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Rock Street, San Francisco

Iced Coffee

            I looked outside the window and was greeted by a radiant, glowing moon. It must have been four hours of sleep; I can still hear my mom pounding on my door, waking me up an hour later than I asked her too. “I’m up mom, you can stop tearing my door apart, thank you very much,” I shouted, hoping that I said it loud enough to wake up the whole household. If there was one thing that would make me upset the whole day, it would be not waking up at the time that I specified to be awaken at and my mom pretty much does a good job at this. But today is different. Today is my final exam in Plant Anatomy, the exam that could make or break my Botany career. I cannot remember how and why, but I fell head over heels in love with the plant kingdom. My mom could not possibly understand this, as she repeatedly did things to jeopardize my studies. But let’s go back to the situation at hand. Four hours of sleep, a hundred pages to read, three hours to prepare now suddenly reduced to just two, annoying mom at the door, great. Just great. I sighed heavily.

            I tried to move my body, forced myself to get out of the bed. It must have taken me more than five minutes because I remember sort of picking up my fallen blanket thrice. I stood up and headed down the kitchen, reaching blindly for the coffee maker, its placement on our countertop has not changed at all ever since it was bought. I can produce freshly brewed coffee even with the lights off. Everything was going smoothly according to plan until the moment I opened the fridge and saw an empty ice tray. I wanted to melt away and vanish into the unknown. I have a weird penchant for iced coffee, as hot coffee amazingly makes me fall asleep.  I stomped angrily towards my mother’s room only to find her soundly asleep already. I do not have the heart to wake her up even if I am really furious at her this very minute. I have to have ice.

            I looked at the clock and it read 3:11 am. If I would drive to the nearest 24 hour open grocery, I could make it back just in time. But then again, I could opt to skip coffee, albeit I haven’t done that before. This is entirely my mother’s fault, if she has been doing her job making sure household supplies are always available then none of this would have happened. I could not afford to waste my precious time getting ice. I find myself waiting anxiously for my own decision. I cannot stuffy without iced coffee. I just have to go out and get one.

            I went to the garage and started my car, and it signaled low fuel, almost empty, I thought. But the grocery is just a couple blocks away, I still decided to go.

            I reached the store at 3:21 am, thank god there’s ice. I grabbed a kilo and headed towards the cashier. There was no one there. I rang the bell thrice. Still nobody. 3:25 am, I stood there and stared blankly at the wall. Thoughts of mom-hatred hovering around me. If she did not forget to do her duties then I should have been comfortably sitting at my table reading right now. I was cursing her inside my head heavily as a teary-eyed yawning employee went out from the back door. I paid for my purchase and rushed towards my car. As I drove back home, it suddenly stopped. 3:27 am, zero fuel. You could just imagine my frustrations and my growing anger towards my mother. With all that I was experiencing right now, I couldn’t possibly concentrate on my 100-page reading anymore. But I am driven to ace my exam today. So I left my car parked safely beside the road and I ran home.

            I think time literally jumped forward because when I looked at my watch it was already 4am. At this point, I was almost losing it. I was like finishing a marathon, a series of unfortunate events, that I let myself believe my mom is the cause. As I held the iced coffee in one hand, and a cinnamon roll in the other, I felt like I was nearing the finish line, my room. I was just so exhausted that instead of sitting on my chair, I reached for my pillows and cuddled my blanket.

I must have dozed off again, because I heard someone banging on my door. It was my mom. “Ethan! What’s happening there? Ethan opened the door,” my mom shouted breathlessly. I looked at my clock, 3:11 am. What? I though it was already 4:00 am? I was bewildered as I walked towards the door to open it. “I have been standing here for more than 15 minutes now, I thought something bad happened to you,” my mom said as she handed me a tray with iced coffee and cinnamon roll on it. I continued to stare at her in disbelief. My mom smiled, “I think you must have fallen asleep again, Ethan.” She guided me towards my study table and placed the food items at the corner end. “I woke you up at 3 am and you responded angrily, I am sorry I woke you up an hour later,” she shifted her gaze towards the iced coffee. “When I realized that there was no more ice and pastries I rushed to the grocery and I got caught in heavy traffic last night,” she looked at me and continued, “I got home at around 11 pm, and got four hours of sleep only.” I almost shed a tear. “When you replied irately, I wanted to make up for that so I went down and made you your favorite study buddy,” she stood up and gave me a pat on the shoulder. “Go be the most successful botanist on earth, Ethan,” she said as she turned her back on me, heading to the door. “Thanks mom,” I said. She stopped and turned back. “I would have been stuck in my horrible anti-botanist dream if you didn’t wake me up again,” I added. “A nightmare? I see. What’s it about?” she asked curiously. “Iced coffee,” I answered, relieved.

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