Tea For Two

Greta smiled softly as she dusted her photos, another beautiful day full of sunshine. She shuffled into the kitchen to make tea for the two of them. Frank would be here soon for their weekly tea time. She loved having company. It shortened the days here. She was rooming in someone else’s house to save some money while Frank had to travel for work. She smiled again thinking of him. She sat down to talk to her housemate.  

“That Frank is the love of my life,” She shared dreamily. “I still love him just as much as I did ten years ago. I hate when he has to travel for work.”  

The lady smiled politely, “He sounds wonderful, although I don’t know him as well as you do.”  

“Well of course not. We have been married for ten years now, I hope to have kids when he’s finished traveling. He has told me he’s going to get a lovely home in the countryside, where we will have a view of Heidelberg.” She stated abruptly. “I hope it works out, I want to have lovely gardens and embroider some beautiful things.”

“Oh!” the lady said smiling, “I have seen a few of your embroideries, you do lovely work.”

“Oh me? I’m still learning,” she shared shyly. “Those are my mothers, she loved doing that. She sold many at the market”

The lady smiled, “Well Greta, you enjoy your tea. I have some spaetzles you could have for lunch as well.” 

Greta nodded in somewhat of a haze. “Oh dear, I better hurry. He will be here soon.”

She shuffled back to the kitchen making some hollandaise sauce from scratch, and boiling water for tea just the way Frank likes it. She pulled out their special teapot and teacups they had saved and bought in France.  

She backed up, admiring her work. Fixing her hair, she smiled proudly. The table was set, now where is Frank?

The lady walked past smiling, “Maybe today is not the day he’s coming?” she offered.

“Yes, it is. He’s always here on Thursdays,” She explained as she started panicking a little. Would he show up? Maybe She did have the date wrong? Where is Frank? Her eyes welled up wondering if she was confused. How would she not remember this?

“Well, hello there beautiful,” said Frank as he was walking in giving her a hug. She went to kiss him but he turned his cheek. She was a little startled but he smiled lovingly. Oh well, Frank never liked affection when people were around anyways, she reminded herself.

“I miss you,” she exclaimed.  

“I have as well,” he smiled lovingly. “Shall we have some tea? I can’t wait to hear about your week.”

They sat down and chatted as any two lovers meeting would. She excitedly told him all about her week, the lady in the house, and her dreams of moving soon. He as always promised her this would happen and even offered a little waltz in the gardens. He exuded love for her. There was no denying that.  

“It’s not time to leave already, is it?” she asked nervously.  

“Greta, I’m really sorry. Time went by so quickly for me too. I promise though I’ll be back next week.” He assured her calmly.  

They said their goodbyes and he sauntered off. She shuffled back to her room. At least she had pictures of him in there. She sat in her recliner, looking around the room. It was filled with photos; mostly of them. She smiled seeing photos of them surrounded with her parents and family. She giggled, while looking at another framed photo. She knew it was a long way off but she had framed a photo of the home she wanted. She sighed sleepily, and reclined back with her afghan for a nap.

“Mom?”

Greta screamed, “Get out! You’re in the wrong house.” 

The man looked worried. “Oh, er. I am so sorry.” He turned apprehensively like he still didn’t know if he should. The man’s shoulders slumped and he walked out.  

Greta could hear the lady talking to him as he said goodbye. She felt a huge wave of relief. Who walks into someone’s house like that anyway. She looked sleepily around the room, smiling at Frank’s photos. Suddenly some photos jumped out at her that she hadn’t noticed before.  

“How is this possible?” she mused. Suddenly her eyes widened.

She yelled urgently, “Karl!! Karl!!” She could hear the old springs in the chair bounce quickly. He was still here!  

Greta could hear the lady walk with him, talking and reassuring him, “See she always remembers when it’s you. Wait here.”

The lady came in smiling, “Greta, why don’t I help you to the sofa so you can visit?”

Greta nodded, confused and teary. “I don’t understand,” she began as she suddenly realized this was not just any woman walking towards her. She noticed the firm all white sneakers first, then her perfectly pressed Scrubs. She looked around and noticed the bed had buttons on it. She was not just in someone’s home; but where was she?

Kylie as the name tag read helped her up with ease then walk beside as Greta shuffled to the sofa. It took all the energy she had, and she was a little out of breath as she sat down awkwardly.

“Who are you?” She asked timidly.

He beamed, so happy she had at least remembered his face, “You are my mom,” He began.

Greta interrupted him, “that’s impossible Frank and I…” she trailed off even more confused.

“I’m so sorry Mum,” You’re in a nursing home, ever since Dad.” She was stunned, then she laughed. “No, I just had tea this morning with him.” 

Karl walked over and sat beside her. You don’t remember us as much anymore, it’s getting less frequent. It wasn’t dad, it was Uncle Otto. He moved here after dad passed away to help you. You got sick soon after though so he has tea with you anyway.”

Greta was stunned, “Why though?”

We tried to keep you on who was who at first,” he began but you were so heartbroken. The memory troubles didn’t help; if we corrected you then it made you unable to even get out of bed. This way you remember him a little”

She smiled. She had loved Frank so much, that when he died, she remembered it felt impossible, and then she couldn’t remember everything the same. She smiled at her son; it was so great to see him again. She thought about her photos on the wall, that dream house was a home where they spent 15 years before moving to the US. They had a beautiful life, just like she had always imagined while she stayed in her aunt’s house while he worked to save money for their life together. She smiled, knowing she would see the love of her life again soon. She was now 92 years old. She looked at Karl; or wait was that, Karl? The room became fuzzy, as she saw Frank walk in.

Karl stood up. “Sorry Otto,” he apologized. 

She grinned, “Frank! Two times in one week, imagine what it will be living together again.” 

He smiled politely, “How about some tea Greta?”

She smiled and shuffled to the kitchen in the house she was renting.

Culled from blog.reedsy.com by Heather Peace Hamilton

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