The Magic Of A Scream

-This took place a few years ago when I was still in college-

I thought about diligently studying like a hermit in my dorm room, but feeling as if that would be a dreary experience; I decided I would study over coffee instead. Besides I was much too social to be a hermit.

Soon I found myself comfortably tucked in a corner at my local coffee shop. As I pulled out my class notes, I waited for my specialty drink to be brewed. The notes sitting on my lap screamed to be studied, yet they appeared so boring to me. It wasn’t like this test was going to give me a distinguishing legacy if I passed it. I’d simply be given a letter- the letter “A.” This gave me little motivation.

Although I loved coffee, I really needed more than just a caffeine buzz; I needed to study, after all my test was tomorrow. I rustled through some notebook paper that held my scribbled notes and released a heavy sigh. As I began to decode what I had written, I heard, “Emotions stole my boyfriend!”

Quickly glancing up, I saw two girls sitting at a small round table near me. I continued to eaves drop as I watched a blonde girl tell her story. Her fingers nervously moved the coffee sleeve up and down her cup as she continued, “I don’t know what came over him! One minute we were dating and happy, and the next minute he acts like he has never seen me before.” I was about ready to give her my opinion on the matter when I realized I wasn’t studying at all.

“Focus!” I scolded myself. I began to tune the blonde girl out and looked back at my notes. To my great relief the barista called out, “Grande White Mocha for Ashley” before I could dive too far into the topic of “why I should not trust the theory of evolution.”

“Thank you” I stated as I placed a sleeve over my hot coffee cup. As usual the barista ignored me and continued wiping down the counter. Rolling my eyes, I let it go and walked back to the reclining chair that looked like it belonged in a living room. Moving my stack of papers, I sat down. I plopped the lid off of my coffee and smelled the wonderful aroma of two shots of espresso blended with milk and white chocolate syrup.

“yummm” I mumbled to myself. I placed the lid back on so it would line up with the logo and took my first sip. As the whipped cream poured out of the little hole of the lid, followed by a creamy coffee, I waited for the energizing effect that my white mocha usually gives.

Placing the cup on a little table by my chair, I began to stretch my arms into the air as I softly yawned. “What is it about studying that makes me so sleepy?” I mumbled to myself. The jazz music wasn’t helping. But it was nice because it was calming and added to the casual atmosphere.

Trying not to fall asleep, I pulled out my notes and began to study. At the same time, a young man with dark hair opened the front door to the shop and poked his head inside. A gush of cold wind rushed in with him. As heads bobbed up to see who was coming in the door, the young man opened his mouth and released the loudest blood curdling scream I had ever heard.

As his voice echoed off of the walls, chills instantly ran up and down my spine. My heart sat frozen in fear. My body began to shake while my eyes grew bigger. Sadly an elder man at the register was so startled that he nearly dropped his four dollars and twenty five cents. The blonde girl and her friend were practically sitting on top of each other hugging because they were so scared.

Before any of us could think about what was happening, the young man stopped screaming, closed the door and dashed away. It took us each a few minutes to recover, but finally people began to laugh. It was almost nervous laughter. All we could assume was that someone dared him to scream and then he did.

Please don’t ever scream at the top of your lungs in public. The magic of a scream is that it can 3 years off of people’s  lives in just a few seconds.


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