This is another short story from my short story series Short Stories in the Key of Kate, that were written by hand in the back of paperback copies of my novella Kate. You too can get a paperback copy of Kate with a handwritten short story at the back that nobody else will have but you in handwritten form — click here to buy it.
These short stories are all based on characters and events from the novella but stand on their own. Enjoy!
Sandy looked at the tea kettle, even though she had long known the idea that “a watched pot never boils” — but could it really be? She looked out of the window at a pigeon that had apparently decided it was breakfast time, and wondered if it would appreciate tea, had it the ability to get a tiny kettle of water boiling. As she had this thought, the shrieking whistle of the tea kettle brought her attention to the tea she was about to make that morning. It was almost as though the principle of the unwatched pot was at work… but Sandy knew it to be happenstance.
Sandy had the tea leaves in a mesh basket hanging in the teapot. Loose tea reigned supreme in her apartment but there was not much she liked less than a few loose tea leaves in the mouth. She poured the boiling hot water into the teapot and watched as the leaves danced around the inside of the basket.
As if on the tea’s steeping schedule, Felix Twickson called right when it was the time to pull the basket out of the pot. “Making tea?” he said. “Yeah, you know me.”
Sandy went over to the refrigerator and pulled out a slim bottle of milk, pouring a splash into the cup of tea she had just poured. “Earl Grey or Lapsong Souchong?” he asked. “English Breakfast! No sugar, only milk!”
“I would love to join you, but I’m on my way to the office,” he said.
“That makes one of us,” she said, “I’m off of work today. No particular reason, just wanted to sit at home and watch a couple of DVDs. Wait, did you just say you’re on the way to the office? Hang up, nobody wants to hear you talking to me about what kind of tea I’m about to drink!”
“Okay, but do you mind if I come over later? You’ve put me in the right mood for a cuppa, and I think I can cut out for a tea break if I can do some research while I am out.”
“That works perfectly fine for me — being off means that I am probably not going anywhere, and it would be nice to see a friendly face even if only for a bit.”
A few hours later, the kettle was on the stovetop again, but this time there was a Felix Twickson with Sandy. The tea being made this time was a fine newly purchased Earl Grey.
“I’m really loving this new job, Sandy,” he said. It had only been a couple of months since he had started at Tate and Bitter as a copywriter, but he had gone from strength to strength.
“I’ve got another date tonight,” she said. “Every bad date just brings you that much closer to a good one, right?”
“I see absolutely no scientific merit to that whatsoever, but if it makes you feel any better I suppose it works!”
Sandy may have had yet another bad date that night, but she did eventually have a good one. That good one led to a second good one, a third good one… but that’s another story for another time.