Dana checked her makeup in the mirror for the third time. “You’ll love this coffee spot we’re going to,” she said.
Her husband half-listened. “It’s Starbucks, isn’t it?” He was thinking about the sermon he had to write. 31 years of marriage and he still loved her, but it wasn’t the same.
They parked their SUV outside and went in.
“I’ll order,” Dana said. Troy sat down and turned on his computer.
“I’d like a venti vanilla latte.”
“Non-fat?” the 20 something asked.
“Whole, if you got it. I’m on a special diet.”
Troy looked at his wife. After menopause, her sands shifted.
Dana came back with his drink.
“That coffee doesn’t smell good,” Troy said.
“I don’t think it’s the coffee.” Dana looked at the homeless woman sitting next to them.
“I can’t think,” Troy said. “I’m moving.” He walked to the other side of the room.
Dana noticed the woman’s faded beauty behind frazzled hair. “Mam, may I buy you a drink?”
The woman smiled, revealing discolored teeth. “I’d like that; take a blessing with you, dearie.” She touched Dana on the hand. It left a mark.
Dana brought the woman a coffee and joined her husband.
“That was rude.”
“Perhaps you’re right. You have a sweet heart. I’ll put you in my sermon.”
“No need to be sarcastic,” Dana said.
“What do you want from me?”
“I just want you to see who you married.”
“That’s pretty hard these days.”
Dana started to cry.
Troy was helpless. He didn’t understand women. It was the one thing God never helped him with. His eyes were sunken. His face was tired. And coffee couldn’t help him. It was difficult to say “hello” to congregants and he longed to retire.
Even through tears, Dana felt better. “We have to come back; they have excellent coffee here.”
“Dana, it’s Starbuck. Our church blend is better.”
She drove them home, feeling better and better and decided to soak in a hot bath. It was sensuous against her skin and when she got out, Dana admired her body. She curled in bed and went to sleep. Troy looked at her form. Tomorrow was Sunday; Sundays were hell.
He got out of bed at 3 AM and made coffee. Then he rushed to church. He stood on the stage and preached false words he didn’t believe. Greetings were next. He turned to a woman and shook her hand. She reminded him of someone he used to know; milky seductive skin and a suggestive smile.
“Kindness renews more than just the soul,” she said.