Clouds of white bloom in Charlie's coffee, the colors blending: dark to light; light to dark. Outside, snow begins to fall. Fat flakes land upon the grass and dissolve immediately: white to clear.
There's a knock at the door of the cabin. He remains still, expecting no one. He hasn't seen a human being since he went to town three weeks ago.
The knock again, more insistent. He sips his coffee and waits for the person to go away.
The doorknob turns. The door swings open. A woman stands there, wearing a down jacket and a striped scarf. She unwinds the scarf from her face.
"I've been looking for you for four months."
"Here I am."
"I see." She sits and gestures. "Can I have some coffee? I'm freezing."
He slides his mug across the table and she laughs. "No clean cups?"
"One of everything. My new motto."
"Sounds a bit lonely."
"It's easier that way."
She wraps her long fingers around the mug. Her nails are red. "Why did you leave, Charlie? You were one of the best teachers we had."
"The principal was messing with the test results."
"Oh, don't be so self-righteous. Come back. The students miss you."
"I can't make a difference in an indifferent world."
"Your logic is weak."
"The world is not indifferent. Not all the time."
"I think you've lost your nerve." She pushes the mug towards him.
"Could be." He tries not to notice the soft curl to her hair; avoids looking at the swell of her stomach and the band around her finger. He stares out the window.
"I can see I'm wasting my time." She stands and pushes in her chair. She wraps the scarf around her neck and heads out the door without another word.
He watches her leave, heading down the mountain, her figure slowly fading before melting away entirely.
I love you, he tells her afterimage. And he goes to pour another cup of coffee.
This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was weak.