Friday Fiction Eleven – Daphne and Baila

They had met online — on a web site dedicated to the discussion of tea, of all things. It was called inTEArested and in addition to hosting all kinds of tea discussions, it had a marketplace for buying, selling, and trading teas.

Daphne had wanted to trade for some top-rate lapsong souchong, and Baila had made a reasonable offer. Even better, Baila had agreed to meet in person, saving both time and shipping costs. Daphne wanted to make a trade with a woman named Sandy on the same night, but she said that she could not make trades on a Friday night.

Daphne and Baila met up at a small tea shop in midtown Manhattan. They sat down and ordered a couple of earl grey teas. “It’s nice to make friends who also like tea. We live in such a coffee-minded society, I think,” said Daphne. “So it is,” said Baila, “and that’s exactly why there are so few places that serve tea.”

They traded teas and got on with some basic small talk about the weather. Daphne then asked, for no apparent reason, if Baila was seeing anybody. “I’ve been seeing this guy that lives in Brooklyn. Kind of a nice guy but I honestly don’t see it being a long term thing. You?”

“For awhile I was seeing a woman in Washington Heights,” Daphne replied, “but I just started seeing a guy who lives in Brooklyn. A bit shy, soft spoken. He’s an accountant for one of those small firms. Kind of generic, really.”

“Wait,” Baila said, “I just realized something. Since you came in, I’ve been trying to place how I know your face and now I know — you look like my boyfriend’s sister. He has photos with her all over his apartment. I thought it was weird at first, but he said that his family is pretty close like that.”

A few minutes passed in quiet as they drank tea, and then Baila spat out her tea. “You don’t, by any chance, have a brother named George — do you?” She took a small photo from her wallet that had been taken in a photo booth. It was Baila and her boyfriend George.

“What are you doing in that picture with my boyfriend?” said Daphne.

Things did not end so well for George as he went from having two girlfriends to having zero. For Daphne and Baila, however, it was the fantastic start to a friendship — they knew they would have each other’s back always.

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