#4: Cold tea.

The coffee mug sat on the corner of the table all day long.

She still called it a ‘coffee mug’, despite the fact that she had no desire to assimilate to the American sensibilities of drinking coffee. She much preferred tea — English Breakfast, to be precise. Hot milk, no sugar. Just the way she had grown up drinking it. Well, she could never quite make it the way her mother made it.

It was her favourite mug. Someone had once told her that you could tell a lot about a person from the way they drank their coffee (or tea), but she had insisted that you could tell more from the cup that they drank it from. Hers was plain white, with a few tiny cracks in the paint under the glaze. She’d originally bought it because of that little imperfection — unnoticeable unless you looked close enough — but over the years it picked up even more imperfections that made it, without a doubt, hers. Tea stains on the inside, a tiny chip on the handle, a permanent lipstick imprint on the rim in her favourite shade, “Red Wine”.

She left it on the table until it went cold, poured it out and made another cup.

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