Coffee, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and vanilla. She thinks of death every time she's touched. Thinks of the look on his face, the look of pure betrayal and utmost loathing.

But she's happy.

She lies in bed late at night, and thinks of all the smells that make up her life. Coffee, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and vanilla.


Coffee every morning at exactly ten fifteen. She'll hold her hand and look out the window, content as she sips on the coffee. She'll look at the empty street. He drank coffee every morning too.

She thinks back on the days, he ordered a Frappuccino every morning, and they'd sip it together and laugh. He'd talk about silly, no nonsense things, and point out the stupid designs on his breakfast table. He'd show her how the swirls were comparable to a cup of coffee with cream.

He was like a cup of coffee with cream, she mused. But now he's like black coffee: bitter, dark, not understandable, and she couldn't fathom why anyone would ever drink it.

She looked over at the girl sitting across her from the table. The other girl grinned and sipped her coffee.

"That cloud looks like a coffee cup, you know," the other girl said. She thought about this for awhile, before smiling and responding it did.


His house had always smelled like smoke. His stepmother had hissed out some sort of greeting before letting her into the vat of smoke. It had always seemed hideous to her, the yellowing wall paper falling off the walls. His stepmother would violently cough and throw her out, under the deluded impression she couldn't hear the screams of 'hideous failure' and 'dating a slut.' He would come out grimacing, holding back tears he would never show, even to her, and say:

'She burned me again.'

'I know.'

She snapped up from her reverie and watched the other girl snap at an adult for blowing smoke in her face. The older woman snapped something back and the two engaged in a heated argument. When the other girl returned, she showcased a cigarette burn mark on her arm.

'She burned me.'

'I figured.'


The house constantly smelled like pot. When her mother was in particularly violent moods, she'd pass out and wake up in his room.

'Again?' he'd ask, holding his temples and clenching his fists in held back fury.

'Again,' she'd sigh. He'd hold her all night. It had happened far too often for anyone's good.

The other girl said something else. 'I hate what your mom does to you, you know.'

'Drugs are a terrible thing,' she responded, absentmindedly moving her hand across the scars and bruises that adorned her body.


She remembered the day he died. She held back her tears as a doctor spoke of stupid things like attempted suicide by way of too much alcohol. She held his note in her hand, rereading the words of 'I'm sorry' and 'All your fault' combined in one letter to her.

A girl she scarcely recognized held her from behind and for the first time that day, she sobbed uninhibited, ignoring his stepmother's cries of 'Lesbian! Slut! Bitch!'

Too much alcohol. Far, far, far too much alcohol. Too much for anyone, too much to handle for her.

She began to hyperventilate on the floor. The other girl just held her tighter and whispered unheard words of comfort over his body.


He never had liked lesbians. She held the other girl's hand as she walked down the street, smelling the other girl's shampoo.


He had been coffee, cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol.

But he had left.

Now she was on a new stage of her life, a new way to start.

And she was starting with vanilla.