It was well past midnight. Downstairs, something must have fallen on the kitchen floor. I figured Pawel was up again. Falling to sleep was a battle for me. I stayed awake to hear his door latch unbuckle, to hear the door open and I listened as his feet made light patters down the stairs. I desperately wanted us to have a talk.

I made my way out of bed, trembled with hope and anxiety that this awkwardness was nearing its end. I too took light steps down the stairs and into the kitchen. Pawel stood there, frozen, staring at the shattered pieces of my favourite mug.

“I wasn’t going to take that along,” my voice startled him, and he thawed. He didn’t turn to look at me.

“I was making some tea for us,” he said in a tone that carried the weight of all his worries. Lavender tea – your favourite, right? Or which one would you actually prefer?” He reached out for a box of rosehip tea.

It was strange for Pawel to make tea. He had stopped being himself. He had stopped preparing meals for us. He had stopped doing anything for us.  ‘Us’ had become a questionable entity. I watched as this man I had fallen in love with tried to make sense of what loomed ahead.

I fiddled with the jar of honey that was on the counter, then dipped a teaspoon into it and lapped at the golden sweetness. Pawel poured tea into our cups. The news that I was leaving was gut-wrenching for him. We held our cups and took slow sips. All our moves were in slow motion, as though our slowness would make time creep slower.

“When I met you, I knew you were too ambitious for this,” he said, looking dead straight into my eyes until it burned. “That’s what I admired about you. I tried to stop myself from falling in love with you. I failed. I knew I had found the one I wanted, but I always knew it was the wrong timing. Am I right?” He held my wrists and laced our fingers together. “So what happens now? You leave, and do we continue this?” his eyes searched my face for an answer.

“The world isn’t ending, Pawel.” I didn’t know what else to say to him.

Written by : Michael Afenfia

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  1. […] Tea Talk by Laura Adiba Obubo […]

  2. Aishah Ojibara February 3, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    “The world isn’t ending, Powel”

    A line that connotes a plethora of feelings. Great job, Laura

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