thief, junkie.


“i love coming here!”

that’s what

she said each time

we sat down

for tea.

it wasn’t the respite

from the noise

of the city

that this place provided.

it wasn’t the

beautiful surroundings.

it wasn’t the time

alone with me.

it wasn’t even

the quality of the tea.

it was the sweetener

in the yellow packets.

“this is the only place i’ve seen it in india!”

she’d say

as she quietly slipped

packet after packet into

her purse.

i used to laugh

at her, calling her:



and countless other

words that

would have been less than

flattering if they’d

been overheard by

anyone around us.

but to her,

to us,

these words

were the way we

showed love.

it was the teasing

that made us smile,

because between us,

we both knew

that me calling her a

no calorie sweetener junkie

or a yellow packet thief

meant that i

noticed the little things,

that i knew

her better than

anyone else in the world.

i’m thankful for

those moments,

because as i sit

in the exact same spot

we used to sit,

writing about her,

drinking my tea,

happy that something

as mundane as

little yellow packets

filled with

dextrose, maltodextrin and sucralose

can elicit the kind

of emotions usually

reserved for the

the music, movies, words and places

of our past.


it’s the little things

that make all of

this hard,

but it’s also the little things

that make all of

this so.

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