– You look tired.
— You look tired.
– I am tired. I’ve been on my feet all day.
— Yeah. It was a good day though.
– Still is.
— Your sister’s kids are great.
– They are. Do you want a cup of tea?
— I don’t know if I have the energy to lift it to my mouth right now.
– I’ll give you a straw.
A single laugh
– At least you have the energy to smile, that’s good.
— Yeah. Yeah it is.
The movements of the tea ritual
— You know that stuff we were talking about before.
– What stuff?
— Last night. And this morning before everyone got here.
– Yeah OK.
— So um, I have a lot of questions for you.
– That’s good. You should ask them.
— I want to. I’m going to you know, I have um… a lot of questions.
– How many?
— A lot. It might take a while to get through them all.
– Like how long?
— Like… maybe months. Or… years.
– Are you blushing?
– You have the energy to blush.
— … Yeah.
– Are you asking me out?
— Do you have to make it sound so juvenile?
– You are blushing after-all.
— I know I just… jesus.
– Well. Should I string you out just to get you all frustrated?
— Please don’t. You have no idea the sleep I’ve been missing.
– My my. Well that’s just delicious.
— Oh god.
– It’s quite empowering isn’t it.
— Can you please not do this to me?
– You’re still smiling.
— I know.
— I know. I like you a lot. Maybe too much.
— I’m an impatient child.
– Hmm. Indeed.
Pouring the tea
– You know you’re going to need a lot of patience with me.
— Yeah. It’s part of what scares me. And excites me.
— Don’t look at me like that.
– Patience excites you?
— Yes. Well, no… just that… you have the ability to get under my skin but… no matter how exasperated I seem to think I am, I just seem to… I don’t know.
– You’re all flustered now.
– It’s quite attractive.
The aroma of tea
The lifting of cups
Taste in the mouth
— Well it’s done now. You can send me away if you like.
– Why would I do that?
Head at rest against the heel of the palm
Elbow on the bench
— I don’t know. Because I’m so stupid and tired.
– Don’t call yourself stupid, it’s not really fair.
— I feel stupid.
— What does that look mean?
– You’re being particularly transparent with me today.
– I like it. I know how much of a pain in the ass you think it is.
Another slight blush
— Yeah well, guilty as charged.
— Why the hell are you so cool for?
– Ah see, I have all the power in this situation. It feels great. Very rare.
— You are enjoying this all-together too much.
– I am.
– Very much.
— Jesus christ will you just give me a straight answer?
– Tell you what.
– Finish your cup of tea.
— What the hell does that have to do with anything?
– Finish your cup of tea. Slowly. Just drink it.
– No buts,
— No I said ‘what’,
– Whatever. Just drink it. Inhale. Exhale. Set the cup down.
— I’ll take it back you know.
– OK, fine with me.
Then under the breath
Lifting of the cup
— Yeah alright.
Setting the cup down with a light tap on the bench
— Happy now?
– Very much so.
— That felt good actually.
— This whole patience thing. It’s… it can be nice.
Then the blush
— You’re answer is yes isn’t it.
— But why didn’t you just say so?
– Tell me you didn’t enjoy that whole dance just now.
— No I didn’t, not at all.
— We’re getting too old for this.
– But we don’t get to do this kind of thing anymore – don’t you miss it?
And then laughter
— I would only ever let you do it. Will you come here and kiss me now?
– I can do better. Come over to the couch and I’ll massage your shoulders.
— Oh god yes.
— That’s nice…
Long and sustained
And then pause
Shifting of weight
And pressing the lips against the neck
– I’m sorry dear, that was very cruel.
— If you ever make me work that hard for anything ever again I swear I’ll kill you.
– You have no idea.
– But you’re still laughing so I’ll take that as a good sign.
— Mmm. Massage please.
Merry Christmas to me.
If you bring over a bottle of red and a good movie, you too can write over-romanticised fiction with me – it can be a joint effort.
By the way, for the new readers; writing soppy romance at Christmas is my yearly tradition in giving a present to myself. Get used to it.