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This week we have the partnership of Joaquín Argüello Urroz, 3rd year student of Degree in Literature and Creative Writing. He is the author of this story, in which restlessness and feelings are condensed in a cup of tea...

I was savoring the tender scent of Saturday afternoon when I heard a delicate knock on the door. I set the cup down on the table and went to see who was calling. I peeked through the mail slot-my door has no peephole-and saw the neighbor's hips, who has formed a habit with me of honoring tea time. Mario is a man of stature 

leaveHe had platinum hair and deep black eyes; that day he was carrying a book in one hand and a container of jelly in the other. He soon took a seat. I sat down in the green velvet armchair at conference room and watched him open the book. You know what's funny, he said. That there are vocal cords, but no consonant cords. I think he suffers from some subject of dementia. I looked at him with thoughtful seriousness and offered him the cup. Surely there is something fascinating in that uprooting of reality, a whole world, a whole story. Like a flash of lightning I suddenly saw my wife's face, and her voice fell harshly on me.  

-Mario, did you get lost again? 

Like a flash of lightning he was gone too. I looked at Mario, who was now busy with his eyes deep in his reading. This was a book I had read and reread many times already. I could even say that I knew the plot and the little stories that came out of it perfectly well, and I would even be able to accurately quote some of the phrases that resonated best in its pages. 

Since Mario was already well advanced in his reading, I had no qualms about throwing him one. And I said, with a certain feeling of serene complicity, "he who doesn't have report, makes himself a paper one". I looked at him and he looked at me, and smiled back at me before returning his attention to the novel. The complicity I offered him came back to me like an echo, like a circle that I began to trace and he finished closing. That's one of the reasons I like spending time with Mario. 

Happy to savor the gentle conviviality offered by my neighbor, I reached out to take a sip of tea. Not only was the tea already cold, but there was hardly any left in the cup. I was surprised, as it had only been a moment since it had been served, and I hadn't had any yet. Someone had been drinking it right under my nose, because it hadn't been me. Mario couldn't have done it either, he had barely taken off his book, and he was drinking from his own cup. I called my wife.  

Quickly she arrived, with a worried face, wiping her wet hands on her apron. 

-What's wrong? Are you okay? -Do you need anything? 

-Someone drank my tea. 

-You must have been yourself. 

-It wasn't me, Martina.  

-Who else could have drunk your tea? 

I saw Mario, who in turn was looking at me from the armchair. And I felt ashamed. -You were here a second ago, I remember. Tell me, did you drink my tea?

-I come from the kitchen. 

-Who took it, then, if it wasn't you, huh? You're not going to blame Mario. 

She looked at me as if she had nothing to say.  

-Answer me. 

Then she seemed to be embarrassed too.  

-Answer me, woman! 

-Stop it, Dad, please, take it easy. 

She burst into tears. Suddenly I felt something was wrong, and I opened my arms to her. She threw herself on top of me and increased her crying.  

-Excuse me, if you want I can make you some more tea," she said, discomposed. I tried to calm her down, but in my eagerness to silence her anguish I was suddenly prevented by an affliction that came from within me, welled up in my stomach and went up. Soon I felt it in my gullet, and when I realized it was pouring out of my eyes, even more uncontrollable than hers. I didn't know why she was crying, just as I don't know why she cries every night when she puts me to bed. But I realized then that I didn't know who the woman clinging to me was either, only that she was hugging me, just as she hugs me every night when I go to bed, and sometimes I cry too. Suddenly I remembered that the neighbor was still there, and I looked back at him. Now he was crying too, and he was looking at me, with a woman clinging to him. He was looking at me in grief from the high green velvet armchair. 

If you liked the article, you might be interested in one of our Degrees!

Language and Spanish Literature

language and Spanish Literature + Creative Writing




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