Orange Juice

by Jennifer ten Haaf

It happened almost a month ago, but it still feels like ten minutes ago. Is that too cliché? We were sitting across from each other in a dirty diner with nothing but a table to separate us. Actually, the table was only separating us physically. There was something invisible, yet much stronger disconnecting us that day. He sipped orange juice, a drink that has always turned me off. The flavor is enough to turn my stomach, but it is the visible pulp that really makes me gag. He sucks it down without issue, every morning while consuming his breakfast with the lightning quick speed of a starving dog. I didn’t drink anything that morning. He said he didn’t love me, but gave me a final, orange juice flavored kiss goodbye.

Three and a half weeks have gone by. I have spent that time doing a number of things, though none of them are the least bit constructive. I lie in bed, dreaming about him or I drive past his house hoping to catch a glimpse of him, playing with his dog in the front yard. Other days I pick up the tee-shirt he left lying on my bedroom floor, pressing it against my face and breathing in the scent of him. When I’m feeling worst, I pour a glass of orange juice and savor the suggestion of his lips. I have gone through gallons of the stuff.

I am obsessed, admittedly so. My friends say they’re worried, but I know it could be worse. It’s just orange juice. Imagine if he had always tasted like cocaine or whiskey.

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