Saturday, February 7, 2015

Teatime Tale #6 - Shattered


            There was always something about that boy that Ellen didn’t like.
            The day Sarah Grace came home with Josh, Ellen told her husband, “Ed, I’m worried about this one. Sarah Grace has a certain look on her face when she’s around him and when she talks about him. I’ve never seen that look before, and there’s something about that boy that doesn’t seem right.”
            Ed said, for the thousandth time, that she was imagining things. After what happened last week, he knew she had been right, but it was small comfort to her.
            Josh asked Sarah Grace to marry him last year on the Fourth of July, and she accepted. Their wedding was supposed to be a romantic, over-the-top, all-pink extravaganza set for Valentine’s Day, but Josh broke up with her the night of the Super Bowl. He sent her a text from Arizona and said being with his buddies made him realize he wasn’t ready for marriage. He was breaking it off, as he put it, “because I think it’s best for both of us.”
            Sarah Grace was understandably devastated. While a part of Ellen was glad her daughter wouldn’t be marrying any boy stupid enough to leave her, Ellen’s heart was breaking for her little girl.
            Sarah Grace was twenty-five and plenty old enough to be getting married, but to Ellen, her only child would always be her little girl. Ellen absolutely despised having to watch Sarah Grace live through the humiliation and hurt of a broken engagement.
            Her daughter returned to the classroom the Tuesday after the ballgame. Ellen knew Sarah Grace would teach her heart out to that class of third graders just as she always had, heartbreak or no heartbreak.
            Ellen still could not believe Josh broke up with Sarah Grace less than two weeks before their wedding.
            Ed continued to stew over all the money he’d lost, which Ellen thought was just like a man. He threatened, “I’m going to send Josh’s family a bill for the wedding dress, the caterer, the photographer …”
            “You’ll do no such thing,” Ellen said. “Consider it money well spent for getting that boy out of our lives.”
            Ed didn’t see it that way, but he hadn’t said any more about it.
            Ellen, however, kept thinking about Sarah Grace and how hard the past two days had been for her. It wasn't easy to call your best friend and seven other bridesmaids to tell them those three-hundred-dollar pink organza dresses would not be worn on February 14 after all. Ellen took care of as much of the unpleasantness as she could, but she quickly learned that some things simply couldn’t be undone. Wedding invitations couldn’t be unsent. Gifts of wedding china couldn’t be unopened. A photographer couldn’t be unbooked, but at least this one said his deposit could be applied to any future nuptials.
            Ellen knew that her aggravation was nothing compared to the heartbreak her daughter was living through. Sarah Grace had always been so tenderhearted, so trusting. Perhaps she’d been too trusting.
            And then came Josh the Jerk, as Ellen now called him.
            Once, he went to Washington, D.C., for a conference, and while there he bought Ellen a teacup at the Smithsonian. It was a nice Russian teacup with a floral design, but Josh apparently hadn’t noticed that she collected only vintage English teacups with roses on them. For Sarah Grace’s sake, Ellen displayed the teacup in the dining room with all the others, but the gaudy colors stuck out like a sore thumb.

            As Ellen turned the situation over in her mind that morning, she walked into the dining room, picked up that Russian cup and saucer, and decided to have a little fun. First, she found some old T.J. Maxx bags under a kitchen cabinet and rather unceremoniously dropped the cup and saucer inside one. Oops. Is that the sound of china banging together. Too bad!
            She walked out to the garage, home of Ed’s tools and her own pink-handled tool set. She opened the case. Good. Ed hadn’t swiped her hammer this time.
            Ellen didn’t want any of the neighbors watching what she was about to do, so she walked around back to the patio. The concrete patio.
            And oops again—What a klutz I am this morning!—she dropped the bag containing the teacup and saucer right onto the concrete.
            Gripping her hammer, Ellen bent over and started beating the daylights out of that teacup. She didn’t normally have a violent nature, or at least she didn’t think she did, yet she wielded that hammer like a crazy woman. And she enjoyed every minute of it.
            A hammer, it turned out, was a dandy tool for smashing teacups.
            “This,” she said, quietly and firmly, “is for breaking up with my little girl.”
            “And this,” she said, “is for doing it in a lousy text message!”
            “And THIS,” she said, “is just because I never liked you anyway, loser!”
            She hammered the teacup again and again, stopping only when the bag split and shards of china began to spill out. Ellen briefly had the thought that she could use them for a mosaic project, but she decided she didn’t want anything that reminded her of Josh in the house and took them to the trash can in the garage.
            That afternoon, Sarah Grace dropped by to report on her day at school. She entered through the garage, and Ellen had to compose her face when her daughter held up a shard of china and asked if it came from the teacup Josh had given her.
            “Yes,” Ellen said. “It got broken, and I had to throw it away.”
            “Oh.” Sarah Grace fingered the remnant of the teacup and tossed it in the kitchen trash. “Good. I’m glad it got broken.”
            Ellen relaxed for the first time all day. “Me, too, honey. Me, too.”


  1. Haha, at least she had the teacup to take out her frustrations on. :-) I was so sure you were going to lead the story to them finding out the teacup was priceless after she broke it - whew, glad you didn't go there!

  2. Now that Teacup Tale has been read, I can move on with the rest of my Saturday schedule. I always look forward to seeing what you've written. Glad Ellen only took her frustration and revenge out on a teacup. ;-)

  3. YES! Break that cup and saucer! I do indeed understand. How satisfying it must have felt to smash it to smithereens! I confess...I have felt that satisfaction...back in 1985. Sometimes giving yourself permission to feel is what is needed to move on. Great story. I love your Teatime Tales.

  4. As a mother of two daughters who had broken relationships, I can relate!

  5. Sorry to see any teacup get broken, but in this case, so happy it shattered! What a great release of tension! Wonderful tale, can't wait until next Saturday. Will we ever look in on these stories again so see what has happened since we last met? I would love to find out what these characters are up too!

  6. I too love your Teatime Tales and also look forward to reading on Saturdays! Momma & her little girl both thought alike and happy teacup is no longer a bitter memory among prized vintage English teacups!

  7. Another interesting tea-centric story. Thank you.

  8. Another good story. Thanks Angela.

  9. Another good one! No internet for me this weekend so I'm catching up this morning.

  10. Oh I like this one too.
    I would have done the same thing with that teacup.

  11. Good story Angela - you have such a way with words. I'm enjoying this series, Joanie

  12. I'm glad she smashed it into oblivion too - they say it is really important not to have articles around that bring out negative energy (Feng Shui) so out with the rubbish it went! That is yet another wonderful story, my friend. ♥


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