In the quiet moments before he arrives, she stands to watch the dawn break. The coffee is strong, like she’ll need to be.

As the sun tints the sky orange, she knows she could make a different choice. She could try to be the soft, yielding one he’s asked her to be. The one who receives him graciously and loves without question.

She wishes she knew how to be that person. If the possibility had ever had existed, it was smothered like a flame long ago, leaving no ashes to mark a path back.

So she waits, her strong coffee growing cold.

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