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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

It's Bittersweet


FADE IN.

INT. RESTAURANT - DAY

PETER and his WIFE are about to make orders.

PETER

(Determined)

For my set, I'll have

brewed coffee!

FLASHBACK

INT. PLANE CABIN - DAY

Watching in-flight entertainment, Peter is having coffee.

PETER (V.O.)

I'll have a long day. I

need to change flight

at Haneda.

INT. PLANE CABIN - NIGHT

Seeing a cabin CREW (20s) is serving drinks, Peter is pondering.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I'd like something hot.

Tea has more caffeine

than coffee...

PETER

(To Crew)

Coffee please.

INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Elegant. In bed, Peter rolls over from one side to the other.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.)

So in my first night

of my Feb Hokkaido

trip, I didn't sleep

well. And I haven't

had coffee since

then.

As a cup of coffee is put on the table, Peter smells it.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

One of my favourite

aromas...

FLASHBACK

EXT. HOLLYWOOD ROAD - DAY (1959)

Peter's DAD (27) and Peter (5) in school uniform are passing through a cha chaan teng.

DAD

Let's get in and have

something.

PETER

I smell a strong aroma.

What's that?

DAD

Coffee.

INT. CHA CHAAN TENG - DAY (1959)

A WAITER (30s) is waiting for orders.

PETER

I'll have coffee then.

DAD

You're just a kid...

PETER

(Determined)

Yes, I'm having coffee!

Having stared at Peter, the waiter returns with a cup of coffee for Peter.

PETER

(Inhaling)

Oh yes, this's the

coffee aroma.

DAD

It's hot!

Peter can't wait to a teaspoonful of it and quickly puts up a bitter face.

PETER (Cont'd)

So bitter! And the

metal spoon is

hot!

Peter's Dad passes him a pot of white sugar cubes with a tong.

DAD

Put some sugar cubes

first...

PETER

(Mesmerized)

Oh, these cubes are

sugar.

Awkwardly, Peter uses the tong to grip and lift one sugar cube on the top of the pot and puts it in the direction of his small mouth.

DAD

(Intervening)

Oh, no! Don't eat the

sugar cube like a

a sweet.

Peter then re-directs the sugar cube into his cup of coffee. As it disappears, Peter grips and lifts another sugar cube with ease. Smilingly, he gently puts it into the coffee again.

DAD

Use the spoon to

stir, mixing the sugar

with the coffee.

Following his Dad's advice, Peter stirs the coffee in a circle, making some turbulence inside the cup.

DAD (Cont'd)

Taste it before adding

further sugar cubes...

He then helps himself with a small spoonful of coffee.

PETER

It's still bitter, and

the spoon is hot.

Peter then puts two more sugar cubes into his cup of coffee.

PETER (V.O.)

It's fun to do that and

I won't use the spoon.

Let me sip the coffee.

Sipping.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Oh! The cup rim is

so thick...

PETER

It's sweet now... and

with a bitter aftertaste.

I like it!

END FLASHBACK

As a cup of coffee is put on the table, Peter's wife passes him a small paper packet of sugar.

Peter quickly breaks it to release the sugar into the coffee before stirring it with a metal spoon.

PETER (V.O.)

In my teens, I began

to enjoy ice coffee in

summer.

Remembering.

PETER (V.O.)

Then, I found it over-

stimulated my digestive

system and so I turned

to other soft drinks.

Remembering.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

About 15 years ago,

the aroma of brewed

coffee reminded me of

the fond memories

and I resumed having

coffee, until I couldn't

sleep well at night.

Sipping coffee.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Here I go again...It's

chocolaty.

Staring at the cup rim.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

The cup rim isn't thick

anymore. It's just a conventional coffee

cup. And my Dad passed

away in 2011.

Peter emits a long and deep breath.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Thank you Dad for

indulging me to have

my first cup of coffee

when I was still a kid!

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

It's bittersweet...but is

much better than not

having it!

Peter drinks his cup of coffee again.

FADE OUT.

The End

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