I broke the code to his heart, he said, I had the password. I set the tumblers in place so his soul could open and his love flow out like honey. I turned the key that opened the door that had been shut since Jesus was born. It was me, he whispered night after night in the darkness, I was the one. He promised we’d spend summers sipping iced tea spiked with lemon, warm ourselves by the fire in his winter house near the woods, make love in the cool fall mornings, wiggling beneath fresh white sheets that had dried on the line in the yard. Someday, he swore, we’d dance on the balcony of a fancy hotel while fireworks exploded over the shoreline, painting their blurry little rainbows in the sea. But that was long ago, and I don’t wait for him anymore. These days I sit alone on the porch, fill my glass from the sweet tea jar that steeps in the sun by the door and, if it’s warm, I might rock in the chair. If I think I hear his laugh or the sound of his car, I ache all over again because usually it’s just a rabbit or a fox, and I have to tell myself I’m wrong, it’s not him. The reason it still hurts is because he said I was the one who had what he needed. I had the password, he told me. I was the one.
Sweet Tea by D. L. Tricarico
Filed under D. L. Tricarico
14 responses to “Sweet Tea by D. L. Tricarico”
Boy do you know how to break a heart. This is a killer, and so beautifully wrought, just a little gem of a story.
I knew I’d like this story from the title. I love the way this is written.
sweet like tea, and wonderfully framed. peace…
amendment: sweet and bitter like tea. there’s a poignancy here. peace…
Very, very awesome…Sounds a bit familiar?
Like the tea, sweet…and poignant, Captures intimacy of “strangers” with a painful familiarity. Nicely drawn, Dan. Enjoyed this one.
Beautiful and bittersweet.
It starts out so lyrically that I just want all that beuatiful imagery to continue. When I read ‘But that was long ago . . .’ I’m thinking NO!, but of course, it’s perfect this way. No light without darkness . . .
you had some really strong imagery here–blurry little rainbows…wriggling in the sheets…steeps in the sun by the door. i think that’s what made it seem so real and touching. great job, dan.
Beautifully written, Dan. I love the images, the movement throughout, such as the rocking chair, the fireworks, the hint of a car.
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Yes, this is immediately engaging. Powerful images that bring me in and sit me there with the character. I feel the pain, the longing. I’m just as much an emotional creature by the end of this as the character, and this will stay with me. Well-written.
Thank you, Susan and Michael, for your close read and kind words.