And The Wheel Spins Back

by Sameera Shaikh

He sipped his tea slowly. It was raining. He always drank tea when it rained. Not because he could see or even hear the pattering of the drops, he just loved the smell. Something about the way the mud smelled after that first rain made him crave a hot cup of tea.

The rain kept falling, he kept sipping.

All was well.

She sighed as she draped the last of the wet clothes over the furniture. The rain had come out of nowhere. The skies had been clear blue just minutes before, and turned dark and gloomy in a matter of moments, forcing her to rush out to the washing line to take down the laundry.

She turned to the open door, considering whether or not to close it, until she realised her husband was out on the porch, enjoying his ritual of drinking tea in the rain. She smiled.

Ever since the chemical explosion at his company had taken away both, his hearing and his eyesight, not much gave him peace. Seeing him enjoy something as small as a cup of tea in the rain made her happy.

Still, things could be worse. Their bad luck had turned not too long ago and things were looking up for them.
All was well.

They crept towards the hedges surrounding the house although they knew no one would be out in the rain. They wouldn’t be seen. The leader poked his neck over the hedge to see the man sipping tea on the porch and there, behind him- the front door was open. They were lucky so far, and they were about to be luckier still.

Ever since they’d read about the unfortunate couple whose luck had turned after they’d won the lottery, the temptation had been too much to resist. They were sure the couple wouldn’t know enough to stick the money in the bank- it had to be around the house somewhere. Not to mention the man of the house would pose no threat to them. Piece of cake.

They slipped easily past the man, into the house. He was completely oblivious to their presence. They grinned at one another as they entered through the door. Just the wife to deal with and then they’d be on their way.
All was well.

The first mistake she’d made was not telling them where it was hidden. They didn’t take her secrecy too well.
The second mistake, was attempting to fight back. Needless to say, it wasn’t a fair fight and she lost.

They left her limp body on the floor and made their way back to the front door. It was all her fault anyway, they’d reckoned. She should have just complied. Shouldn’t have tried to be a hero.

They slipped out of the front door, passing the man again. Satisfied to see it was raining harder than ever, they knew they’d be witnessed by no one as they made their getaway. They were right.

He was almost done with his first cup of tea when he decided he wanted another. He felt beside him to the cool surface of the side-table, ran his fingers over the top till he found the bell. He picked it up, feeling the cold weight of the metal hanging from his fingers and gave it a quick shake. He couldn’t hear it, of course, but he could feel the vibration it made.

He knew she’d hear it and come running out, gently patting him on the back to indicate she was there. He knew she’d ask him what he needed, even though he couldn’t see or hear the words from her lips.

He’d tell her he wanted another cup of tea and within minutes he’d have another steaming cup warming his hands while he smelled the rain.

He put the bell back down and waited, enjoying the sense of security he derived from the predictability of their routine.

All was well.

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