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The piercing shrieks of the typical alarm clock sent startlingly acute sound waves towards her ears. Beating annoyingly on her still present eardrums, the irritating reverberation of a wake-up call unbolted a file cabinet drawer in her half-dormant brain that was smartly titled ‘DISPLEASURE’, sending papers flying in all possible directions. The day’s first thought was directed towards the freak of an object; Shut the hell up.
With a body that suddenly shared a very inconvenient similarity with the nearest bowl of powdered jelly, she reluctantly swung her legs over the side of her too-small bed. The crusty heel of her right foot slammed into the fake oak bed frame, the harsh impact of the action sending a numb feeling up her leg, and, on impulse, triggering the taps of her eyes. Through a scowl, she shook her foot to rid the still pulsing sting and pain of the small injury and mopped away the blur in her eyes with the irritatingly itchy sleeve of her polyester full-sleeve pyjama top. The drop that rubbed off onto the stench releasing, lint-sprinkled shirt left a damp streak a shade darker than the hot pink-ish hue of the thing itself.
Quite consciously shifting the weight of her body towards her left foot, she dementedly hopped towards the ugly green-brown dresser that stood being insulted and ridiculed in the far and least noticed corner of the room, one again registering – like every other morning – how ugly it actually was. Very. Meaningless photographs of long-forgotten memories that were hardly ever glanced at anymore let alone noticed of existence, were tucked into the space of the mirror border that was supposed to be fastening the mirror to the crappy wood of the frame, yet was beginning to drastically fail. The photographs, bent inwards at the edges and torn in some places – the marks of age, though she could care less – were glued to the grubby mirror, which, itself, was scarred and marked; a streak of Rambunctious Red lipstick here and an ironically star-shaped smudge of Starry-Night Blue nail polish there.
Her face appeared in the mirror. Eyelids still drooping with the tiresome effort that was involved in the difficult endeavour of opening her eyes fully, she wearily studied her reflection. With her unkempt hair that was so unruly it was quite like a very poorly told joke, knots that would very likely never come loose littered the junkyard that was her amber-streaked locks. A slightly gory mixture of lavender and grey produced the faint bags under her eyes. Releasing a large gust of air, as if proclaiming to the world that she was still suffering from early morning exhaustion, she walked towards the doorway and trudged out into her own little carpeted sanctuary.
Scratching absent-mindedly at an old mosquito bite planted exactly on her wrinkly elbow, she marched down the stairs, heading straight for the kitchen. Now attempting to rub the tiredness from her eyes with the palm of her hand, and impulsively slowing down as the bare skin of her feet met the icy cold linoleum tiles of the kitchen, her eyes rested atop her one prized possession, the love of her life; her teapot. The sight of the very object that constructed her one true passion in life – brewing tea – she hastily reached the poor replica of pooh-brown marble that was her kitchen counter within two large steps.
Within a few short minutes, consisting of her swift movements that were the result of years of practise in the art of making a perfect cup of tea, light clouds of steam were lazily drifting upwards from the teapot’s spout, and the faint sound of rapidly popping bubbles of boiling water were the only sound in the otherwise completely silent place. Gently pouring the steaming water into her favourite mug that read ‘Don’t talk to me till my third cup,’ and the corners of her mouth twitching into a smile in spite of herself – and her tea – her eyes glided over the many types of tea in her pantry. Picking up a teabag of Chamomile from its petite little tin can, she dropped it into her mug of water. The teabag helplessly lay on the surface of the water, and the chestnut colour of the grains inside the small bag slowly blended into the water surrounding it, the colour slowly infesting the contents of the mug. With her fork, she lightly tapped the centre of the drifting teabag floating atop the water, so that it hung bobbing a little below the surface, only to re-emerge as soon as she stopped pushing down on it with the fork. Suddenly, and so unexpectedly, her brain was drowning in strange thoughts.
What if this was her last cup of tea, her last chance to savour the soothing sensation of a sip of chamomile running down her throat? What if the annoying and rather badly foreboding events that had started of her day were some kind of sign when put together in sequence, a sign that she would remain a insignificant person, only to die a tragic but rather meaningless death merely moments after gulping the last drop of her tea? What if this tea, this teabag, the feeling of the warm clay of the mug meeting her lips, was her last?
She had inattentively begun to mix the water with her fork, the metal tinkling noisily with the sides of the mug, as the motion produced a small water tornado and the contents now turned a deep red. Her mind continued to run in overdrive, the gears in there now beginning to let off a dark smoke as the load of all those thoughts and questions was too much to handle.
What if this was the last time she would make her mark, however insignificant, on the world ever again? What if she wouldn’t even get the chance to finish this tea, as death would breathlessly creep up around her shoulder within the very next moment? Like now? Or now? Or now? And the last thing anyone had to show she had even existed was this cup of tea? What if this was it? Her last day? What if? What if what if what if?
With a jolt of her too-full mind, she realized with a quirky pleasure that she was seated on her loveseat sofa, her body sinking into the pillow-like fabric, her legs comfortably bent under her like all those other mornings before this one. She also realized that she was holding her mug of tea, her hands contentedly snaked around the smooth surface. Even that simple fact had so strangely skipped her mind as all those other thoughts had dominated, and were still prominent in her train of consciousness like a damp mist or fog that hung there solitarily. She sipped it, a warm feeling settling in the pit of her being like a tame and purring lion, as her lips seemed to embrace their familiar place on the rim of the mug.
It was delicious. The chamomile’s honey-sweet taste swam in her mouth so delicately, teasing all of her senses, awakening her mind to the subtle beauty of the moment. She let herself sink further into her seat, every one of her muscles at a bizarre tranquility. Each part of her seemed to be bowing down to that simple mug of tea. She let her eyelids droop in contentment.
Forget any oh so profound thoughts.
Forget her insignificance.
Forget her mark on the world.
Forget death, for God’s sake.
This is the life.



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