Once upon a time there was a little, tiny, teashop. Everything in the teashop was in shades of pale yellow, lilac and mint green. They only served all sorts of tea varieties, all sorts of colorful pancakes and traditional English oat porridge. The sugar was only in cubes, the milk only lukewarm, the lemon only freshly cut.
All customers seemed to forget their worries as soon as they entered the door and heard the little crystal doorbell ring. No wars, no poverty, no famine, no thirst, no plagues. Nothing could possibly disturb the serenity of the place but the small, gentle noises that the teaspoons made when they kissed the tea cups’ edges.
The aromatic teas were only enjoyed in little sips, with the eyes closed. So were the pancakes – in small bites and the porridges in scant spoonfuls. After every sip and bite, after every spoonful, a flat smile was the least that was expected. Sometimes a sigh was regarded as absolutely essential.
He remembered the little, tiny, teashop with such a huge nostalgia! He had visited it with his wife when they were newlywed. He could still hear her laughter. He could still smell the puncakes. Oh! How eagerly he wished he could have a cup of “English breakfast” labelled black tea!
He decided to try to find the little, tiny, teashop. He stayed at the back; he slowly let some distance separate him from his comrades. He finally managed to break away from his squad. Then he started running right the opposite direction. Although there was not even one building left intact, he could swear he saw the little metallic doorplate shining “Teashop”, just two blocks behind.
He ran really fast, as if his life was depending on it. Well, actually it was. He could hear the stray bullets fly spinning all around him. But if he could manage to enter the Teashop, then he would be safe. Nothing could touch him in there.
Suddenly, he saw his wife walking calmly just a few meters in front of him.
“Beatrice!”, he screamed.
She turned around. She smiled at him. Oh, how much he had missed that smile!
“Come”, she nodded and she kept walking.
He followed. The sun was warm. Birds were singing. Breaths of fresh air stroke his nostrils. He could feel a cool breeze drying the sweat off his forehead. He pushed the door open and left Beatrice enter the Teashop first. They sat at the same table as they had done years ago. They were finally together again. Together and happy. No wars, no poverty, no famine, no thirst, no plagues.
He raised his hand and he smiled politely at the young man behind the bar.
“English breakfast for two, please!”, he ordered.
His squad found him during the night patrol. He was covered in dust and dried blood – the usual inhumane remains that bombs leave behind them… He was wearing a flat smile and a half-broken tea cup was still lying on his cold palm. He was sitting on a fer forge metallic chair among the ruins. All alone, in what was left of the little, tiny, teashop. Dead, at last.
[Document review in English by Marianna Glinos]