I hated tea until my sophomore year. My friend demanded I try the tea she had bought, and I agreed (only because she promised a lot of sugar). She had gotten Mixed Berry tea, which is sweet all on it’s own. Add three heaping table spoons of sugar, and you basically have hot juice. Because of that experience, and my general sweet tooth, I usually go for the sweeter, more fruity teas.
One of my favorite things about such teas is that a lot of them are red. I love playing with the tea bag, watching the red swirling around the water. Changing it from a light pink to a dark red. I could sit forever, swirling the tea bag around and around.
I don’t often drink tea anymore. It used to be a daily thing until half way through junior year. I don’t really know what changed, but one day I just skipped it. One day became one week, and a week became a month. I would have it every now and then, but not often. When I moved this summer, I started to pick it up a bit more. I’ve made it a couple times to take to school with me.
I made tea again today. Pomegranate tea in a Snoopy Christmas mug. I have a theory about why those specific things. Snoopy (and the Peanuts generally) has always been a big part of my life. My mom loved them, and thus passed that down to me. Every year we watch all the holiday specials, even when they’re out of season. They’re a comfort to me.
The last time I drank this specific pomegranate tea, I had just gotten out of a toxic relationship. I was still talking to the ex at that point. I was worried for him. He had a history of self harm, and had told me previously that if we were to break up, he wouldn’t be sure he could stop himself from committing suicide (don’t worry, he is alive, and last I heard, he was doing well). While we were dating, he often would tell me that I was his reason for living.
Certain tastes, smells, sounds, and images can bring back memories in a blink of an eye. For me, this tea brings back those days. Though it’s not like he wasn’t on my mind already, even though we broke up the summer before junior year. Every time I see or hear anything about suicide, I always wonder if he’s okay now. I always question if I could have done something more. If maybe I should have stayed with him.
For a second time this year, I have cried over him. Well, not him exactly. But because of the memories and guilt and worries all bubbling to the surface. The first time I had a panic attack because of it. Today I kept a better handle on my emotions.
Three presenters came to my sixth period class (the class I TA for) to talk about bullying and suicide prevention. Everything they said hit me like punch to the gut. Each word was a hit (POW! POW! POW!). Thankfully my seat is in the very back near the door. Before they started presenting, both them and the teacher said we could step outside or go to the counselors’ office if things got too emotional for us. I didn’t want to cause a scene, or necessarily talk about what was running through my head, so I stayed seated.
However, that didn’t mean that I didn’t get emotional. Tears and snot ran down my face while they talked. Some of what they said applied to me, some applied to him, some applied to several of my friends. But I was most concerned with him. I’ve been forbidden to talk to him. That’s been a rule since early junior year. It was for my own good. Every time he would message, it would send me into a panic.
As I’m not able to talk to him, I am not able to check in with him. I can’t ask him if he’s okay. I can’t ask him if I can help him. Though at this point, I don’t think he’d even want to hear from me. It was not a pleasant parting. A friend of mine basically told him to stop being a drama queen, fuck off, and never speak to me again. So he didn’t.
My teacher came over when she saw that I had grabbed tissues and was dabbing at my eyes (if I didn’t, my eyeliner would have streaked down my face, and I really didn’t need that). She asked me if I was okay, and I told her no. She questioned a little bit more, asking what was up. All I could say was, “something that happened sophomore year”. I told her I didn’t want to talk about it. She asked if I was going to be okay. I told her I would be, because I always end up being okay. It happened in the past, and it should stay in the past.
I might talk to her about it tomorrow. I might not. I guess it just depends if I feel I need to get it off my chest further. But drinking tea, writing it out, and listening to The Lord of the Rings soundtrack is helping a lot.