The bottom falling out was completely unexpected. One night after dinner Sharon simply poured tea into her favorite tea cup, turned to walk to the kitchen stool when crack, it happened. A perfect circular fracture and both the bottom of the cup and the tea were on the floor. Sharon held up the cup and, like a magician’s magic box, looked through it in disbelief.
For months Sharon told anyone who would listen.
I still can’t believe it, she’d say, it was such a shock. I still don’t know why it happened.
Eventually people stopped inviting her over for dinner or out for drinks, it was that uncomfortable. Even Tanya, her sister, called less and less. Their most recent conversation went like this:
Oh come on Sharon, don’t you think it’s time you just let it go? It was just a cup. Nothing you do will bring it back.
I can’t help thinking it must have been something I did and didn’t even realize it.
Oh my God, for the last time, it wasn’t you, it was the cup.
Sharon didn’t know what else to say. You don’t just get over something like this. She had searched for such a long time for something so sophisticated, so elegant, so…so…refined. It was Royal Dalton for Pete’s sake. Made in England. Her sister preferred big bulky coffee mugs. She was careless and broke so many she now bought ones from the dollar store. While they looked good at first, they never lasted long enough for Tanya to get attached.
Recalling their conversation later that night, Sharon wondered if perhaps, she shouldn’t be so surprised. After all, they never had nice cups growing up. Nice cups never lasted long around their small apartment so eventually her mother gave up trying to keep them. But Sharon missed their presence. The one thing Sharon had promised herself as a young girl was that one day she’d eventually get herself a quality, reliable, cup. One she could always depend on. And it was merely by chance that she’d found this one at an antique store down by the lake. Something about it just caught her eye. It was understated but confident. She could feel its inner strength. She’d finally found the one.
How could she have been so wrong?
Janet Koops is a librarian turned writer who has work published in Our Canada and blink | ink. She can be found writing very short fiction at http://postcardfiction.com.
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