Tea Time #2
I rush through the Parent’s Day Out line and slow down for a goodbye hug, kiss, “nother hug, nother kiss, Mama” and I’m gone. I look at my watch, and I drive to the grocery store. I zoom through my list, add a few more things, and check out breathless. It’s getting harder for me to bring in as many bags as I can at once with my pregnant belly growing. I slow down for a moment to make sure everything is put away and check my watch again. I’m glad to see it really is time to go!
Spring is blooming all around me as I arrive and walk up the sidewalk to my friend Katy’s house. I stand awkwardly waiting on the front steps. I’ve always felt awkward standing on the front steps after the knock is made or doorbell rung. The door swings open. “Well, there you are!” Katy exclaims with her big smile. “Aren’t you beautiful?” She says as she embraces me thoughtful of my middle. “I’m so glad to be here,” I say feeling myself relaxing. “Me too, me too! Come and sit down, dear,” Katy says as she ushers me to the tea-table. It’s her front room, and it feels like a parlor. There is a formal sitting area, a piano I know belonged to George, and a lovely table with a lace tablecloth. The table is set for tea.
“I’ve made us a little luncheon to go with our scones because I thought you might need something more,” she said and patted my hand. We sat down together, and Katy poured the tea from a teapot. I added sugar and milk without a thought. I took a long drink and sat firmly against the back in my chair. Katy offered me the raw green pepper, tomatoes, cheese, and crackers. I took some but no peppers. “Don’t you like peppers, Sugar?” she asks. “No, I’ve always preferred them cooked,” I said sheepishly. She said, “Oh, that’s fine, just fine. I’m sorry for you is all.” She laughed and I laughed too. Her oven dinged, and she came back with hot scones. “They smell wonderful,” I said wishing I could eat the whole pan. We both put one on our plate and took turns putting butter and raspberry jam on them. “This is the only thing worth eating with a good cup of tea,” I said.
“Now, tell me, are you doing okay?” I asked my sweet friend. “Oh, yes. It hasn’t been long. I get lonely, but I stay busy,” Katy said. “I know you miss him. I can’t imagine what it’s like,” I mumble. “Yes, I miss him. Oh, George. There are so many memories. But, I’m sure he knows this. If I would have known about his sinus trouble and him not liking to travel, I might not have married him!” she says with a twinkle in her eye. I know this isn’t true. I can see the love she has for George shining out of her face. I miss him too. They were married forever. We sit together in a knowing silence. I love tea with Katy. It is a special treat and better than any spa day. She tells me a few stories, and then I talk for a while.
Just as I’m about to make myself look at the clock, Katy takes my hand. “My friend Pat told me something the other day. She said she was sitting in her garden, and she was suddenly aware of a yellow butterfly. It reminded her for some strange reason of George. She couldn’t shake the feeling, so she went inside. The next morning she came outside again, and there that butterfly was again. Later that evening she looked for it, but it was gone…flown away. She didn’t see it again. She asked me what I thought about that (if I thought she was weird or crazy or something).” “Well, what did you say?” I prompted when she fell silent. “I was mad, really mad. I told her if George was going to bother flying around in a butterfly, he had better come see me first!” She had tears in her eyes, but she was laughing. I hugged her. “I love you Katy!” I said.
I reluctantly gathered my purse. Katy walked out the door with me to get her mail. Just as we reached my car, we both saw it at once. A yellow butterfly. “Well, goodness,” she said. It fluttered around us. I smiled, and I gave her another hug. “See you Sunday, Sugar,” she called.
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