The Tea Room

Chapter One

My name is… well, it doesn’t really matter what my name is… Let’s just say, I’m “one of the many”… and… “there is no other”… all of which will make a lot more sense as my story unfolds. 

A couple of years ago… (Or was it just a moment?)… I found myself balancing precariously on a not-so-wide overpass railing… looking down into oncoming traffic… that which was to be my “savior.”  It was a Wednesday night… “hump day” was coming to a close… and I found myself dangling perilously on the backside of the hump… This time, it wasn’t about making it to Friday… it was about holding onto life… and I couldn’t do it anymore.  I was a fraction of a second from letting go of it all… dispassionately disappearing into the oblivion of the unknown… that which had become less frightening… held more promise…
than the life, I lived each day.

As I readied myself for the great release… I couldn’t help but notice how little I cared… At one point in my life… it seemed I had everything… everything most people might consider made life worth living… but that time had come and gone… leaving me where I now found myself… The traffic below was almost a blur… and soon I would find myself splattered like the roadkill I had seen so often… hit again… and again… and again… by unconscious drivers… until the form, it had once been… was no longer recognizable… the life, it had once experienced… forgotten.  I was sure I would be no different.

Suddenly, I was acutely aware of something next to me… something alive… I could tell whatever it was… wasn’t a threat to my path of escape… It wasn’t reaching for me… panicking… or attempting to change my mind… It was just there… the way a good friend might sit by my bedside… holding my hand… as I experienced the throes of some terrible illness… death not far away.  Whatever this presence was… commanded my attention… so much so that I forgot the traffic below… sliding slightly back onto the railing… even turning my head to look... 

His appearance was somewhat indescribable… but what he looked like didn’t seem that important… It was what I felt that captured my attention… warmth… solidity… caring… His smile was disarming… his presence undeniable… He couldn’t be ignored... I didn’t even try to look away… nor did I want to… I had no desire to break the connection... I didn’t feel trapped… nor did I sense I was in danger--not from him, anyway…   

After what seemed like an infinity… which, in reality, was probably only a fraction of a second… he said, “You look like you could use a cup of tea… Come… have some tea.”  And with that, he offered his hand… and I took it. 

For the moment, time stopped… Part of me sat on the overpass railing, poised to jump… pensively eyeing the traffic below… while another part of me--a part which seemed to carry my “in-the-moment-consciousness”--was walking away, hand-in-hand, with some man… whom I’d never met… to an unknown place… to have a cup of tea...


​Karrie Wallen