He turned the stove off and released the air from the pot, allowing the heavy scented water to breathe. The rising white lines of air slowly lingered on the surface of the pot, manufacturing with them an enticing aroma. It was a rich smoky envelope of white yet it did not overpower the air but simply emphasized on it.

He turned and looked at Cathy who had been observing his every move. It was her way of learning and this was her idea this morning, he was simply demonstrating what he did every morning. 

“Voila?” he said. 

“This is one of my best batches” he continued trying to insist on the perfection he could see, smell and taste in the air.

“Well, it doesn’t look all that special, you boiled some spicy water with tea leaves.” she said. 

She rolled her sleepy eyes and stared at him with a generous yet smirk like smile. It was a look he was already familiar with, she would do that in a way so obvious that she was impressed but was not going to acknowledge.

He froze and gave her a stern stare, trying not to be offended by her comments but he surely felt a sting in his ego.

“Not that special she said” he enunciated unable to contain himself. 

His words trying to insist on the depreciation of what she had announced. He was a little bit offended but not surprised in the very least. He went in this morning expecting some of her uncouth manners to sip out, she gets like this when she does not sleep well. Nonetheless he could not help but feel irritated.

“Anyone can make tea. You can boil water find some random tea leaves and add them and you have tea. What I make is nothing like the water color you drink from the store bought crap. What I make is art” he said.

“Tea making is a sacrilegious ritual of appreciation, meditation and harmony. You find the right taste, the right spice and the right amount of water.” he continued.

“Have you ever tasted my tea anywhere else?” he added with his pitch growing.

“It's just tea, nothing to lose your marbles on…..” she replied.

“Haaaa!…..” he gasped unable to contain his irritation.

His lips quivered trying to verbalize my state of emotions. It was not discontent. It was not anger. Nor was it something he could immediately understand. The words bounced in the walls of his mind with fierce intentions. Each bounce a little louder than the latter. 

He could not believe she had uttered the words “Just tea”. 

She, noticing the sense of loss in the current situation lunged at him in an attempt to soften the blow she had dealt.

“No. No honey” she pleaded. “I was just joking”

In that moment, the loss was evident from the lines atop his eyes. He evaded her grasp and walked to the kitchen end. He closed his bag and picked up the thermal cup with T.G initials. A Christmas gift she had bought for him. 

She continued pleading with various ways she had known to have worked in the past but this morning they all seemed futile. It was by her suggestion that he show her how to make tea and now she had insulted the process. He made it very clear he was not talking anymore, snatched his jacket and out the door he went, leaving her to the constant voices of desperation.  

It was about seven in the morning when he stepped into the car. He could still see her staring at him at the front porch. She raised her hands to her face, putting her index fingers on her eyes and running them down her cheeks. Her attempts to dissuade him had failed and now she was amusing to the very least. He turned on the car on and within seconds he was disappearing at the end of the street.


The heat in the master bedroom was getting unbearable, even though it was still early in the morning the room faces the full blunt of the rising sun. Julia had tossed and turned several times that night and the heat was making it even harder for her. She had planned to sleep a little more today.

At some point that night the neighbor’s dogs were a barking galore. She had woken up startled and irritated by the noise. Her body was also cover with water and this was very causing her extreme discomfort. She went to the bathroom to dry herself and lowered the thermostat before returning to bed. For a moment, but only for a moment it seemed to have eased her discomfort until the heavy stamps of Terry’s feet aroused her.

Terry, her husband woke up everyday at about five in the morning to go for his daily run. She usually would never notice him missing from their bed until he was getting dressed for work. However, today was a bit different. She heard him groan and stretch as he left the bed, his massive steps creaked on the wooden floor beneath. She even heard the front door close when he left the house. 

She uncovered the lower part of her body allowing the air to cool her fully and moved slightly toward Terry’s side of the bed. She noticed his calm fragrance in the sheets and it sent a small but calming satisfaction knowing she had bought it for him. She again started to fall back asleep when she heard him return.

“That wasn’t long” she wondered “Did he not go for a run today” she continued thinking of how long she had actually been laying there. 

With her mind occupied by the time that lapsed the footsteps could be heard scattering in the floor below. The movement continued in an uneven manner, with changing regression in the agitation of the floor. 

Unable to sleep she became a little nervous and wondered if someone else had entered the house. The floor sounds grew closer and closer until the finally entered the room.

“Honey?” she said. “Is that you?” her voice picking up a slight worry.

“Hey baby” came a reply from a voice she was all too familiar with. “Why are you up so early?”

The rising tempo of her blood slowed down after that. She regained her ease and collapsed back to bed.

“Did you not go for a run?” She asked ignoring his previous question. 

“I did babes got about three and half miles its too hot out there, why?”he asked his voice echoing in the bathroom.

“I just thought I heard you leave not too long ago.” She replied.

“Really” he replied, with a clear surprise in his rustic voice.

“That was almost an hour ago” he replied. 

She laid there quietly leaving her thoughts to wonder of the day. She did have to go to the hospital today and sleep-in was on the top of the list. She remembered how she had planned brunch with some friends she had not seen in a while. The thought took her down a dive in the past to the last time she had seen any of her friends.

“Damn it all with this residency” she thought.

She took her phone and immersed herself into her last patient’s chart. 

“The vitals look good, blood pressure is a little low but he should pull through” she thought. “The labs aren’t back yet, so typical of them” she continued.

As she sat there engaged with her other patients, Terry walked into the room. His naked body was on a full swing, with clear evidence of his athletic activities reflected on his toned muscles. 

She looked at him opening her mouth and biting her finger, she added a wink and blew him a kiss satring down his middle parts. 

He looked at her and smiling playful at the obvious innuendos as he continued to the closet to get ready for work.

“Babes, how do you make that tea of yours” she asked. “I kinda have a craving for it today”

“Interesting.” He replied.

“Are you finally ready to quit your caffeine benders?” he continued

“I want to sleep again and coffee will not allow that”. She replied

“Okay, I’ll make an extra cup” Terry replied.


Later that morning, not too long after Terry had left she sat alone in the empty kitchen. She poured herself a cup of the remaining tea. She sat quietly at the counter and began writing. She understood why the morning had gone so wrong. She finally felt at ease, and tense of the night slowly began to disappear. 

She picked up the small white object, with two red lines at its center. She smiled, her face warm and joyful with tears falling on each side of her cheeks. She was still a little nauseated after her trip to the bathroom.

As she sat there wondering about her newfound state, a little sadness gave way and seeped into her wondering why he had left without even kissing her goodbye. 

“He must be really upset.” she wondered. “I don’t know why he can’t take a joke, but I hope this makes it up.” She looked at the two red lines again.

She seeped into her cup enjoying every little bit of it. To her surprise, the slight bitterness and mild spice in the cup soothed the sickness she was experiencing.

A heaviness made way into her and all her muscles collapsed. She could hear the bed calling and her body was finally ready to give in tp the fatigue. Making her way back to the room she slumped into the sheets, feeling the soft smooth and perfect fabric. 

Letting go she felt her body glide into the covers, the comforter made of fluffy clouds that suspended her in the cool air. She sighed and wondered if this was the same bed she had slept in the night before.

“I must be dreaming” she thought as her eyes closed, sending her mind drifting into the world of dreams. 

January 15, 2022 04:56

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.