Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)
TITLE: Coffee, Coffee Everywhere - Especially On Me
By sheila mcmahan
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“Piddle, piddle, piddle,” I yelled at the coffee maker.
It answered back, smugly, by spewing more steam at me and sputtering coffee droplets. What an irritating mess!
I stomped over to the sink and turned on the faucet; the cool water immediately began to soothe my throbbing hand.
“What’s with all the yelling?” David walked into the room, immaculately dressed, the picture of a serious public servant - except for a wry grin he was trying to conceal.
“Yeah. Laugh. You don’t have a scald mark running across your hand.” I removed it from the water and held it up for his inspection.
“Pretty . . . uh, nasty.”
“Yeah. And me with a presentation this morning. No one will focus on my talk, just be staring at this!” I held my wound even higher. Ouch! And that would be the second - or was it third? - bad idea I‘d had this morning.
He reached for my hand, but I jerked it away and stuck it back under the water. It throbbed with increased intensity. Just great. Forget the presentation and the audience; I’d be concentrating on ignoring the pain.
“Here. Take this.” Two pain relievers lay on his outstretched palm. A cup of milk sat next to me on the sink.
I looked up, a smile just beginning to crease my mouth, “Thanks. Maybe they’ll help.” What a good guy. I hadn’t even heard him rummaging in the cabinet, fixated as I was on the immediate and future pain. And here I’d been, treating him with all that old hatefulness. Heavy sigh on my part.
“What exactly,” he began, but was interrupted by the coffee maker again spewing forth. He patiently waited until it was quiet. “happened? Coffee maker wake up in a bad mood?”
“No. That would be me. I was running late . . . .”
He opened his mouth but before a word got out I interrupted him.
“Now don’t start.”
He held up his hands in defense and then turned and headed toward the almost full coffee pot sitting on the stove. He began to prepare his for-the-road mug.
I waited for his full attention, determined to present my case as the innocent party and fully malign the afore-mentioned coffee maker.
He finished preparing his mug and then turned around, eyebrow raised in expectation.
“I know I should have gotten up a bit earlier, but . . .”
Again with the wry smile. He knew I’d been up late, reading that final chapter.
“But I knew I wouldn’t have any time to read today and . . .”
He came over and pulled me towards him, careful to keep my hand under the water. “It’s okay, really. But what does all that have to do with your burnt hand and . . . this?” He waved his free hand toward the now quiet coffee maker and the stream of coffee meandering across the counter.
Heavy sigh, again from me. “I forgot that we’d bought a new coffee maker. And this one evidently doesn’t have the remove-a-cup-in-the-middle-of-brewing-cycle feature. So, I pulled out the pot and stuck my mug in its place and then the coffee hit my hand and then I jerked the mug out and then the coffee kept coming and then I yelled at the coffee maker, but it just sat there and spewed out coffee and . . .”
His free arm gently encircled me. He pulled me closer and gave an oh, so sweet hug, along with several light kisses. I felt a lot better all at once, and the pain reliever tablets hadn‘t even began to work. Then he bandaged my hand, which was a real blessing, because it was my right hand, and I am not ambidextrous. Then he topped off the bandage with a heart sticker he pilfered from Susie’s Valentine ‘fridge art.
Heavy, contented sigh.
When I came back in the kitchen later, all ready for work, the counter was sparkling and the hateful coffee maker was nowhere to be seen. Oh, my hand still hurt and there was that presentation to get through, but maybe my attention wouldn’t be on the pain. Of course, I’d still have to explain the bandage, but I’d be sure to get a kick out of their reactions to the heart sticker! And maybe some envious sighs.
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