I took a sip of my chai tea latte and placed it gently on the table, my hands still cupping it carefully. It took everything in me not to cry.
“I’m sorry. I want us to remain friends and keep in contact, but just to be clear: I don’t want to be in a romantic relationship with you anymore. All right?”
I nodded slowly, biting my lip.
“I know it’s a lot to process right now, so I’ll just go. You know how to find me.”
I watched her get up and walk away. I reached out my hand to her as she walked out of the coffee shop doors, out of my sight, out of my life.
My eyes turned to the cup I had in my hands, and I let the heat of my milk tea warm my suddenly cold fingers. When did it become so cold?
Just then, I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked up. It was the girl in the braid, the one who always sat across me ever since I started going to this cafe. I didn’t really know her, nor were we formally introduced, but for some reason, here she was, handing me a red-and-white checkered handkerchief. I took it, unsure of what else to do.
“It’s okay to cry. I won’t judge.” She then brought a chair beside mine and sat down. “Go ahead.”
I stared at her for a bit and slowly smiled her way. I saw her understanding eyes, and my lips quivered, and I started to sob.
“There there…” She pat my arm consolingly. “Just cry.”
So I cried.