Once upon a time there was a tea maker.
She was a very ordinary tea maker, but she did have one unusual skill: she was very good at matching the tea to the people that ordered it.
The tea maker lived in a Village of the Code with her mother, father, and little sister. Her little sister was temperamental and curious, always wondering what was outside of the Village and the Code. The tea maker’s father was quiet and withdrawn, for though he had been raised with the Code, he was not quite sure that he fully believed it.
But the tea maker’s mother, she believed the Code. Always she would attempt to help the leaders of the Village, and sometimes she held leadership within the village herself. She trapped her daughters within the Village that she might protect them from all harm.
However, things changed for the little tea maker’s family. Her parents started to fight, and her sister got more and more curious, until one day her father and mother were no longer able to stay together. The Village rejected such a breaking of its Code, and the tea maker, her sister and her mother were forced to the edge of the Village.
It was near the edge of the Village that the tea maker met the dancers. They were wonderful dancers, and they taught the girl that the Love that is taught through the Code is supposed to supersede the Law of the Code. And for a while, the little tea maker was happy.
But then the dancers began to drift away. One of the dancers introduced the tea maker to a pirate-girl and a mermaid.
At first the little tea maker was not certain that she liked the pirate-girl and the mermaid. She felt like she was transparent when she was with the pirate-girl, and the mermaid was loud and adventurous. There was not anyone like them in the Village, and the tea maker was afraid.
But slowly, very slowly, the tea maker got to know them more.
And first she could only talk through the eyes of the Code, as a girl that knew nothing else. But that slowly changed too, for the tea maker was a naturally accepting girl, and not even the Code that was hammered into her could destroy that. In this way, the little tea maker started to become friends with the mermaid and the pirate girl, and to share her gift with them.
For the mermaid, the tea maker often brought a calming cup of tea, and words of caution, for the mermaid was often like the sea that she lived in, racing ahead without a second thought. Sometimes, though, the little tea maker would bring a spicy cup of tea and words of encouragement, for the mermaid sometimes would be frightened by her tail, and need to be reminded that she could do anything that the rest of the world could do, even if it took a little more work for her.
With the pirate-girl, the little tea maker would bring a strong cup of tea and a sharp mind, and they would hold debates. The tea maker rarely won, for she was much too dependent on the Code, but she grew to enjoy these talks.
The little tea maker grew, and as she grew, she took to wandering further and further along the coast. As she grew more adventurous, the mermaid introduced the tea maker to Light, the lighthouse keeper on the coast. The tea maker liked Light, for she made her feel warm and happy, but she was uncertain of how to treat her.
However, there was a day where the little tea maker went far up the coast just to see if she could, and she found herself rather stranded after dark. She was unable to pilot a boat, and she feared that she would be stuck, as it was getting late. Light found the little tea maker, and for the first time, they really talked.
After that, the little tea maker went often to see Light. She would bring a calm cup of tea, and they would talk about the Village and its Code, or about different things they enjoyed.
One day, Light mentioned she felt that she might need to escape from people for a little while.
The little tea maker smiled and told her that no one could deal with as much drama as Light did all the time. People needed to rest. She then looked a little sad and told Light that the people of the coast would miss her if she completely vanished, though, so she should make sure to keep in contact with them. Face brightening, the girl told Light she had a gift for her.
Heading back to her house at the edge of the Village, the little tea maker made for Light a large batch of the soothing tea that she always brought with her when they met. Handing it to her, she told her that she could always have more of it. Then she told her, gently, that the friends that could only measure her were the friends that she should cut ties with, at least for a time, for they brought unneeded drama into her life.
“And I know that you like drama,” the little tea maker said, “but that’s no reason to have only drama. Take a break if you need to. They’ll still be there when you’re ready to face them again. Just like those stowaways. You had to kick them out when they came back to the lighthouse and trashed it, right? Don’t be afraid to do that to other people too.”
“Those of us that were raised with the Code tend to let others walk on us, because you know, the Code teaches us that. But sometimes you’ve got to be big and brave, and remove those that are creating drama in your life from your life, okay?”
After some more brief discussion, the little tea maker headed home again. But she was prepared to make more tea for her friends at any time.