Rain Tea
I don't believe reality would be
the way it should
But I believe in fantasy
the future's understood

-Run! Lola, Run!
The Matter of Words Budda Says...

The emerald city located in the northwest coast of the Pacific shore. It was so green everywhere Lavena looked. Every leaf was dripping with crystal cold rain. She was visiting Steve, an ex-boyfriend from college. He was attentive and quiet. She remembered how she had loved him, how she cried when he so decisively shut her off from his world. For the rest of the school year before graduation, he avoided her as if avoiding a plague. “What was he so afraid of?? She often puzzled. “Are men all such cowards?? She was disappointed.

He let her has his room, he was sleeping on the living room couch. She studied his room carefully. It was amusing and a bit odd to find so many familiar articles had followed him all these years from his college dorm room to this northern city. His collection of Chopin, the entire series of Azmov’s Foundation story, the poster of the Grand Canyon, and piles of computer books. He left his wallet on the shelf. She studied its content as well, and found the one and only picture they took together was still there, behind his ID’s and credit cards. She was smiling a bright smile. Such happiness and content. She wondered if she would ever feel that way again. The innocence and the complete trust. No reservation, no regret.

He left the window open as he used to do. The cold and fresh air filled the room with the smell of the green, of the rain. The window was open to the backyard. Beyond the transparent green leaves and abundant ferns in the rain, lay the dream like lake.

She curled into a ball under his blanket, felt safe and peaceful. The once familiar smell filled her nostrils. She remembered how she had missed this smell of him.

In the early dawn’s darkness, she suddenly woke up crying. Tears wetted the pillow. Unable to move, she stared at the darkness outside the window, listened to the rain, remembered the dream. Waves of sorrow drowned her like the ocean. Her heart fell like a lonely shooting star. She did not dream of Steve, but the ghost of Alex that had been haunting her for the past year.

In the dream, it was years later. They were all in their middle-ages. She met Alex and his wife, who had a tender face and gentle smile. They became good friends, she did not know the story between Lavena and Alex. One day, she confessed to Lavena over coffee. “Alex has been very strange lately. Every night before bed, he had to drink a cup of tea. He was rather peculiar about a special brand, too. Somehow it made him happy.? Lavena forced herself to put down the cup of coffee before her hand was shaking too badly. When she was sure her voice was even and calm, she asked, “which kind of tea??

“Sleepy time.?