The spilled tea

I am five years old in this memory. Recently, my father is reading “The Hobbit” for my bedside story. It is the thickest book he has ever read me. I admire the beauty of this book all the time – its beautiful blue cover, the fresh fragrance of the smooth paper inside, and the bookmark ribbon.

In the evening, my father makes a hot green tea for himself and brings it to our bedside along with “The Hobbit.” It is his habit to drink tea while reading to me.

In the next room, my mother is reading a picture book for my little brother. He is still too young to join my father’s bedside reading, so he has his own reading time with our mother.

One night, my brother finishes his reading time early and joins me and my father. He crawls to the other side of the bedding to lie down there. In our tiny half-dilapidated apartment, the space is always tight. Shortly after my father finishes reading and puts down the book, my brother knocks down my father’s now cold green tea. The tea spills over “The Hobbit” and onto the floor.

“Oh, no!”

My father quickly grabs tissue paper and wipes off the water from the book. But it is already too late. The book is no longer pristine. There is a huge dark stain across the beautiful blue cover and the pages are waved.

But I am more surprised than disappointed. How all of this has happened in the blink of an eye. How one moment, my father announced the end of tonight’s story, and the next, he was running for a tissue paper to save the book from the spilled tea. My brother is not aware of the damage he has caused on the book, but the stain on the blue cover will always be a reminder of this night’s event.