In the one moment of silence, I took a sip of my tea, my eyes facing downward, into the cup. The moment seemed to last forever; we'd been laughing and crying so much it was like a disturbance. I was a woman at a table of women who were all the same person; different in appearance, maybe, but the same personalities, the same dispositions; but the similarity that stood out the most was that they all reminded me of myself. They had all come after me, they had all felt the same things I had, had the same things whispered to them behind the same closed doors in the same bedroom. It was surreal.
"Remember those ridiculous dog tags?" Emily cackled. My head shot up immediately, I was defensive towards her. She was the only one out of the six other girls who had come just before I had; she was the first. Long brown hair and dimples, tall; cute overall. Nothing special. But she had been special to him, and that was all that mattered. I was supposed to be the standout one, the one who was better than all the rest. But he'd been with her before he even knew my name. Emily's presence threatened me. And she had thought of this little gathering, not me.
I remembered that I pulled open my mailbox and saw the bright pink envelope addressed to me, Amanda. The return address was the one of this girl, Emily, who I thought I might have heard of before. I tore open the envelope and read the invitation. It wasn't even in a column. It was just written in a paragraph, sloppy handwriting. What an idiot, too. You didn't put invitations in a paragraph. This still bothered me.
"Come to a tea party," it read, "two 'o clock at Damon's Tea and Baked Goods on 87th and Riverside. It's right next to him." At first, I thought the chick was crazy. I had no idea what she was talking about. Who was HIM? What the fuck was she talking about? 87th and Riverside-that's when it hit me. I just hadn't thought about him for so long. Suddenly, I knew who Emily was. I remembered. I remembered everything right away.