a cup of tea


“Can I get you a cup of tea?” she asked with dry and cracked lips.

Her mouth sounded like it had been swabbed by one hundred menacing cotton balls. No moisture survived there.

Old, faded jeans and an oversized sweater hung from her gaunt frame as she turned around.

“I’m going to have some; it’s supposed to fight the cancer.”

She didn’t seem convinced.

“No, thanks,” I politely declined remembering to never accept food or drink from a stranger.

Wait, was that advice good only around Halloween,only related to strangers in unmarked vans or pertaining all strangers? That was the part I couldn’t remember. Then I recalled voice from my past to always accept food and drink, but with discretion.

So that’s a maybe, sometimes its ok, grey area type of suggestion generated from a voice in my head.

The woman shrugged with indifference and returned to the electric kettle of boiling water. Steam rolled off the hot water as she dipped a bag of tea into a cracked teacup.

An earthy and fragrant smell escaped as the water turned red from the teabag.

My throat longed for a sip of tea. I swallowed my fears and concerns with a mighty gulp of air as she sipped from the cup.

What the hell, I thought.

“I would actually love a cup of tea, if it is not too much trouble.”

She gave me a wicked grin and I noticed her stained yellow, crooked teeth.

“You’re going to like this.”

Leaning forward, she whispered, “It’s got the good shit in it.”


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