An indefinite part of Mark’s mornings were dedicated to preparing and consuming a cup of fully oxidized black tea. The gradual diffusion of tea molecules into the hot water prepared him to be calm and relaxed the entire day. Working as a toxicologist in a laboratory, he was accustomed to the odors of a lot of compounds but it was only the aroma of chai laves that could light him up with energy. He would spend a couple of minutes to smell the fragrance arising from the cup, then blow subtle air into it and feel the warm vapors on his face. It didn’t matter to him if he was late for work, he always took some time off to have his cup of nirvana peacefully while sitting on the platform outside the kitchen’s window overlooking the street. These few minutes were the deciding factor for his state of mind through the course of the day. He refused to believe it to be a compulsive disorder. For him, tea was his daily savior.
However, March 31st was not like any other day. It was one year since his breakup with his five year-long girlfriend. Mark woke up earlier than usual and headed towards the kitchen. Everything was at it’s regular place. He picked up the kettle and waited for the water to boil while browsing through the photos of his ex on his cellphone. In one photo, they were in Hawaii on the beach lying next to each other, he held her closely against the backdrop of a valley of flowers in another image from Yellowstone, images from their grad school, a photo of him proposing to her on his knees with a wedding ring in his hand, pictures of them at various parties – all flashed across his eyes that morning.
Sitting on the platform with the tea cup in one hand, Mark gazed as the morning rays slowly spread across the street and switched off his phone. As the rays lit up the kitchen, his hands hanged loose. The tea cup fell down and broke into pieces.