Just a Cup of Tea

Submitted into Contest #1 in response to: Write a story about someone turning 100 years old.... view prompt



Oh, what- what is that noise? I- oh dear, it seems my neighbor Mr. Adler’s back at it again hammering on the wall for some reason. I sure do wish he would stop. But nevermind, I guess shall- ah! I know, I’ll fix a cup of tea for Elena for when she comes to fix up my room later. You know, all of the people here are just so, so kind. Elena especially. They all have great patience, you know. Retirement homes can always be so- drab. But a good cup of tea- sure does make quite the difference.

Oh, yes! The tea for Elena. Of course. I believe she was especially fond of… peppermint. Yes, I’ll make her a nice cup of peppermint.

Dear, why must Mr. Adler be so loud? I’ll have to remind him at mealtime. Ah! And now someone seems to be calling me at the door! I’ll go see what they want, now. And it looks like- oh? It’s-

“Sophia!” My daughter seems quite happy to see me. Though a bit… stressed?

“Mom- hi! Why weren’t you answering your door? We were knocking!” Oh, I’ll bet she was at the wrong door- I heard no such thing! However, on the bright side, Mr. Adler has stopped pounding on the wall, finally. 

“Addison and James have come over with me to wish you a happy birthday!” Ah, yes, the birthday. I’ve come to value it far less than I used to, you know. At this point, I must be on at least- what, 97? 98? Perhaps even 100! Ah- and there’s Addison!

“Hi, Grandma! Happy birthday!” Such a sweet girl, she really is. Oh, and here’s her friend… ah, James! Quite the young man he is. Reminds me all too much of my Ben. Though, that was quite some time ago! And my darling Sophia seems to be aging well, I see. Though that blouse is quite unflattering, I will say… I suppose she got it at the consignment shop downtown? You know, it’s quite the hit and miss there, but if you’re lucky, sometimes… Oh, seems she wants to ask me something.

“Uh, Mom?” Oh dear, have I done something wrong again? Why, I always seem to do this to myself. And in front of dear Addison’s new date, as well! What have I forgotten this time?

“Yes, Dear?”

“You gonna… let us in?” Yes, Yes! I’ll let them in. That’s it. And- oh dear! Looks like the tea has boiled over! Rats, I’ll have to start a new pot for Elena. And- I know! I’ll make some for Sophia and Addison! Along with Jamie! But, oh dear, how am I to know his preference? What if he dislikes tea? And I hardly even know him yet…

“Jamie, dear?” Oh dear. I don’t think he heard me. “Uh, J-Jamie?” Oh, no! It’s James- James! Not Jamie! What a fool, that'll be the second time I’ve messed up today! Darn, he likes his tea chilled. Oh, and I should’ve guessed. It’s far too hot out for warm tea. Oh dear, what if Sophia and Addison also dislike hot tea? No, no, I remember Sophia saying that she enjoyed warm peppermint. Peppermint. Or was it spearmint? And there I’ve done it again! Oh, this was a mistake. Maybe they’ll leave soon- I do hope so.

Alright, I’ll make spearmint. Just have to clean the kettle out… Oh, and the plates as well. There are quite a few in there. Might as well do the spoons while we’re at it… And then, of course, the-

“Grandma?” Oh, gosh. What this time? “You, uh, want some help with the dishes? I can get the tea started if you’d like?”

“Oh, thank you, Addison, but I’ve already got the kettle goin-” Oops! I didn’t put the kettle on, yet. Well, but there were just so many dishes to clean- I had to finish them before starting on the tea, of course! Alright, just need plates for the pastries, some cups- oh, and these were the ones my Ben got me. He was always quite something, though if a bit- out of it, at times. But I’m gonna keep my mind sharp, all right! Don’t you worry.

And- look, seems the tea’s done already! Let’s just- see if they’re ready for it, yet…

“The tea’s ready, dears.”

“Oh, thank you.”

“Thanks, Grandma.”

“Thanks. And, uh, Mom? I- I know you don’t much like big gifts or anything, but- well, we wanted to get you something.

Oh, dear. What is this? I told her not to get me anything. Oh, dear, and where’s James going? Oh! A lighter! Didn’t even know I had one. And- oh, my goodness, how- sweet of them. Raspberry frosting- how did they know? 

Haaappy birthday to you…”

Well, that’s quite- thoughtful of them. Though quite unnecessary, really. Dear, it is quite a long song, now isn’t it? Oh, and perhaps I should’ve made iced tea after all- it is quite warm in here. I should’ve known. Perhaps I should crack open the windows to help cool off. Oh, and it looks like they’re filming. And they’re- still singing. Why, did I leave the stove on? It’s quite- stuffy in here. They should’ve known, I- I asked them not to do anything. Oh, but they meant well… didn’t they. I know, I’ll go out for a walk. Loop around the block and come straight back. Yes, that’s it, and- oh, it seems Addison’s calling me? No, Sophia?

“Mom! Where you going? You gotta blow out the candles, silly!” Oh, they’re finished with their song- yes, the candles. Candles, of course. Oh, but look at the time! Elena will be here just any minute now, and I- I need to put on more tea for her! But it’s so hot out- perhaps a glass of ice water will do. Looks like they’re dividing up the cake- dear, that’s far too big of a slice for me. 

I know, once we’ve eaten, we’ll all get out for a bit- so we won’t get in Elena’s way while she’s cleaning. This is quite a fantastic cake- though I don’t think I ever told Sophia my favorite flavor? Ah, well, I’ll just see if they’re ready to go, yet.

“Oh- yeah, sure. That’d be great! I’ll leave the rest of the cake on the counter for later, and uh, well I guess we can go whenever you’re ready, Mom.” Alright- oh, perhaps I should shut the window, now. It’ll likely only make it even warmer in here. And- turn the stove off. No, I already did. Oh! The air conditioning! Of course! I should’ve turned that on earlier. Just need my shoes, need to wait for Jamie to finish his tea, get my coat, and… that should be it! 

Oh, wait, almost forgot...

August 09, 2019 23:12

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