The air is tense, thick with anger, hurt, regret, and longing. It suffocates me. I pick at the untouched breakfast sandwich beside me. Made out of obligation with a splash of contempt, I'm nauseated by the sight of it. My stomach turns and my diaphragm tightens. I double over and rest my head against my knees. Another dry heave.
"Are you okay?" he asks.
The sensation passes and I nod my head. I'll be fine, physically at least. I raise my head and look at him through the screen door. He's bathed in the porch light's glow. Steady rain falls behind him in the morning darkness.
"Now you can tell all your friends I literally made you sick." His laugh is joyless.
I want him to shut up. I wrecked us, but he's determined to destroy anything that's left. This isn't the way we should be, but I seem to be the only one who knows that.
"It's not you," I say. It's the truth. I'm sick of the situation and sick of myself, unfortunately I know I'll never be sick of him. I just want to go back in time and get a do over. I'd retrace my steps and change the last 48 hours. Then I would be munching on the wheat toast, fake eggs, and turkey bacon. He wouldn't be mad.
I rest my head on the kitchen table. I broke it, but I want him to fix it.
"See what you're making me do," he says.
He brings the cigarette to his lips and pulls hard. His bare chest expands. I can sense the heat rushing down his throat, the physical pain matching the inner turmoil. He exhales a cloud of carbon monoxide and toxins, then brings the silver thermos to his mouth. I have nothing to say. I hate cigarettes. He knows that. Without a word he takes another drag. In the moment of silence, with a smoky haze surrounding him, he's beautiful. I could sit there forever watching him smoke and drink coffee.