“Talk to me,” she pleaded.
“What do you want me to say?” he asked and looked away.
“I don’t know,” she said. “Anything. Anything at all.”
The room was already too warm and the tears were beginning to form on her aluminum frame.
“Don’t you want me anymore?” she asked.
“It’s not that I don’t want you,” he began to explain.
“Then what?” The tears were streaming now.
“Listen,” the bottle of Ron Zacapa Centenario Rum said, “I don’t think that we should see each other anymore.”
“What are you saying?” Cola was stunned. “Why are you doing this, Ron?!”
“It’s just that…” he began.
“Is there someone else?” she said before he could finish his words.
“No,” he said firmly. “There’s no one else. There’s never been anyone else. Just you.”
“Then why? Then what? What happened?”
“Cola,” he said and took her by the hand, “you’re a sweet girl – in fact, too sweet – and I know that one day you’ll find another liquor, one that will love you just the way you are – carbonated and syrupy.” He took her other hand, “And the two of you will mix and be very happy. I just know it.”
“But why not you?” she cried. “Why not us?”
He let go of her hands and turned away again. “I’ve moved on,” he said plainly. “I’m a blend between six and twenty-three years old and I don’t want this lifestyle anymore. I don’t want to be a mixer. I don’t deserve to be a mixer. There’s a spice inside me and I want…no, I need to be free.”
“But I need you,” she whispered struggling to catch her breath.
“No, Cola, you don’t.”
“I need everything about you,” she said fiercely. “I need your spiced chocolate scent. I need your warm embrace and the caramel sweetness of your kiss.”
“There will be others, Cola,” he said to calm her. “What about my cousin, Morgan? He’s a Captain, you know.”
“He’s not like you. No one could ever love me like you. No one else could love me and leave me honey-touched, promising dried citrus and minced almonds at the end of each embrace.”
Her words fell at the base of his bottle. He said nothing.
“Ron!” she called as he reached to put her back onto the refrigerator shelf.
“Goodbye, Cola,” he said. “I’ll never forget you.” And he closed the door.
With the snap of the stainless steel appliance’s air-tight seal, her sadness was muted and they were no more.
I hope you liked this one, Jim. Thanks for giving me the last of the bottle!