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American Fantasy Drama

I sat down on the couch grasping my book and I started to close my eyes. After I opened them, I opened the book and I read the lines. Even though I didn’t quite understand the words being shown, I still wanted to prove to myself that I could read. 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity. . .” I muttered the words as I grabbed my cup of tea from the saucer. I sipped luxuriously as my stomach started to gurgle.

I sigh. “This is too complicated." I put the book on the coffee table in front of me and I turned my wrist over to see the time. “2:30

I got up from the couch to stretch shortly as I thought about what to do. 

“What should I do?” I thought as I strode toward the kitchen. I saw a number of dirty dishes piled in the sink.

Just as I was about to go to the sink I heard the phone ring.

I turned towards the phone answering it.

“Hello?”

“Mary?”

“Agatha?”

“Yes!”

“Well, what a surprise! it has been a long time has it?”

“It has been dear, how are you doing?”

“Oh, I am doing great. What’s the matter?”

“Well, I wanted to ask you if you received an invitation.”

“What invitation? Oh, yes, about the tea party?”

“Yes, that’s the one, are you going to come?”

“You know Agatha, I don’t feel like going.”

“Why?

“Because I am not that kind of a party person.”

“Nonsense! Just come!”

“I’ll think about it again.”

“Okay, tell me if you are going to come, okay?”

“Okay.”

When I put the receiver down, my expression was blank. I returned to the living room, sitting down on the couch. I pondered about the tea party. What if they taunt me? What if they speak about me? I shook my head as I looked at the book that I just read on the coffee table in front of me. I was disappointed in myself. Back then, my parents and I lived in Virginia, leading happy lives. During my childhood, however, I never read a book so I would always struggle with saying and learning new words. Especially during school, people would make fun of me for not knowing how to speak English. Thus, I hated school.

I got up from the couch and I went upstairs straight to the dresser. Atop on the dresser was my big white jewelry box. As I neared it, I lifted the box up appreciating its beauty.

After I settled it down, I lifted the lid up, revealing bracelets, earrings, and rings inside. I dug through my jewelry and took out some bracelets. I placed them around my wrist to see how they looked on me.

After countless bracelets that I wore I finally chose one that looked good on me. It was the gold charm bracelet.

It was certainly the right one for my wrist. After I was done choosing my bracelet, I slid the box aside. Suddenly in the corner of my eye, I saw some creamers.

I remembered Agatha giving me this as a gift for my birthday. It was a special gift that I cherished.

I grabbed the pink watermelon creamer, which caught my eye, and I opened the lid. I applied some on my hands and I rubbed them. The scent that it emitted made me think of the time when I was with my mother. We were both having a picnic and I was wearing a yellow sundress. I loved that dress so much that I didn’t want to take it off. Well, I remembered my mother had this creamer she would always wear on special occasions and it smelled just exactly like the one I am wearing now. I don’t know if it was the same one but it sure smells similar to it. 

After I placed the creamer down, I chuckled a bit. I remember my mother being worried all the time. My father was very outgoing and he would always talk to people as much as he can. My mother was the opposite so she would not talk to people and would not go to parties. I guess that hereditary trait ran in the family.

I left the room closing the door behind me and I stood in the center of the living room thinking about the tea party. 

Should I go?" I thought as I suddenly heard the phone ring.

I answer the phone putting it beside my ear. 

“Yes?” 

“Mary!”

“Agatha, what’s wrong?”

“Mary, have you decided yet?”

“Well, I did think about it and. . ."

“And?”

“I'll go” 

My heart leaped after I uttered those words. 

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Oh wonderful, Mary, I'll meet you later!”

“Ok, Agatha. Bye”

"Bye!"

When I hung up, my mind was dizzying. 

“Why on earth did I agree to go to the party?” I thought as I was stumbling toward my room. 

“What am I going to wear?” I wondered as I looked at my closet.

