Tea Party This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   We are sitting around a low coffee table in stiff, white wicker chairs. There arefive women in all, decked out in bright spring dresses and white gloves, sippingtea and gossiping. One woman is telling a story about the previous day's events.The other women half listen with expressions of extreme interest, nodding andlaughing where the story requires. A ray of sunlight flows through the large baywindow, blanketing the scene with a soft warmth.

I have not yet spoken. Isit quietly, as I do at every tea party, watching the others gossiping andjudging each other (on clothing, manners, and overall performance at this tearitual ae ) Their carefully painted smiles beam falsely at each other. Timepasses. My head droops.

Suddenly, the steady hum of voices goes mute. Theroom is deathly silent. My head snaps up to discover the cause of such aninterruption. To my amazement nothing has changed. The women are still talking -their lips are moving, but I can't hear them. As I look around, I notice that thebright colors of the room have begun to fade and slowly turn to shades of gray.Completely baffled, I look to the woman closest to me for an answer to thisstrange phenomenon. I open my mouth to speak but can emit no sound. The otherladies seem not to have noticed the change. As the room loses its last shred ofcolor, a low rumble vibrates through the floor. Frantic, I stand and scream. Onceagain, no sound is made, and no one takes any heed of me. The rumble grows into adeafening roar, and the very walls shake with the strain.

At the sound ofshattering glass, I whirl toward the bay window, my eyes wide with fear. I don'teven come full turn when I am swept off my feet and hurtled toward the back wallby a tremendous wave of water crashing through the window. As I hit the wall, Ihear bones crunch and only have a second to gasp for breath before another greatwave envelops me. Wave after wave of deathly cold water crashes over my head. Theroom is filling with water, and my arms burn with pain from continually pullingmy body back to the surface for air. I vaguely wonder what has become of theother ladies at tea. At the surface once more, I look out across the water. To myamazement, I realize that the other women in the room remain undisturbed. Theyare sipping their tea and smiling at each other. There is a small circlesurrounding the ladies that is void of water, and apparently they don't findanything amiss. I scream out. "Help me! Please! I'm drowning!" My armsflail wildly. What is going on? I take one last look at the circle of womenbefore another wave crashes over my head. I was there! Sitting there! I was stilldown there, sitting in my chair, sipping tea with the rest of them!

Withthis last realization, my body goes limp. I close my eyes and let my body sinkinto the cold, black depths of that great monster. How could I fight such athing? Surprisingly, my mind is completely calm. I sink slowly. The water is nolonger cold; it has no temperature at all, and I find that breathing is no longernecessary either. I just sink deeper and deeper. All is quiet. My mind speaks inhushed tones. "So this is it," it tells me. "This is how itends."

As quickly as it came, the water is gone. I am sitting in mychair. I watch as color slowly seeps back into the room. Its brightnessmomentarily blinds me. The women are talking still. Their voices return to me asif coming from a long tunnel.

" . . . it's a shame she ever married thatman. What a lazy good for . . ."

" . . . they say he rarely attendschurch . . ."

" . . . that poor child . . ."

" . . . such agood girl . . ."

With a shudder I sit up and shakily pick up my tea, nowcold. What was it that just happened? A dream? No . . . With a mad grin, I reach upto catch a drop of water off my chin. I feel a slight pull of muscles in myshoulders that only comes from vigorous exercise. The sun's warmth beats down,but I am shivering, anything but calm. My mind is in a whirl. I stand shakily,and without a word, I turn and head for the door; another unspeakable act at oneof these tea parties. The women now turn to stare at my retreating back, sendingeach other quizzical glances. I don't care. I can't stay to risk my life a momentlonger. I must escape this room of death where the waves of hypocrisy can sothoroughly crush a soul. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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