“What do you mean, ‘Oops’?”

My eyes clamped shut. My tongue moistened my lips. My heart stopped. That word has slipped out, just as my hand did. A slip later, catastrophe.

“What did you mean when you said ‘Oops’?!”

The professor was getting angrier and louder as he turned towards me. I didn’t need to see his face. I knew it was beet red. I’d seen it too many times before, yelling at other assistants or students when they didn’t perform up to his standard. His eyes were most likely wider, half covered with his heavy brow.


One eye opened as I felt his breathe on my face. I had to face the music, even if it was going to be a lot of screaming. My tongue fell back into my mouth. A shaky breathe escaped, and then I spoke.

“I accidentally”


I cringed, trying to back up further into the wall. It wasn’t just that he was loud, it was the anger that just haunted you. It wrapped itself around me, trying to break through my skin and destroy me.

“I accidentally put 5 mL of hydrochloric acid to the solvent.”

Suddenly it wasn’t anger that was haunting me. It was the whiteness of my professor’s face.