There were a lot of dresses that I could wear but all of them were too casual. I needed to look formal for this tea party.

Suddenly, I saw a dress on the floor that caught my eye. I picked it up and I dusted it off to see that it was a red dress decorated with white beads around the collar.

I put the dress on my bed, as I started to think about what shoes I should wear.

"I think I have those nude-colored shoes, that will go great on me," I said as I started to look in my closet again. Sure enough, the nude-colored high heels were there. I grabbed them and I put them on the ground. Now I am a bit satisfied. When I was finished putting the dress and shoes on, I checked myself in the mirror.

I smiled faintly as I saw that I looked beautiful and formal. The dress was perfectly fit for my little waist. Subsequently, I went to my dresser grabbing a brush beside me. The teeth of the brush flowed through my hair without a struggle. When I was done brushing my hair, I placed it where it was originally. I left my bedroom, closing the door behind me checking my watch hastily.

"2:58"

I breathe in and out, obviously nervous about this party.

“Don't worry, everything will be fine" I thought to myself as I turned the doorknob clockwise, hoping everything will be fine.

***

When I arrived at the estate where the tea party was, I put the car in park. I looked at myriads of people who were at the porch talking to each other. I opened the car door, dropping my legs outward on the pavement. I then lifted myself off the seat standing straight up. I closed the door behind me, while I looked at the estate one more time.

It had a pristine look to it and it had 16 windows. That many windows intrigued me.

I walked along the sidewalk leading towards the estate, feeling nervous. My fears were gone as I saw Agatha at the porch waving at me. Agatha looked very beautiful with her orange dress and her black high heels on.

 “Mary! You look spectacular!” she complimented me as I nodded. 

“You too” I reply with a smile as we both hug each other. 

“How's the party?” I asked as she nodded. 

“It's wonderful Mary! You should come inside”

“Um. . .okay."

As we both entered inside, I was marveled at how clean and polished the inside was. Upon the ceiling, hung two silver chandeliers. The floor was polished and on the walls hung paintings.

“Right here, Mary.” Agatha motioned me towards a room to the right. I nod when I suddenly see women talking to each other and drinking their tea.

When I walk in, I look at the array of snacks that they provided. There were some biscuits, cookies, and there was a teapot in the middle of the long table.

“Who are you?” someone asked me as I spun around to see a young woman who looked to be 40 years old, wearing a white dress and she had her hair up in a bun. 

“Oh, I am Mary,” I responded, alarmed, as she nodded examining me.

“Hello, Mary, are you a friend of Agatha's?” 

“Yes, I am."

“Oh, that's great. Oh sorry for my bad manners! My name is Diana."

“Oh, hello Diana, are you part of the tea party?"

"Yes I am, I own this beautiful estate out in the countryside, isn't it wonderful?"

"It sure is Diana." I diverted my gaze from Diana to Agatha who was busy talking to the other women.

"Would you mind having some tea?"

“Sure, that would be great. What kind?”

"Black."

"Oh, that's my favorite."

“That's great to hear. I’ll be right back with the teacups and saucers”

Diana left the room while I sat down on one of the chairs. I was taken aback by someone talking to me. At the same time, it did feel good talking to her. I look at the basket in front of me, which is filled with biscuits. I grab one, eating it piece by piece. As I was eating it, I noticed some women talking and giggling.

I wonder if they are talking about me,” I thought as I started to bite another bit of biscuit. "No, it can't be."

Diana came back with the saucers and chipped teacups. 

“Hello, Mary, did you introduce yourself to the other women?” Diana asked me as I shook my head.

“No, I didn't," I replied as she put the teacups beside me.

"Why not?"

"Well, Diana, it's my first time coming to a party so I am a bit nervous talking to new people."

"I understand, I remember Agatha being shy at her first party. It was at a tea party just like this one!"

"You two are friends?"

"Yes, after that tea party, we started to talk to each other a lot."

