Hot Chocolate

“Could you help me with this Hot Chocolate cup please”, I request the young Indian boy at the cash counter of the departmental store.
It’s been quite a day, been up from 3 AM in the morning for an assignment back in office, could hardly open my puffed eyes and read the damn instructions on the mug.
The lad at the counter must be in his teens, reckon he is working in here to support his education back at college.
The fee in here at the university can easily cost a middle class parent back in India, their life savings for sure.
University of Technology Sydney, his t-shirt reads out in blue and white.
He gives me a puzzled look with a hint of courteousness though, I think he was cursing me in his mind “Lady you are holding up my line!”
Gathering his patience he instructs me to peel off the silver paper inside the mug and get some milk from the vending machine.
The embarrassed me apologizes and walks away from the counter, “Mam you forgot your phone here!” he announces.
The plump mid-30’s woman in the queue at the cash counter holding her shopping basket full of cheese, muffins and bread passes me a snotty glare.
I come up with a “Hello! It’s not like I am stealing your cheese look” and grab my phone thanking the boy profusely.
Sipping in some hot chocolate I try to gather some lost energy, how I hate waking up early!
“Chocolate’s not too healthy you see” the lady from the queue comments.
I look at her shopping bag and clubbing it with an air of sarcasm and some sly smile, “Tell me about it!”
Random conversations with strangers can help achieve what 2 mugs of coffee and a hot chocolate can’t, note to self.

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