A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything. But, it came close one special night! I learned the nearly medicinal balm of a perfectly brewed cup of tea from the wonderful lady who owned the bed and breadfast where I stayed during my trip to London.
Her name was Kathy, and she seemed to have a sixth sense in regards to knowing when one was about to hit the emotional wall. I had been out sightseeing all day, expecting to forget my dark thoughts and sadness over the loss of the man I thought was going to marry me. But, spending hours getting on and off a red double-decker tour bus only exacerbated my loneliness and reminded me of my singlehood.
Returning to the bed and breakfast one night, I decided that teetotaling wasn’t helpful and asked for a glass of brandy. Kathy looked at me and said, “I think a cup of tea might be better, Love!” I looked at her as if she had went batty, but found myself following her into the kitchen, all the while relating how I had spent so much time that I couldn’t get back on a man who had kept stringing me along until he finally told me that he didn’t love me.
She put a kettle on while explaining to me the importance of learning how life works, to truly optimize your joy. For example, to make a perfectly brewed cup of tea, the secret is in not over-boiling the water. One must watch carefully so that when the water reaches boiling, you immediately pour the water over the tea. Then, you never let it steep longer than required or it leaves one with a bitter taste.
As I listened to her expound, I realized that she wasn’t simply talking about making tea, but, in her own way, she was teaching me without seeming to do so. In romance, as in all aspects of life such as employment, you have to learn to set limits on the time you will allow a relationship that doesn’t bring you joy to continue. To stay longer than is good for oneself leaves a person filled with a bitterness that can destroy the ability to find joy in the world.
She placed the cup of tea before me, and after adding sugar and milk, I sipped the tea, and such a calmness came over me. The tea was just right! I hadn’t tasted anything so good and soothing. A peace descended on my soul, and I looked over at this seemingly stoic British woman who had taught me one of the greatest lessons of my life, and I smiled.
Fictional story written for the First Line Friday Challenge for May 21, 2021 from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: The prompts is in bold letters. The story had to be less than 500 words