"Oh, that's interesting."

"Here, dear, here's the teapot filled with black tea."

She gave me the teapot, which I handled cautiously.

I poured the tea into my cup until I reached my desired amount. The hot fragrance went inside my nostrils. I lifted the teacup toward my lips and I sipped the tea. It was delicious.

“The tea is terrific,” I commented as she smiled. 

“Thanks, honey. I am glad you came here today,” she said warmly as I smiled widely.

"Thank you Diana for talking with me"

"Your welcome dear. I'll be in the kitchen making a batch of red velvet cake"

"Mmm, that sounds good, I hope it turns out great!"

Diana nodded leaving towards the kitchen.

Suddenly I heard a voice behind me.

“Oh I see you are drinking the tea, how is it?” 

I looked over my shoulder to see Agatha who was drinking her tea.

“It’s pretty good, Agatha, and I was talking to Diana."

"Oh yes, Diana, how is she?"

"She's doing fine, she also told me you were shy when you came here!"

"Oh that Diana always says that to a newcomer coming to her party.''

I laughed as I started to sip my tea again. It truly was a great tea party.

January 09, 2022 04:05

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12 comments

Graham Kinross
20:41 Feb 13, 2022

I can definitely relate to this. I don’t like parties when I have to meet random people and with the added caution of covid it would be a bit of a nightmare. It’s going to take a long time to stop feeling the anxiety around people the pandemic gave me.

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Calm Shark
21:02 Feb 13, 2022

Yeah, you are right on that!

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Graham Kinross
21:23 Feb 13, 2022

When anyone coughs I teleport to a safe distance, like the Pokémon Abra except I never sleep so easily.

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Calm Shark
22:03 Feb 13, 2022

Haha!

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Scout Tahoe
14:37 Jan 18, 2022

Many people can relate to Mary, being uncomfortable going out to parties, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. I liked the characters and how they conversed so easily with each other. Some critiques I had (but that you cannot take because of the contest ending, sorry): -"I sat down on the couch grasping my book and I started to close my eyes." You can take out the second 'I' in this sentence, it's just repetitive. -Make sure to add punctuation everywhere: "I'll go" & "You too" need periods or commas. Thanks for sharing!

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Calm Shark
17:51 Jan 18, 2022

Thank you for the critique Scout and for stopping by!

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Deidra Lovegren
15:46 Jan 17, 2022

Wonderful characters and conversation! Watch your verb tenses. Pick past or present, but be consistent throughout. For example (as well as other edits): PRESENT TENSE I sigh. This is too complicated. I put the book on the coffee table and turn my wrist over to see the time. 2:30 p.m. I get up from the couch to stretch and think about what to do. PAST TENSE I sighed. This is too complicated. I put the book on the coffee table, and I turned my wrist over to see the time. “2:30” I got up from the couch to stretch as I thought about what to ...

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Calm Shark
17:43 Jan 17, 2022

Thanks, Deidra for stopping by, and I will be consistent with the tenses in later stories.

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14:44 Jan 15, 2022

I really can relate to Mary….I’m always nervous going to parties! And I’m always so relieved when someone nice takes the time to speak with me. Nice story!

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Calm Shark
18:00 Jan 15, 2022

Thank you Heather!

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01:57 Jan 14, 2022

Kudos to Mary for tackling A Tale of Two Cities! Your story shows that a mundane event like a tea party can bring out our deepest anxieties. Diana was awesome; I chuckled at the line, "Oh that Diana always says that to a newcomer coming to her party.'' I suggest not focusing so much on explaining Mary's physical actions. This is actually something I'm trying really hard to get better at, as it can make my descriptions feel like a laundry list. You could change, "I got up from the couch and I went upstairs toward my bedroom. When I arrived at...

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Calm Shark
02:06 Jan 14, 2022

Thank you so much Phoenix and thank you for the critique. I am new to writing so I have to learn along the way in order to get better. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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