Tag Archives: teenagers

The Boy in the Tea House

This was her third time in the tea house, but her first alone. The waiter, a senior at her school, had complimented her necklace last time she was there with her grandmother, and she was excited that he even noticed her, let alone talked to her in public.

She wrote his name over and over in a little journal she had.

She talked about him to her best friend.

Her grandmother had even said to her, “What a nice boy he is. Is he a friend of yours?” Which of course caused her to blush.

And now, after weeks of preparing herself mentally, she was back at the tea house, alone. She wore her favorite sundress, pinkish-purple, the necklace again (of course), and carried her money in a heart-shaped purse she’d bought just for the occasion. Also, as an excuse for going alone, she brought an old copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to feign reading.

When she entered the little home-turned-shop, he was by the door.

“Hey you, back again huh? No grandmother this time?”

She giggled, blushed and stammered something she hoped made sense.

“Well, let me show you to your table,” he said with a smile as she swore she noticed a twinkle in his perfect blue eyes.

She was so flustered that she slammed her purse down a bit too hard, the chain going wild.

“What will you have?” he asked.

She already knew her favorite tea, but still took a moment to gain the nerve to talk to him.

“Earl Grey, please.”

He smiled and left her.

She opened the book and tried to read it, but was mostly watching him walk from one spot to the next behind the counter, getting her drink ready. After a few minutes the sound of water boiling warned her of his imminent return.

“Your tea.” He said, holding up the teapot.

She nodded and pretended to read.

“Hello? Would you like it?”

She nodded again, face starting to turn red, wondering what he was doing.

“Um…your purse.”

She looked under the book to see that the chain of her purse had somehow ended up in the teacup, keeping him from pouring the water.

“Oops,” she said, redder than ever, ears burning, as she removed her purse from the table.

She would never, ever, ever in a million years live that moment down.

Heart-Shaped Purse photograph by the amazing Manon De Sutter. This photograph, along with a few of her others, inspired this story. Please check out her work.

A Sporadic Trip Around the World

“I want to take a trip around the world.”

Illana looked up at Maura to gauge the sincerity of her comment. “Yeah?”

“Yes. Now.”

Illana left her homework and walked over to the bed where Maura lay on her stomach ignoring the text she was assigned.

“You’re one-hundred percent sure?” Maura nodded. “Then get dressed.”

As Maura put on her favorite tee shirt they’d bought because they thought the image looked like Joan Crawford, Illana pulled out an old plaid suitcase, a treasure found at an estate sale a few months back. She opened it and began placing random clothing into it as her friend pulled a skirt up over her black leggings. Once assembled, Maura stepped up to the suitcase, motioning to Illana that it was her turn to get ready.

Pulling out a pair of flower-print shorts and holding them up to a mirror against her leggings, Illana remembered something important and said, “Don’t forget Marilyn. And Old Yellow.” Maura nodded in agreement and grabbed the large framed photograph and a beat up toy car, stuffing them into the vintage case with the clothing.

Illana joined her by the suitcase and they each took a clamp and shut it.

“Let’s go,” Maura said, Illana grabbing the suitcase and following close behind.

***

Illana and Maura waited alongside Paddua Road, a desolate and unused trucking road that ended at a collapsed bridge about three miles towards the mountains. They watched, waiting for an unlikely vehicle.

“I want to see Paris,” Illana said as she propped up the photograph against the suitcase and plopped down in the grass next to the asphalt.

“So generic,” Maura responded. “But yes, we must. And Madrid.”

“Rome.”

“Prague.”

“Really?”

“Yup.”

Maura shielded her eyes from the sun, looking down the empty road. “Nobody’s coming. I want to change my shirt.”

“So change it. There isn’t a house for miles.”

Maura removed the Joan Crawford-like shirt and replaced it with a gray tee, pulling the long sleeves up to her elbows. She looked down the road again, then started slowly crossing it towards the open field across from them. Illana laid down in the middle of the road and watched her go for a moment before getting up, and grabbing their belongings and heading for the same field.

She joined Maura, who was now sitting amongst the grass and dandelion wishes. Illana plucked one of the nearby flowers and blew on it so that parachutes fluttered in the air, putting on a private dance just for the two teenagers.

“Think we’ll ever actually see the world?”

“Of course we will. Don’t be silly. As soon as we’re eighteen. Summer after we graduate. It’ll happen.”

Maura reached over to the suitcase and opened it, removing the small beat up vehicle they’d found while exploring an abandoned home last summer. She ran her fingers across the writing on the door that said “Kreuzer – Ball Pen Stylo” and then spun one of the wheels. She looked over at Illana, who was laying on her back with her feet in the air. She gently balanced the toy onto Illana’s feet.

“See how long you can keep it there.”

After a few minutes of a quiet breeze and perfect balance, Maura reached over and tickled Illana, making the car roll off her feet and into a particularly large pack of the white dandelions. The car disturbed enough of the flowers to break a large amount of them, and the wind picked up the petals and blew them towards the girls, making a summer snowfall of wishes surround them.

“Make a wish,” Illana told Maura.

“I already did.”

Maura got up and picked up the suitcase.

“Let’s go home.”

Photographs by Laura and Manon of Nonsense of the Truth

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