using any of the old lines. So I went to the archive and dug up the first line used on the channel (No. Don't tell me I can't.) and figured I'd do a prequel to one of the earlier things I'd written (My entry for "There s/he was" specifically). This whole thing was sort of done on the fly.

***

The sun peeking through the window to the east was the only illumination in the small two-bedroom house save for the soft glow of the fluorescent kitchen light. Ellen sat at the table sipping a cup of coffee and listening to some puerile prank the morning DJs were playing between commercials and old rock songs. She put the coffee aside, hands trembling slightly causing the light brown brew to spill out slightly, putting a stain on the papers in front of her.

"Damn it." she whispered to herself as she dabbed at it with the sleeve of her pajamas. It didn't do much good, but the spill wasn't overly large either. She stared at the papers, doubt needling at her slightly as she pondered what they meant. It shouldn't have felt like that much of a change, and certainly not for the worse. Still it felt as though someone had his hand around her heart as she thought about them.

"Up early?" a groggy voice uttered, still thick with sleep. She didn't bother looking up from the papers as the sound of a cupboard opening and closing again. She sighed and picked up the papers and walked to the kitchen. Mitch was just pouring the last of the coffee into an old, chipped coffee mug.

"Would it've killed you to leave an entire cup of coffee, Ell?" he asked without facing her. He dumped the old coffee grounds into the sink and began digging into the cupboard next to him for the coffee and filters. "Seriously are you going for some sort of record or to you just enjoy seeing me miserable in the mornings?" he asked while he dumped scoop after scoop into the maker. When she didn't answer he turned around. She took a deep breath and handed him the papers. He was confused at first, but took them anyway. She could see his eyes dart across the page, reading key words. She saw him mouth the words "What the..." before looking up at her with an exasperated expression.

"Ell, you-" he began

"No. Don't tell me I can't." she interrupted. "Don't tell me I'm overreacting, don't tell me anything, okay? Just...this is going to happen." she blurted. She took a deep breath and sighed "My mind is made up, Mitch." Mitch held the paper in his right hand and slowly put the coffee on the counter. His head was down. The pause was probably longer then it seemed, the only sound in the room being a station identification which itself was breaking up a string of commercials.

"You couldn't have waited." he said, still not looking at her "Seriously what did we say when we first got married, never serve me divorce papers until after I've had my coffee."

"Don't make jokes." Ellen said.

"It is a damn joke!" he said throwing the papers on the ground. The outburst cause Ellen to back a step away, her arms folding in front of her as her shoulders raised slightly "This is why Kimmy's at your sister's."

"I didn't want her here for this." she said "I didn't know how you'd react."

That caused Mitch to finally looked up at her. His brow was furrowed, his lips tightened as his jaw clenched shut as he slightly shook his head. He closed his eyes again and mouthed the word "unbelievable". He took in a deep breath which he held for a moment before finally releasing it.

"You can't do this." he said.

"Mitch-" she began but he cut her off with a raised hand.

"I mean the papers. Since you're a party to the divorce it's improper Proof of Service, it's got to come from a third party." he said to her. His jaw brow had lifted again and his jaw was slacked again, but his eyes were still closed. "I think I read that somewhere."

"I...I filled out the papers myself, I don't have a lawyer yet." she replied. There was silence between them as some old Led Zeppelin song began playing over the radio. Mitch looked at her, sighed and grabbed the phone book from beside the telephone. He walked towards her with it and put it in her hands.

"Get one." he said simply.

With that he walked into the bedroom. She gathered the papers and sat back down at the table. A few moments later Mitch emerged fully dressed and carrying a nap sack over his shoulder. He left without looking at her. She could hear the car door slam before he drove away. The morning DJs were signing off by the time she opened the phone book to look for an attorney.
 
 
 
Jesus Northbahia on January 5th, 2017 02:06 pm (UTC)
Nice piece. I like the way you laid out the scene. I could feel that the divorce didn't just come out of nowhere without knowing the rest of the story.

It's nice to have someone posting here again. I hope you keep it up!

Maybe I'll start trying to post new lines again. I've just returned to LJ.
BehindInTheTimesb_i_t_t on January 5th, 2017 04:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I always liked this channel when I was more active on LJ because it gave me a nudge to actually write something rather then just sitting, drinking coffee and staring at an empty notebook before zoning out in front of the TV or youtube.
Jesus Northbahia on January 5th, 2017 04:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, some of my best writing has come from prompts like the ones here. It forces you to make connections and helps beat that writer's block.