It was 6:03 in the morning. She was sitting at the table, her legs scrunched up by her chest rather than dangling off of the chair. Her eyes were narrowed, glaring at nothing in particular, while her bed head resembled Medusa with its crazed strands sticking out every-which-way. Clutched in her hands was a mug, the decorated smiley faces on the ceramic material a stark contrast to her current mood, and the steam rising out of the mug could have easily been from her wrath rather than the drink.
At about 6:35, Ernie precariously placed a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon in front of her. Neither the eggs nor the bacon were touching, just the way she liked it, despite the stabbing motions she made with her fork to snare the food. She ate slowly, quietly, always having a hand on her mug. Her gaze softened only minutely, her eyelids opening just a smidgen from the glare they had been emitting a mere half hour ago.
It was 7:12 when her mug began to descend from near her mouth to hover over the table. Ernie was there to pour in a bit more of the drink, filling it about three-quarters of the way before adding a touch of cream. As soon as he was done, her lips were at the ceramic rims again and her legs uncurled from the top of the chair until her feet were resting on the ground.
Ernie returned to the kitchen after his shower at 7:41, and her hair was smoothed down. Bethany put down her empty mug and looked up at him, her eyes as bright as her smile.
“Good morning, honey,” she chirped, and he returned her greeting with a pleasant one of his own.
It never ceased to amaze him how magical an elixir that coffee was.