Tea Time in Boston
“Just another day in Boston.” David said himself.” The same people walking by, same old stores and taverns. Nothing ever changed. He let out a sigh as he watched the soldiers patrol the streets.
He stood outside his house for a moment and watched a bit longer.
He was greeted by his wife as soon as he entered. “What’s wrong dear? You look sad.”
“Anna, I hate the way it looks out there. People every where look so miserable. Come to the new world they said. So we came not knowing we would be ruled by an empire thousand of miles away.”
Anna gave her husband a hug. “Don’t worry dear something will happen that will make things better.”
David released her from the embrace. “Anna do you know something I don’t know?”
“No dear of course not. Now come into the dining room, dinner is waiting for you.
“Lieutenant Smith, welcome. The usual?” Nick the barman asked.
Charles nodded and sat at his table.
His ale was served by a barmaid. She set it on the table in front of him then walked away.
Charles took one sip of his drink.
Nick noticed the look on Charles’ face. He walked over to the table. “What’s on your mind? You look tired
Charles looked up at Nick. “I am tired. Tired of patrolling the same streets with the look of hate on the peoples faces.
Nick patted Charles on the shoulder. “Change will come some day. Things will get better.”
“Nick, do you know something? If you do, best you tell me.”
Nick shook his head. “Nothing at all.” He walked back behind the bar.
David rushed into the house all excited. “Anna,” he called out a bit breathless.
Hearing her husband, Anna stopped what she was doing and left the kitchen. “What is it dear?” She asked and walked up to him.
“Men? What men?” Anna asked
David raised his hand and pointed his index finger upwards.
Anna waited patiently for her husband to catch his breath
“Some men in disguise boarded a ship and threw an entire cargo of tea into the harbor.” David answered, his breath now under control.
Anna gasped. “What? When? Where? Are you sure?”
“Yes, yes, it’s all over town. Everyone are excited. Apparently it has started a conflict. There are whispers of war may be possible.”
Anna stood in silence for a moment. “Over tea? Does t seem there should be war over tea.”
David moved closer to his wife. He held her shoulders. “Not just tea, but taxes and not having a say in legislation. We, they, you, me, everyone want freedom from the empire. The tea was just the last straw. “
Anna smiled. “At last the change has come.”
David didn’t pay attention to what she had said. He let go of her shoulders, brought her into his arms and hugged her.
The Lieutenant entered the tavern followed by his soldiers. “Everyone stay where you are. Nick come out behind the bar. “
Nick did as he was told and stood in front of Charles. “What’s going on.”
“There was looting aboard one of our ships,” Charles replied. “I’ve been charged with finding the person or people who did it.”
Amazed Nick stared at Charles. “Certainly you don’t suspect me?”
Charles gave Nick a cold stare. “I suspect everyone,” he said then gave his attention to the rest of the people.
“Anyone here involved or knows who was, best to step forward now!”
Nick stood his ground and remained in front of Charles. No one else moved.
Angry, Charles ordered his soldiers to search every one. No weapons were found.
“Satisfied?” Nick asked Charles.
Charles raised his hand to slap Nick, but stopped. Instead he ordered his men out of the tavern. Not saying a word he followed them out.
David and Anna just outside the general store. They heard the town cryer coming their way and wanted to know what he was saying.
“Here ye, here ye, all abled men fetch a weapon and prepare to fight. A war has begun against the empire.”
“We have to go home so I can get my gun,” David said to his wife.”
Anna grabbed his arm “No, David, please don’t get involved. Please don’t leave me.”
“I have to Anna. Every man counts. I have to do my part,”
The two went back to the house. All the way there Anna pleaded with him not to go.
David ignored her pleads. Back in the house, David got his gun, gave Anna a kiss goodbye then left.
Anna stood in the doorway weeping.
No longer a soldier a haggard Charles had taken on the task of informing those left behind that their loved one would not be returning.
His last stop was at Annal’s. He knocked on the door and waited for a response.
A woman who had lost the luster of youth answered the door.
Charles couldn’t help but to notice hollowed eyes and worn clothes. “Are you Anna?”
The woman nodded. “Yes, I am Anna and I know why you are here, but please don’t tell me my husband is dead.
Charles frowned. “I am sorry, but that is why I am here. However you should take comfort in knowing he did not die in vain. The last in the soldiers are leaving back to the Empire.
“Yes, I know and perhaps I’m being selfish but I want my husband back.”
Charles sighed “I understand. I lost friends in the war. I realize that’s not the same as losing your husband. But still it can hurt.”
Anna suddenly realized they were still standing outside. “My apologies here we are outside. Please come in and sit down
They sat on the settee. “It just accursed to me, I don’t know your name.”
Charles smiled. “I am Charles Smith. You probably remember me as Major Smith by the time the war ended. I lead the surrender.”
Anna quickly stood and backed away. “Y o u, we’re with the Empire,” she pointed a finger at him. You’re the enemy,” she cried out.
Charles stood. “No, no longer. I turned in my commission and left the military. I am a common citizen of the colonies. “
Anna stared at him in disbelief. “Oh, really is that so,” she said and placed her Hands on her hips.
Charles let out a breath of air. “I just made major when I felt I couldn’t go on. The anguished look on the faces of so many people on both sides was tearing me a part. The people of this colony deserved to have their own country. So I resigned my commission and decided to help those left behind.”
Anna softened and let her arms slide down to her sides. “I’m sorry, I had no idea.”
Charles smiled and nodded. “Of course not. How could you know.”
Anna pointed with her hand at the settee. She was about to suggest they sit again when they heard a loud noise. They walked outside and looked up as a ship flew by.
Charles looked at Anna. “That’s the last ship carrying soldiers back home. The Empire surrendered a few weeks ago,” Charles explained.
A look of relief crossed Anna’s face. “Finally, the change I was hoping for. Mars is free again.”