There was once a tea shop at 18 Zavian Street, which sold memories. The memories were held together in white crystal bottles and written over them with black ink was the year they were from. There were memories from as back as 100 BCEs and memories as new as from yesterday. The tea shop was manned by a huge old man named Albert Dunning.
Little was known about Albert Dunning to the people of 18 Zavian Street. Nobody knew where he came from and when he started the shop. As long as anyone living in the street can remember, the tea shop was always there, waiting for new customers in the morning with its opened red doors and at night closed with a huge sign that read ‘Closed‘ hanging over its door. People came to the tea shop from all far away places to get their hands on new memories.
Albert Dunning made the memory tea himself for everyone. First he would make the tea which is the simplest part of the process; and then he would take a crystal bottle from one of his tall shelves. Nobody can decide which memory he will pour out on their tea. Some people had enjoyed one of their best memories in his shop, but some were disappointed by the memories he put in, but they still came back to his shop hoping he would give them a good memory one day.
One fine day, say the 29th of September the residents of 18 Zavian Street went to the corner of the street as always in the morning to enjoy a warm cup of memory tea. But the people are said to have stood before the tea shop (what used to be the tea shop) in shock. They were bewildered as they realized the tea shop was no longer there and it was as if it had disappeared into the air.
Nobody saw Albert Dunning after that, but stories about him and his strange tea shop are still passed between the people and the occasional travelers who came to the street, who always wonder how someone can sell memories. How the tea shop came about and it’s sudden disappearance is still a mystery for people of 18 Zavian Street to ponder over.
I see the waiters walking here and there. People, they appear and disappear. I watch them talk and see their faces brimming with joy. My own coffee sits in front of me, untouched. I put down the pen and reach for it. I sip the coffee for a little while and put it back on the table. Then I go back to seeing, hearing and observing closely everything around me.
I am new, my mind echoed. I am new to the place surrounding me fondly. The people, all of them are absolute strangers. They are now painting their faces to my mind for the first time. I would forget, I know that. Memories are made in almost every moment but only some stay in the heart forever. Those are the special ones. The unforgettable ones.
I remember days when I was truly happy from my past. Days when I have tasted freedom and the kind heart of others. I walked down the memory lane and people from my past appeared. My childhood friends, neighbours and others who had touched my life in unknown ways. I remembered my days with each one of them and a tentative smile bloomed on my lips. I heard their words and conversations from long ago, humming on my lonesome heart. My heart fluttered alive and then suddenly the smile vanished as I was pulled back by reality. I came back to the coffee shop where I sat down at the corner table. All alone with a half finished coffee cup in front of me.