Norman held the jar in front of the window. The brown granules shifted as the man tilted and turned the glass container, squinting as if the sunlight were piercing his eyes instead of the half empty coffee jar. He then pressed his thumb against the side and noted a point just beneath the tip of his nail.
‘I knew it. Two spoons missing.’
He glanced at his wife Tessy, who sat at the kitchen table with her eyes creased shut and her palms face down on the grainy wooden surface. She was muttering something that wasn’t audible. Norman thought she might be praying.
Giving her the benefit of doubt, Norman cleared his throat and spoke again.
‘I said two spoons missing.’
Though his voice was louder this time, Tessy didn’t bother to listen, and her lips continued to move swiftly, her eyes squeezed shut even tighter. Norman was desperate to get his wife’s attention, so he set the coffee jar down hard inches away from her. The loud thud made Tessy open her eyes and stop her feverish mumbling.
The first thing she said made Norman turn red in the face.
‘Norman, why you such a pain?’
The look in her dark brown eyes matched the disgust in her voice. And when her hand moved, Norman knew nothing good would come of it. Tessy picked up the coffee jar and flung it out the open window. She then got up to do the dishes rattling off her husband’s annoying characteristics.
‘You the biggest miser I ever seen. If you wanna act like you poor and stupid, then leave me out of it. Who donates their clothes to the needy and goes back asking for a return? You do, Norman. You sure your brain ain’t leaking into your ankles? The lord has given me peace, joy, and comfort. Did I drink more coffee than I was supposed to? Two spoons missing? Now the whole damn jar is gone. What you gonna do?’
When Norman didn’t answer, Tessy turned to find herself alone. She looked out the kitchen window. Norman sat near the broken jar sifting coffee from the broken glass. He was brushing the coffee with his palm into a dustpan. Tessy shouted out to her husband.
‘You’ll get those two spoons back with all that grime and dirt. Way to go, Norman! I always knew you were a cheap idiot!’
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