Tea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The room was silent, the air stagnant in the absence of sound. The heat of the tea just began to seep through the porcelain and into my hands. I clamped the cup tightly with both of my hands, but still gentle enough to not fear breaking it. I lifted it, slow and with caution. As I placed the cup onto my lips I looked across the table. There she sat

Submitted: February 17, 2015

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Submitted: February 17, 2015

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The room was silent, the air stagnant in the absence of sound. The heat of the tea just began to seep through the porcelain and into my hands. I clamped the cup tightly  with both of my hands, but still gentle enough to not fear breaking it. I lifted it, slow and with caution. As I placed the cup onto my lips I looked across the table. There she sat. Her face webbed with wrinkles, eyes deep in their sockets and staring down. Her mouth was a small thin line, lips colorless and almost merging entirely with the rest of her complexion. Thin strands of ashen grey hair hung down from her head over her face as vines on a overgrown building. She was old.


My attention shifted from her to my tea. The cup still on my lips where the heat now started to ache. I stared down into the cup, seeing the red-brown of the tea with the smooth surface only broken by the light tremble of my hand. A light trail of vapor rising from this not quite still surface. The trail seemed to rise slowly and dispersing so unnoticeably that I found myself following the vapor and not being able to pinpoint the exact place where the trail had ended. Again my attention shifted. To the cup itself this time. It was old. As old as she. Tea and coffee stains could be seen at the bottom through the reddish-brown hue of the tea. Small cracks had formed at the edge and these too were stained with old tea and coffee. My mouth formed a small, joyless smile as I thought about how many people had drank from this cup. All of them blissfully unaware of how one day I would sit here and wonder about how they made the stains I had just observed. The smile faded. I finally took a sip and brought the cup down.

 I looked up. I looked up at her. She hadn't moved a muscle at all. Her hands held the her cup in a similar fashion as I had. Two hands, tightly. The goosebumps on her arm made it look as if she held the cup so tightly for its warmth. This was not the case. She held it looking for a warm embrace she had lost not long ago.

Behind her the cold autumn day played its part in the soberness. A thick, grey blanket of clouds blocked any evidence of the sky. My gaze didn’t leave her but my attention followed at brown leaf falling from a tree. Falling, then drifting sideways and up ever so slightly, only to pause midair for a fraction of a moment, reverse and continue its path to the ground. For just a moment my mind gave this a strange significance, but as soon as I started to think about it, it was gone.

My attention was brought back to where my eyes were staring by her twitching in her seat, eyes big and round now staring at me. As if I had appeared out of nowhere where my seat had just been empty. She now looked at me. Half questioning, half begging for help. She wasn’t crying but tears were not far off. "Mom?" I asked. "When is the funeral?"


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