Catch Up

“Let’s go to the coast!”

The jovial invitation woke me up: it was only five in the morning or so I thought. One of the first things I removed from my personal get-up was my automatic watch. I believed that over here, time was not too important, to be accurate served no purpose.

Roosters crowed one after another, confirming that the morning sun would shine in a matter of minutes. Other farm animals followed suit, sounding off, ready to begin their own day.

It was still cold. I did not want to open my eyes: I pretended I did not hear anything. They would have to leave me behind.

Then, I heard the footsteps approaching with the loud sound of the transistor radio coming closer, the song being played undoubtedly the favorite at the time.

“Do not blame me if you miss the first catch of the day,” Rolly warmed me. “You’ll be sorry, I am sure.”

“Just bring me something. Okay? I just don’t feel like walking especially at this hour.” I said, yawning. Several kilometers of walking  to the seashore was not my choice to start my morning.

“If you want to live here, you should wake up early. You should share with the responsibilities.”

“Can I start tomorrow?” I grunted, unwilling to rise out of bed. Besides, I reasoned out in my head, they would bring fish home so why not just wait for their return.

“Please get up,” he shook me up. “Aren’t you embarrassed to be called a freeloader?”

“Go on without me. I am too lazy to walk.”

He paused, perhaps trying to think of what to say to get me going.

“They did not cook rice,” he reminded me. “We’ll cook near the beach.”

Upon the mention of food and the prospect of no breakfast, I immediately got out of the mosquito net, ran to the manual pump outside and washed my face. In minutes, I was like a hurried foot soldier, ready for battle.

“Where’s the coffee? I want to drink coffee.”

“Inside the kettle,” he replied. “Pour the liquid in a cup and drink.”

I came back holding the cup, the black liquid produced a different aroma that was engaging to my sense of smell.

“What is this? This is not coffee.”

“That’s the local stuff. Fried dry rice that’s cooked in boiling water.”

I sipped a little at first, adjusting to the smooth taste. As a true-blue coffee drinker  I took my time to savor every sip.

“Drink up!” Rolly ordered impatiently. “We have to hurry. They already had a half hour headstart.”



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