chipped cup childhood

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 06, 2018

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Submitted: August 06, 2018



Chipped Cup Childhood

By: Charlie Lang

Stumbling into the dismal room a quarter past three, Frederick slumped into his favorite maroon velvet chair.  There was a chipped cup to his left that stood as a perfect reminder to him that he was a man as bitter as the coffee he drank every morning at six. With furrowed eyebrows, he kicked off his worn out boots and sank into his chair while his eyes fixated intensely on the silly cup. Everything else in the entire world, including women, only kept him amused depending on how long he could remain inebriated. There was nothing special about the cup, at least not by the looks of it, but it held a deep place in what was left of dear old Frederick’s heart.

Every morning was the same. He woke early to watch the sun rise, and ran downstairs soon after to attempt to make himself breakfast before the rest of his family woke up. It was the only time of peace, and it was good.

A half hour had passed as he sat on his stool sipping his cup of coffee with the perfect amount of milk and sugar: a spoonful of each. The contentment and warmth he felt in that moment would only last till the very last drop. This he knew.

He stared across the room at his shredded backpack, wondering if he’d ever be back in school with kids his own age, rather than doing yard work for his father. His father was always passed out after a bottle of rum for breakfast and incapable of doing it himself. He took his son out of Madison Elementary School the day after little Frederick proudly brought home his first art project from school. “THIS IS A GODDAMN WASTE OF TIME. WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR YOUR SCHOOLING IF THEY’RE JUST GIVING YOU GLITTER AND GLUE RATHER THAN AN ACTUAL EDUCATION?!” Frederick’s backpack had remained untouched since.

Muffled sounds from upstairs began to descend into the kitchen as both his mother and father shuffled in. The father said nothing as he headed straight for the refrigerator. His mother stood by the entryway with apologetic eyes but remained silent. Today was different, but not because of the eyes. Frederick chose to stick to the routine but, deep down, hoped that this day would be different than the rest. He ran up to his father, tugged at his sleeve, and smiled. “Good morning, father,” Frederick chirped without letting his smile fade even a little. The gray-haired man stroked his beard and continued to stare into the fridge as if more food would magically appear and didn’t bother to look down. After a few minutes had passed of Frederick trying to capture his father’s attention, the silence was finally broken. “Where’s the damn milk?” the father turned to glare at both the mother and young Frederick. His breath reeked of rum. The mother still remained silent and stared down at her feet as she rested against the kitchen wall, clinging onto her work bag. In a moment of fury, the father stormed across the kitchen, slapped his frigid hand across his wife’s face and yelled, “Why don’t you say a word, woman?!” Frederick stood in terror and gripped his coffee cup tightly as he backed away. “F-father, it was me, I needed it for my coffee. It was almost empty,” Frederick managed to make out. “What an idiot. You shouldn’t even be drinking coffee!” his father spat at him. With furrowed eyebrows and a red face, Frederick’s cup was quickly snatched out of his grasp and thrown across the kitchen, shattering off the handle. Frederick was frozen by fright and confusion. He could go run out and buy more milk just as easily. It wasn’t like his father would be doing anything that day anyways. He couldn’t fathom how someone could be so upset over something so small to the point of hurting his mother. The last moment of the morning involved Frederick running over to his favorite cup. He quickly gathered the pieces in his trembling hands, without looking back at either of his parents. Neither of them bothered to look at him either.

The doorbell rang, bringing Frederick out of his flashback. He grumbled to himself as he wobbled over to the door dragging his cane along with him. He nearly tripped on one of his many empty rum bottles. “Who is it?” he growled. “It’s your pizza, sir!” replied the delivery man outside the door. Frederick’s frailed, trembling hands swung the door open and snatched the pizza out from the man’s hands. “Where are my goddamn breadsticks?” he continued to growl, while giving the man a death glare. The delivery man’s eyes widened as he quickly apologized for forgetting to bring them. “What kind of a deliveryman are you?” retorted Frederick as he slammed the door in the poor man’s face. He stumbled back to his chair and put the money intended for the pizza man on the table next to him.

“What an idiot.”




© Copyright 2019 Charlie Megan. All rights reserved.

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