Tea Cents

Avian Loi

After running back to my camp, I sat down on the ground upset. I wasn’t feeling too good either. Ever since I got my element, summers had always been the worst. Whenever it got too hot, I would feel like I was boiling from within and my entire body wanted to rise into the air like steam. Usually, I spent those days in the clouds when it was cloudy and lying in the river when it wasn’t. The river always seemed to cool me down and getting wet for me wasn’t much of a problem. Today though, sitting in the river wasn’t enough. Today I was feeling a little rebellious. Today, I decided that I was going back into society, something I haven’t done since I ran away, and go get a tea.

After changing into the t-shirt and the pair of jeans I had hidden inside a tree trunk, I hid my wings, arranged myself and left the forest. The little money I had left rang in my pocket. It was mostly quarters, dimes and pennies with one single wrinkled dollar bill. Two dollars and fifty two cents exact.

Most of the walk down the street, I kept my head down. One because I smelled like stale leaves, if leaves could go stale. Two, because I hated looking at or talking to strangers. Three, because I didn’t want anyone to realize who I was. The walk was quick and just like I remembered, the cafe was right there where it had always been.

I walked in sat down and ordered a medium cup of tea. If I remembered right, a small cup was $1.50, a medium $2.45 and a large $3.20. I would have just enough money to get a medium. The waiter handed me my tea.

“Anything else ma’am?”

“Uh, no thanks.”

The waiter turned and left.

I stared out the window and watched people walk by as I sipped at my tea. I used to sit here when I had a problem in my mind I couldn’t work out. Somehow watching people walk by seemed to help me organize my thoughts. I really needed that now.

I made a list in my mind.

So first off, you saw a boy and you ran into him, knocking him over. Then you had a conversation with him. A conversation! And he offered coffee in which you refused because you hate coffee. Then the bear trap thing happened...

I shook my head. Forget the boy. It was probably a dream of some sort. Never trust men. Yes, never ever ever trust anyone from the male gender. Unfortunately, I learned that lesson the hard way.

I sighed when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and saw the waiter.

“Excuse me ma’am but we’ve noticed that you didn’t paid your bill yet.”

“Oh, sorry.” My face flushed slightly red. I dug into my pocket and pulled out the money I had. $2.50. I handed it over to him.

“Thank you ma’am.” He hurried away again, but before long, his annoying shadow loomed over me again.

“Ma’am, I think you’ve paid us 25 cents short.” I looked up in surprise.

“What?” I squint at him. Was he trying to rip me off?

“A medium tea is $2.75. You gave us $2.50. That’s 25 cents.”

“I thought a medium was $2.45!” I argued back heatedly. What was this?

“Sorry ma’am, but the prices have raised. We’ll need 25 more cents.”

“But- but-” I was at lost for words. “I don’t have anymore money.” I replied lamely. Stupid waiter. Now if this had been a waitress, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.

“I’m sorry ma’am, but we need that 25 cents. If not, you might be charged with stealing.”

I closed my eyes annoyed at the fact that he could only repeat I’m sorry over and over again. What was I going to do?

The End

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