“You know what I could really go for?” Teddy asked. Not really asking Phung, his wife of eighteen years, who sat beside him on the porch and looked out on the field painted orange by the sun setting, but more asking the world, the ether around them, life in general. Phung, though, knew he was about to ask her for something.
“What’s that, Teddy?” she asked.
“A nice tall iced tea. Not caffeinated – too late in the day for that. I don’t want to be up all night. But something herbal. Maybe a little fruity.”
“Hm,” Phung said. “That sounds nice.” She continued to sit beside him, looking out on the wide expanse of grass, this boring little landscape she had settled on with this boring little man. She knew what was coming, but had spent the past eighteen years trying to train him in something better than passive-aggressive requests, and she would be damned if she’d give that up now.
“Hon,” Teddy said.
“Yes, dear?” Phung said, her voice just on the polite side of sarcastically insipid.
“Would you make us some iced tea? Something herbal, maybe with a bit of fruit in it?”
“Oh, I’m a bit tired, Teddy. You know where everything is.”
“Yes, but you make it so well.”
Phung sighed and stood. “Sure. You want a cigar, as well?”
“No thanks, just the iced tea.”
Phung walked inside and made her way to the kitchen. She put the kettle on, then opened the cupboard. She pulled out four bags of tea for the pot – two herbal, two orange pekoe. She waited for the water to boil.