A Lovely Cuppa Tea

A Lovely Cuppa Tea: Chapter One
M.T. Heil

Now, I’m not one to drink tea, I’m more of a coffee girl. I work at a coffee shop in Chicago, for pity’s sake. But I like a certain type of tea. If it’s not how I like it, I refuse.

Most people ask why I like coffee more than tea. After all, I am British. And my answer is always, “I never had tea as a girl. I had coffee.”

That’s, of course, not true. I remember the long nights that I spent in my flannel PJs under a thermal blanket with my mother as we drank chamomile tea, ate cookies. and talked about the day. The reason I like coffee better than tea is because I was invited to my friend, Marie Wendelin’s, birthday party and she threw up tea.

There was light-brown chunks in it! Chunks!

“And that’ll be $12.95.” I informed the customer standing in front of me, taking his leather wallet out of his back pocket.

“And $2.00 for the tip,” He smiled, putting the extra money on the counter. I quickly pocketed it and nodded as the man took the large tray over to the table where his mother sat.

I sighed, bored. I flipped through the travel magazine that sat by the latte maker. I looked up as the door’s overly cheery bell rang.

“Hello… Colette.” The man said, peering at my gilded name tag, “I’d like to place an order.”

“Shoot,” I said in my best American voice. The managers proved that more people ordered coffee if an American salesperson was taking your order. They said, and I quote, “if you want a job at this place, have an American accent. If you can’t do that, go down the street and go to the tea shop.”

Breaking me from my thoughts the man started. “A blueberry scone,  chamomile tea, and make sure there’s extra sugar in there.”

“Sir, we don’t sell tea.” I said, startled.

“I know…. Come on, Coal. Don’t you remember me? Billy. Billy Post.”

Realization dawned on me and I dropped the American facade. “Billy…” I smiled, in my British voice. I leaned over the counter and hugged him. “It’s been so long.”

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