‘Spicy’ Chai

I have an acquaintance, long forgotten to the history of a previous life. A life I do not spare much thought. As luck would have it, somehow the man skipped bail recently and tracked me down. Now I do not consider myself to be a man of much empathy, seems my saviour complex might have got the better of me.

This man from history has a way of barging in at the most inopportune times, at work, at home, during a meeting, most likely because he has not found another job. His entire existence now filled with the fellowship of his old acquaintances. Every time this happens I accommodate him. Surely this is the humane thing to do. We drink tea. His making it lessens the sting of the untimely intrusion.

I am a strong-willed fellow and considering his history, I am weary of the chit-chat that accompanies these increasingly lengthy tea breaks. I began to find his appeals all the more appealing, his suggestions all the more riveting, and his logic, common sense. How is it possible that a man of such intellect could have ended up where he did?

Today during tea, I experienced a strange sensation. The tea had been rather ‘spicy’. I did not make much of it at the time but resolved to save the last bit in the cup for the sake of my inquisitiveness. Upon examination and testing would you believe it, ‘spicy’ indeed! The tea leaves had been mixed with a rather strong concentration of poison ivy leaves.

Turns out this has been going on since the beginning. It started with a smaller concentration gradually building up with every interaction. This made my conscience more susceptible to the blabber. It lowered my defences and drowned out the voices of warning. Today, fortunately, he overplayed his hand!

For months I have been duped by a previous acquaintance that in his usual manner, glided into my life with my permission against my better judgement, planting seeds in my head that my strong-willed conscience grew into rainforests. All this for the purposes of his own amusement and to ensure that I end up the same way he did.

Water and oil do not mix. I cannot have both the old life and the new. Each on its own has its benefits and its doubts. Combined however, they become poison. I chose my new life because it is far better than the old. Why would I ever wish to go back there? Why would I dilute the value of my choice for the sake of those who never wish to cross over?

From now on, I commit to making my tea from the freshest ingredients.From now on I commit to protecting my clearness of faculties and in so doing, the truth in my conclusions.

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