A Cup of Friday

I turned 12 last October. It wasn’t a magical day like all the kids in my block claim. My family sang like a forced choir, and after the cake-cutting, I was off to the cafe down the street. It had been standing for years now, and the cracks on the walls were signs of a very short life span left. I took a book from my series of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and sat at the last table in the corner. The lack of customers in the cafe was a loss for Mrs. A, but the serenity it brought was a plus for me. I ordered my usual: a glass of milk and cake, and indulged my mind in Greg Heffley’s vacation in the Dog Days. That’s when he entered. He sat at farthest table from mine, and his eyes drifted to see me staring. I was ogling at this creature before me, and in my head, the Wattpad teen-romance stories were coming to reality: the new cute boy in town, the nerdy girl, and the breakfast date.

I will be turning 22 next October. Maybe I will be having a better year than I did this year. I’m currently at the school library, trying to understand the aspects of Business Law in the 2 hours before my presentation. The morning doesn’t seem promising, and the shiver in my bones isn’t rhyming to my favorite jam. V walks through the doors with two cups of latte and a box that seems to be packed with cupcakes. Not giving enough cares about her environment, she screams out my name as she places the box on top of my books. “You worry too much kid!” How was I friends with a human that hated reading? Anyway, coffee had always been a great start for me, and V has always been my best friend. This was my kind of favorite breakfast.

I will be turning 32 next October, and that really scares me. My male-dominated profession doesn’t allow me to harbor such feelings, but not being ready to think of midlife crises forces me to have fear. Stuck in traffic from work, my eyes can’t help but stare at the hotel across the street. The floors look exuberant from far, and the architecture bears a social-class definition. The environment surrounding is serene and almost perfect for my meeting. At least Mr. O would have one less thing to complain about. I imagine myself wearing my navy-blue pants suit and I feel my toes cringe at the thought of high heels. The coffee has the taste of its berries right from the rim of the cup: something that would lessen his complaints. Just one problem- his lawyer’s eyes were intimidating me. I thought coffee brought tranquility?

I turned 42 last October. It has been an exhausting April for me, and thoughts of retiring have been kicking from all directions. Aunt Gladys’ son, my husband, is planning a getaway weekend at the beach, and the anxiety has been creeping out all week. A morning at the beach, watching the sunrise on the water’s surface, sipping on mango juice glazed with whiskey. This vacation is meant to distract our minds from the ongoing divorce procedures, but for me, it seemed to be a summit for me and my gods. “Why are you leaving such a good man, ey selfish woman?” Traumatizing. This wasn’t the breakfast I dreamed of.

Its October once again. This time I will be turning nineteen. I always thought my first breakfast date will be like the former imaginations. But it was entirely different- completely real. It wasn’t like I read in the books, or watched in the movies. The streets were quiet and peaceful, and the drizzles made the soil smell edible. Wearing my black coat like a second skin, the euphoria of dates tickled all my senses; bearing warmth. I was having coffee with my long-lost friend, and the cheerfulness of that moment was something I wanted to capture till the end.

Her nails had a freshly painted coat of dazzling red lacquer, and her hair was neatly combed. Her outfit had the ability to showcase confidence and casualty, and the flamingo purse she clutched was the wrap-up of it all. Although coffee with creamer had always been my go-to, I felt phony-like I was disappointing the coffee lovers-as she ordered black coffee. But the exhilaration of sharing this moment with her outdid all other emotions of the day. The rains got heavier, and the connection we had was watered back to life. I was falling in love with the old things; with someone who meant a lot to me, over a cup of coffee.

[fee-ka] • Swedish 
(n.) a moment to slow down and appreciate the good things in life 
“Coffee with friends” 

Beautiful pieces

A palace in the middle of imaginations.
A wreck of a home-to them a dynasty-
full of blood craving a taste of harmony.
She was born.
The walls creaked with ecstasy,
the wails brought hope: she believed.
She saw them broken, ready to make their pieces whole,
little did she know, she was set for a ruthless road.
She was just naïve.
She was me.

Hours had gone, the sun was no longer the same,
the dynasty broke, the bonds shattered in ages.
She was still very young, but not too selfless to understand
that despite the peace, she also brought war
and mixed with love, she bred despise
for the ceremonies held were not of joy,
but of malice, and specks of regret.
She was meant to die.
She was me.

In the thatched shanty with her grandfather she lay.
He was her last hope; the first drunkard she had seen.
His words brew blind hope
as his songs uttered blessings to his own.
But she wasn’t his blood,
he cared less to know her name-lest he would have said it just once-
even if as a curse, to her it would have been a coated blessing.
That’s all she ever craved, eight hours beside the river.
That’s all she ever cried for, till the river turned into clay.
She wasn’t related.
She was me.

The bamboo trees swayed in matrimony.
The light was back, though in secrecy.
He was sent by the Heavens to teach her how to love
and there, he became one of her only two relations.
Minutes later, he was attacked and kept away from his own
and on his return, he could no longer breathe.
It became her first loss; her first drown.
She had lost all she had-
forgotten for a much brighter illusion.
She felt tired.
She was me.

The bus drivers hoot out loud in distress-
she had just rested for six seconds.
The weight on her shoulders had gotten heavier,
the humans surrounding drew farther.
Her heart had never known to seek help.
Her eyes grew impatient for the sun rise.
Now she cries no more, for her pain surrendered
to drunk glasses and bended knees.
Her soul remains caged,
her body lies feeble, years awake.
The world is tempting.
The battles are enraging.
She dreams of being with her papa,
then maybe with closed eyes she would be good enough,
maybe in another life, she will be strong enough.
There’s only much one can take:
her mama knows not,
but she needs a break.
she is me.