On Monday, Clara, as usual, went through her morning-she left her cup of coffee on her desk, and left her house. As she walked on a path through a tunnel of ancient, overarching trees, she thought about a reading she didn’t finish, and how today in class she would just keep quiet to mask her ignorance. Oh, shit I forgot to grab food for lunch….I guess I’ll just skip since the Cafe just guzzles my money.
You must think that Clara’s life is mundane, boring, or lonely… I know I do. However, she never really noticed it. She was perfectly content with her simple life- there was no drama or outrageous circumstances. She woke up, took her meds, went to class, came home to a cup of cold coffee, and made a new one. She could have continued that way, never noticing the World crumbling around her. The World was flawed, ugly-just a disappointment; people were greedy, selfish, and manipulative. She could have continued living her simple life, if only she hadn’t run out of coffee.
Tuesday. Clara groggily woke up, cursing herself for staying up til 3am to finish that essay. In the shower, her thoughts drifted off to the warm cup of coffee she was looking forward to. I just need to get my coffee, then I can wake up and manage through class….ha. managing…is that all my life is? I guess so.
Only, she stood in her kitchen looking at her empty cup with a sinking feeling. “Fuck”. I’m out…guess I’ll stop by the Cafe for a cup before class.
She left, her desk looking naked without a hastily discarded cup.
If she hadn’t been out of coffee, if she hadn’t gone to the Cafe at exactly 9:29am on Monday, her life probably would have never changed. Maybe there would be a cup of cold coffee on her desk tomorrow, but the fact was that tomorrow, there would be no cup of coffee to coldly welcome her home. Nor the day after that, or the day after or any of the days to follow.
Clara walked into the bustling Cafe, the air stagnant with ground beans and cacophony. She stood in line, glancing at her cellphone as she impatiently watched the minutes tick by. Crap, I’m going to be late for class. ugh and if I walk into class late with a cup of coffee I’ll look like a tool.
She turned to leave, reasoning that she could survive her first class without her morning dose of caffeine and she could just grab one after class. When she turned around, she didn’t meet the door as you might expect. “O-oh I’m so sorry sir, I didn’t mean to bump into you, I’m sorry,” she stuttered, flustered. She glanced up catching a glimpse of a bl-”Wait no please let me go!” she screamed as the man grabbed her by her hair. “E’rrybody down!” he yelled, holding a gun up to the crowd. He discarded Clara like a used tissue, she collapsed to the ground- crumpled, shaking. People’s screams muffled to whimpers. The cacophony died. The Man kept the gun down their throats as he moved towards the register. “Nobody move, nobody makes a fuckin’ sound, an’ ain’t nobody gotta get hurt”. He turned his attention to stuffing the cash and tip jar in a sack.
A missed coin dropped, echoing through the room with an eerie pierce, making Clara flinch.
I know it’s cliche to say “it all happened in slow motion”, but Clara could now understand where that cliche came from. The bell above the door jingled as a small boy walked in, “Mommy we are going to be late for scho-”
The man whipped around aiming his gun. His finger gripping the trigger like an eager lover. Clara didn’t even think as she dove towards the boy. A bullet abandoned the gun, just as life started to abandon Clara.
She lay gasping, fruitlessly grasping at the air.
Suffice to say, she missed her class.