Joe got up after three and a half snooze cycles of his girlfriend's smart phone alarm, pulled on the previous day's shorts and t-shirt, which were draped on the grips of the seldom-if-ever-used stair stepper machine, slipped his feet into his dilapidated, fleece lined camouflage slippers, and ambled downstairs the the kitchen.
He filled his large mug with the day old coffee from the half full pot in the fridge and stuck it in the microwave to reheat for four minutes as he gathered breakfast fixings - yellow pepper, potatoes, some kind of yellow squash he didn't know the name of, and a small slice of a jalapeno pepper. These he cut up with a knife and put in a small bowl.
He searched for an appropriate frying pan in the cupboard under the counter beside the fridge until he found one for which there was an appropriately sized lid, placed it on the large front burner of the stove, and turned the burner knob to high. He poured some avocado oil into the pan from the brown glass bottle beside the stove and put the lid on the pan.
As it heated up, he got the carton of CSA eggs out of the fridge along with the half gallon jug of unsweetened soy milk. The latter he poured into the reheated coffee and as he returned the soy milk to the fridge, he grabbed three ice cubes from the freezer, with which to further cool the coffee. He added the ice cubes to the mug and stirred it with a fork before drinking the coffee in several large gulps. He took the mug to the sink and rinsed it out a couple times, then set it on the counter near the coffee machine.
He dumped the bowl of cut veggies into the fry pan and it immediately began to sizzle in the hot oil. He stirred the veggies with a spatula and added some herbs from the spice cabinet - garlic powder, black pepper, curry powder, ginger, and some salt. He reset the lid on the pan, then cracked four eggs into the bowl and wisked them with a fork until they were well blended.
By this time the veggies were cooking vigorously and Joe turned on the vent fan on the stove. He stirred the veggies again with the spatula and then added the whipped eggs to the pan, which began to bubble around the edges. He turned the heat on the stove down to low and re-covered it.
He walked over to the sink and rinsed the spatula off. As he stepped away from the sink, he noticed a puddle of water in the floor in front of the sink.
Did I spill something? Joe asked himself. I don't remember spilling anything. A sense of dread began to develop in Joe's gut as he opened the doors of the cupboard beneath the sink. The bottom of the cupboard was filled with water, between the many bottles of cleaners and soap Joe's girlfriend stored there. He could see drops of water coming from the underside of the garbage disposal.
Not good, Joe said softly to himself.
Joe set the spatula down next to the stove and went back upstairs to his girlfriend's room.
"Sweetie?" he said to the fetal positioned form under the covers in the bed. She did not respond, so he repeated the pet name. The form rolled over and his girlfriend's face appeared, staring at him groggily.
"What's up?" Deborah asked.
Joe sat on the edge of the bed.
"How are you doing?" Joe asked.
"Good," Deborah replied.
"Not for long," Joe said. "I have some bad news."