Afternoon Tea with Fear Part One

“I know you” he said as he sipped his tea, none too hot for his tongue.

“Surely you know me not” I countered casually, waiting for my tea to cool.

He smiled and paused before another sip. His eyes sparkled in the rays of the sun,

but it was his teeth that grabbed me so and in a voice unwavering molasses smooth he replied,

“Are we not friends, my sweet? Do we not have a history?…….Have I not stood faithful by your side?”

I smiled politely and shrugged as my head tilted in a lukewarm nod, as if to say “perhaps” as I tested my tea once again.

Ouch! Still too hot.

“Do have some butter-tart-squares.  I believe I have out done myself, they’re to die for.”

He offered with an outstretched hand.

His fingers steady, his touch warm and soft like warm lambskin leather. Odd.

“It must be the warmth from the teacup,” I thought to myself, “or perhaps the sun.”

“Really I must pass,” polite was my answer thick with sarcasm, “I prefer to live, but I do thank you.”

His eyes watched in fervent as I took my first sip.

Steady was his gaze.

Unnerving.

Tipping my teacup just so, I could feel the taste of bitter-sweet herbs as they danced on my tongue.

The warmth of the brew mild with temperature stung.

Smooth and pleasant was the taste.

A false sense of warmth filled me, a welcomed momentary ease to my chill.

A slight shiver shot through me as clouds danced in the sky. Their mood was stirring. Their voice

perturbed in foreshadowed caution.

Quickly, my eyes deceived me and my words as they dared a coveted glance at the tarts.

They tempt me with enticing invitation. My mouth waters. I swallow and yet I refrained and nervously I sip.

Mild, yet memorable I noted. I swallowed again. He watched.  He’s waiting.

I get brave. “We are not friends” I stated mater-of-factly, my voice high pitched.

He looked up from his tea, his eyes steady and true.

His eyes piercing in his gaze – his smile amused.

Is that a smirk?

I wonder if he blinks?

His stare is intense and unnerving. Nervous we’re my thoughts.

He Speaks. “My Darling, you underestimate me. For I have many faces. Many shapes. Many forms.”

His voice steady and thick like molasses on a hot day, warm, inviting – slow yet steady.

He responded to my unspoken want as he handed me the tart. His manner deceitfully charmful.

His hands much warmer and softer I can’t help but notice. I oblige with silent hesitation.

Just one I tell myself. The taste is deceiving divine.

“Your trickery is commendable and multi-faceted, so talented and sly.”

Confidently I smirked. Proud with head held high.

This a game of wit is this not? I can surely play too.

I pat my stained lips with my napkin of red. The sun hides. Its warmth abates.

I pause. I think. My words must be choice. Deliberate with thought and with purpose.

“My ability strong and my confident is great.

For I too know you my friendly foe, and your imposterous ways. I must thank you Sir for tea and tart. Our time together is now ending, the clouds are soon to break.”

There is a danger of toil and misplaced trust – this friendship of falsity,

So I quicken my manner and conclude “Hence, I bid thee good day!”

“Tis a shame. I look forward to us meeting again. Perhaps sooner than later?

A good tea, a great tart makes for pleasant conversation.” His voice sharpened.

His eyes, how strange.

Darker grew the shade.

The sky deepen grey.

I stood to bid leave “Thank you for the visit but I do think it’s our last.”

He smiled, his eyes blackened void of hope,

I rose intent on distancing the separation between us,
and once safe and unseen, I exhaled in deep breath confident in escape.

I glanced past my shoulder as a nervous shiver trickles my spine,
the clouds break and rain covers me…..

Yet there it was, like a dull ache in my thoughts.

A sly whisper breathed heavy like fog,strangely familiar and yet vague like a lost word on the tip of a tongue,

“My darling, for just as soon as you sat to tea, it was destined.”

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