Through His Lens (edited version)

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English breakfast tea is serious business

I shivered slightly as a breeze picked up and wrapped the blanket closer around me. Even though it was October here in California the weather during the day was still as warm as ever. The evenings though the temperature really dropped.

I was currently sat outside wrapped up on a sofa on the back porch. I came out here a lot when I felt like clearing my head as it was the perfect place to relax. The house was in a residential street but Lindsay and Simon had a big back garden. It was a great place to watch the sunset and then if you stayed out long enough you could watch the stars one by one start twinkling in the sky.

The back door creaked open as Lindsay crept out to join me. She sat on the other end of the sofa and held out her hand, passing me a mug of tea.

'You'll be pleased to know that's the proper stuff. I buy a big box every time I'm in the UK. I fully understand what you Brit's say, the stuff we have here is not proper English breakfast tea.'

I smiled at her and took in the comforting smell that reminded me of home. I wrapped my hands tightly around the mug and sunk down further into the sofa.

'You even put milk and sugar in it.' I noted.

Normally when you ask for tea here they don't add milk. She'd made it exactly how I had it at home. I took a sip and sighed contently at the perfectly made tea.

'Your mom taught me actually. When I first came to the UK it was for university-

'That's where you met wasn't it?' I interrupted.

'That's it. We were in the same student halls. It was friendship at first sight. She said she knew it was her mission when we became friends to teach me how to make a 'proper cuppa'.'

I laughed at the horrendous English accent she'd put on.

'She said in all seriousness "Americans are good at a lot of things but one that they always fuck up is tea. Milk and sugar was how she always took it.'

A smile crept up on her soft features as she reminisced on old memories.

'It's how I take mine too.'

She looked over at me and gave me a soft smile.

'Well you're so alike her in many ways, even down to how you take your tea.'

I could feel my smile tighten. My Mum has always been my idol. When I was growing up, I always wished to be as beautiful and funny as she was however, I always felt like Nora was more like my mother than I.

'Do you really think so?'

'In so many ways Evie, you have no idea. First of all, you look so like her.' She stopped and looked me dead in the eyes. I could see a fierceness and determination behind them.

'The first time I saw you at the airport you took my breath away. It was like I was back in time to the first day I met her. You have similar mannerisms as well. The way you say thing sometimes, it's actually a little frightening. It reminds me of college and how old I am now.'

She laughed a little, like making a joke was helping her grieving ramble.

'I probably shouldn't say this but Evie you being here is helping me.'

I scooted over to where she was sat on the other end of the sofa and linked my free arm through hers. We both sat there sipping our tea and looking out into the darkness.

'Being here is helping me too.'

Like bursting a bubble, it was as if saying that brought Lindsay out of her reminiscing and back to reality.

'God Evie here I am getting upset when it's me who should be asking you how you are.'

I shrugged like it was no big deal and placed my mug on my lap.

'I'm doing ok.'

'No don't give me that, tell me how you really feel.'

'Really I'm....processing it all. Slowly it gets easier. Being here with everything new is a welcome distraction.'

The way she was looking at me made me think she didn't fully believe me but she didn't push it.

'How about sleep? I noticed you're still waking up early.'

They hadn't really mentioned it since I first arrived but I knew they were worried about how little I slept. It felt like to start off with they wanted me to settle in and feel comfortable here but I knew they didn't miss anything.

'I'm still having nightmares and I can't sleep in any later than 5am but the running helps.'

'But you're still taking the medication?'

Oh yes, another person I'd made that promise to.

I nodded in reply knowing fully well that if I spoke, she'd see straight through my lie.

'I'm enjoying school.' I hoped she wouldn't notice my obvious change of conversation.

'Good! I'm so glad! You're making lots of friends?'

'I am yes. I've got Taliah to thank for that though. Without her I probably would've spent my first week by myself.'

'Oh, I don't believe that for a second. I'm glad you and Taliah get along so well though. I'd hoped you would but I didn't want to force anything.'

I smiled at how much I really appreciated everything Taliah had done for me. Really, I didn't know how I would've coped if she hadn't taken me under her wing. I knew before I got here that Lindsay had a daughter and I prayed that she wasn't a demon bitch and thankfully luck was on my side.

'We really do.'

'And you've met my nephew Harrison.'

'I have yes. We're actually working together for my art and his photography project. It was decided the other day that we should work together as it'll help us try to get as high a grade as possible.'

'Well this is great. I'm sure you two will work great together.'

She shifted on the sofa and turned to me.

'Actually, that reminds me, I forgot to mention the other day that we're supposed to be having lunch as my sister's house this Sunday. I hope you don't mind but I said yes on your behalf as well, but if you don't want to go that's ok.'

Her sister as in Harrison's mum. I hadn't learnt that much about the rest of Lindsay's family so I was intrigued to learn more about the family tree. Ok and I was excited to go into Harrison's house but that's weird isn't it? Not in like a creepy way but more, I wonder what his room looks like. Is he a neat freak or has he got crap all over the place?

'I'd love to go, as long as I'm not intruding.'

'Of course not, you're part of the family! You're never intruding!'

Her face was screwed up in an appalled look like I'd really just offended her.

'As long as you're sure. And I wanted to say I hope you know how grateful I am for everything you and Simon have done for me. I can't say thank you enough.'

'Evie stop with this. You don't have to keep on thanking us. Like I said you're part of the family. We see you just like we see our son and daughter.'

She wrapped me up in a hug and a few stray tears escaped from my eyes.

'Everyone's so excited to meet you by the way. They ask about you all the time. At least you've already met Harrison so that's one person down.'

'I hope they like me.'

'They're going to love you. It's kind of obvious with the fact that everyone you've met thus far has loved you. Taliah even let slip that you're quite popular at school.'

'She just loves the fact that people are talking about me. From what she's said they haven't had a new student in a long time so everyone has had something to say.'

'Good things I hope.' Suddenly she got all Mumma bear, like if one person had said a bad thing about me, she'd put them in their place.

'Well so far the consensus is that I'm either a British royal or an MI5 spy. I'd be happy with either to be fair. Actually, no a spy is cooler.'

'Really? I'd love to be a princess. Think of all the free things you'd get sent.'

'Nice to know freebies are the way to your heart.'

'Of course. This woman likes presents.'

We chatted outside for a little longer until it started getting late and the tea had been drunk. After that we both strolled up to bed, me falling asleep as soon as it felt like my head hit the pillow.

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