It had been a long day, and John was hoping for a little bit of peace back at home. Just a tidbit of rest, that was all he asked for. He walked through the door to his apartment with this faith on Tuesday evening. And as he stood at the doorway he literally breathed in his respite. The sweet aroma of coffee welcomed him into his home. He slid of his hat and coat and hung them on the hooks by the door.
He strolled into his chair near the bare wood table set in the middle of the kitchen. He reached down while looking joyfully to the ceiling not very far above him, and anticipated the warm feel of the soothing drink from the inside of his mug. He thought of all the “thank you”s he’d say to Veronica for making him a cup of joy on that long day. But his hand only met air.
John looked down at the table. There was no coffee. There was no cup of joy. His eyes darted to the counter. The kettle near the microwave wasn’t even full. He stood up and slapped himself in the face. He moved towards the counter and peered into the sink. There were dishes to wash, mugs full of brown stains and coffee grinds that no one had bothered to throw out. That explained the smell. John huffed, rolled up his sleeves and turned the hot water on.
Nothing came out of the tap.
He tried the cold water. Yes, that worked. The hot water. Nothing.
John bit his lip and flipped the cold water back on and began to wash the dishes. His hands quickly began to feel numb. He muttered to himself a few words about unpaid water bills and this and that about an irresponsible landlord. By the time he had finished washing he had a pretty convincing accusation formed against the home appliance store for not supplying customers with replacement dishwasher. It might have even held up in court, he thought.
When he was finished with the dishes he tried to focus once again on his goal. Complaints weren’t going to give him rest, so he better stop whining. He might as well go to bed early. It had, after all, been a decently long day.
He swaggered to his bedroom, his mouth watering at the thought of a soft bed to himself. He was dying to take his socks off and massage his feet. He opened the door, then sighed once more. There, piled up one on top of each other, were all three of his children who had fallen asleep watching the family TV set conveniently located in the parents’ room. No sense in waking them; he wouldn’t even sleep in the bed anyway what with the popcorn kernels, dinner crumbs, and candy wrappers scattered about the sheets. John’s head dropped, and he moseyed out the doorway, television still blaring.
If the kids are sleeping in my room, I’ll sleep in their room, he said, and he headed a few steps to the next door. His wife, Veronica, had obviously come across the same problem, for there she was on the only bed big enough for him, snoring and slumbering away. John slowly turned and carefully banged his head against the doorframe. Sleep, sleep, he needed sleep.
John walked back down into the living room and lay on the dank couch. It was cold. Something chilly lay near his right thigh. He sat up and found someone had spilled a drink on the couch, and by the broken sack of powder he knew it was tea that had gone cold. He didn’t even knew who in his family drank tea, but he was too tired to think about it. So he clasped his cold hands together, adjusted himself on the wet tea-coach, shivered, and chattered his teeth, and then he finally fell into the hands of much needed sleep. It had, after all, been a long day.