Photo by Eldar Nazarov on Unsplash

The warmth of the coffee trickled down his throat and made John sigh.

"I'll miss watching you enjoy your coffee," Susan said, stirring her coffee.

"You have been watching me do that for 23 years," John replied, "I am pretty sure you're bored by now."

"No, I am not. It makes me happy seeing you smile." Susan took a sip.

"Then why are we here?" John asked.

"Because we don't love each other anymore. Not like we did all those years ago."

John sat back and took a moment.

"That is true."

Susan's lips curled into a gentle smile. She crossed her arms and rested them on the table. She was grateful that the window kept out the noise of the rushing cars. It was surreal that the rushing world outside couldn't hear what was going on inside Susan.

As she looked out the window, John studied her face. Nothing much has changed other than the faint wrinkles around Susan's eyes. Even after all these years, her eyes had the same sparkle. And so much wisdom.

John remembered the day when he came home, worried to death, after being fired from his job. With three kids and a house loan, John didn't know how to take care of everyone. That night, when Susan opened the door, she instinctively knew something was wrong. Without saying or asking anything, Susan embraced John and let him melt in her arms. It wasn't until after the kids were put to bed that John told Susan everything. The support Susan provided that night made John fall in love with her all over again.

"Thank you for being there for me," John said, bringing Susan's attention back from the cars outside to him. "If it wasn't for your support, I wouldn't have started my own consulting business."

"Well, it was the right time," Susan replied, "You have been working your ass off at that company for ten years and going nowhere. Getting fired placed you on the cliff, and I just pushed you off to make you take the leap of faith."

"It was more of a shove, but thanks," John smiled. Susan returned the favour.

John. Her best friend. Her lover, and later her husband. The father of her three beautiful children. Well, four.

Susan's heart still ached for her first child. He was too weak to make it into the world. And she was shattered when she lost him. If it wasn't for John's love and attention, Susan knew she couldn't have recovered from her pain. But she knew she had to try again, for John's sake. She was right to do so, for John turned out to be the best father she could have asked for her children.

"Thank you for helping me cope with my miscarriage," Susan said.

John took a deep breath.

"Now, when I look back, I see everything worked out well. But at that moment, I didn't have a clue how to help you. As a man, I can't even imagine how you were feeling. But it was heartbreaking to see you break every moment of the day. I had to save my best friend."

"And you did," Susan said and reached out to John. John placed his hand in hers and held it tight.

John shook his head.

"I still don't understand when it went all wrong."

Susan held John's gaze.

"It went wrong when we got so busy taking care of the kids and business that we forgot to love each other and ourselves."

John nodded.

The ringtone of John's phone cut through the silence that hung between them. John let go of Susan's hand and pulled out the phone from his trousers. The call ended within a few seconds.

"Our lawyers are here," John said, "Shall we get divorced then?"

"Yes, please," Susan replied.

They both got up and went out of the cafe.

"But we are still going to stay best friends, right?" John asked.

Susan shared her gentle smile again. "One hundred per cent."

Together, they crossed the road and went up the stairs to the courthouse.

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