30 Seconds Mistake

Waking up at 6am to make it in time for 8am class has always been a challenge for me. Gravity just seemed to strong and I always feel that powerful attraction of my bed in those particular mornings.

The day before when the alarm went off at 6am, I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed, go through the usual morning routine before trudging down to the bus stop. I plopped myself into a seat, feeling myself sag from exhaustion as I nodded off in between a half sleep and half conscious state.

At the next stop, a significantly protruding belly appeared in my unwilling peripheral vision. I glanced out at the corner of my eyes. The belly was really big, probably many many many months pregnant for it to be so huge (I mean, I don’t know how much the belly grows each months, hence the vagueness). I felt a huge sense of reluctance. Why do I have to be in this seat? I grouched to myself. Why did she have to stand next to me.

Moral obligation and selfishness fought each other like the traditional tale of angels versus demons. I peeked at the belly again without raising my head, as though wishing for it to disappear and move on. I didn’t dare to raise my head for fear of eye contact¬†– in which the case I know I would have to stand up. After a brief struggle of perhaps a minute, I finally tapped the lady on the arm whilst standing up to offer her my seat simultaneously.

I wondered why she didn’t move.

I looked up into her face at last.

“She” was a man in his late forties, with a giant potbelly that now seems to be scowling at me.