Now and then she would scrunch her face in absolute concentration and her nose would break up into numerous lines around the tip. And the tear's position would become all the more precarious. The coffee by her side had long gone cold, its warmth long forgotten. She was in a cold world of her own, her mouth working soundlessly as she went on writing. She was clearly talking to a demon but was it her own?
His own coffee had gone cold in his hands. His eyes were darting back and forth between her face and her fingers. And the tear.
She was nearing the end. He could sense it somehow. Maybe it was the way she seemed to put all the strength of her frail frame into the writing instrument. Maybe it was the way her shoulders had been rigid for the last couple of minutes. Maybe it was how the tear hung itself to an eyelash.
Now was his chance. He didn't have much time. He got up and hurried about.
She signed the letter 'goodbye'. The tension had drained her of all energy - her eyes were still staring at the words her fingers had manufactured in the recent past. She reached for her coffee. She touched his fingers around the hot coffee.
She looked up, startled. The sun smiled at her from behind him. She smiled back.
He turned back and walked away.
The tear broke free.