Magic always has a funny way of finding its way into your life when you need it most. It always started with a feeling - a tickle in the back of one’s subconscious, a fleeting shadow moving out of the corner of your eye, the sense of deja vu. Mia knew this to be true, looking back on how it started slowly seeping into her life. It was something so personal to her, something to be protected.
Being a solitary witch isn’t as bad as it sounds. Sure, there are moments when you’re preparing for a full moon ceremony and wish someone would help you pick up the proper incense, but what can you do besides stock up in advance?
Unlocking the door to the small café she runs, Mia flicks on the lights, taking in the clean and cozy scene before her. The sun is barely up, bathing what little it can reach during blue hour in serene blues reminiscent of sleepy dreams. It might be small but it’s filled to the brim with plants, oversized chairs, soft cushions, and candles. Really, it’s stereotypical but she can’t bring herself to care...not when this space fills her with a sense of belonging and security. The locals don’t seem to care much either, given how busy she constantly finds herself. Shrugging off her jacket, she walks to the small office in the back to deposit the garment and her bag.
With the spring equinox around the corner, Mia feels the heralding of something new like an itch under her skin. It wouldn’t surprise her, as it’s happened in the past, however, the energy she feels thrumming through her is different . Something or someone is coming that is going to mean a great deal in the grand scheme of things.
Shaking her head, she tries to push the errant thoughts aside. Going through her morning routine of starting the coffee, she takes a look through the available pastries she has leftover from yesterday’s bakery order. Known more for her coffees and teas, she isn’t terribly bothered that someone else provides delicious little morsels for her patrons. It’s been a long standing exclusive agreement between the baker and herself that allowed Mia to have a small expansion and upgrade done to the space.
The rest of the morning is spent preparing the tea blends for the day, something Mia takes great pride in. Not only are they good for you, but it’s true when they say intention is everything. A pleasant white tea to cleanse the body and mind, releasing intrusive thoughts. Rooibos for strength of heart & mind, and beauty, should she wish it. Peppermint to soothe the stomach and mind of anyone - expecting mothers to university students. It’s not the only thing she offers imbued with magic, but it is some of her most popular.
Flipping the sign to let the world know she's open for business at 7am, she smiles as she holds the door open for some of her regulars. These are the folks who get to their offices early, opting for a little extra “energy” in their coffees - a shot of espresso with cinnamon, enchanted to kick themselves into gear for a productive day. The morning continues on like that, with mothers stopping in before dropping their little ones at school, teenagers grabbing teas to help with focus - and luck, on the off chance there’s an exam they’re worried about - and the older crowd settling in with the paper.
Mia finally gets to take a breath around 9am, shooting a smile over to Aisha, the other barista who snuck in and jumped in to help at some point during the rush. Pouring a glass of iced tea for herself, she turns back to observe Aisha wiping down the counter.
“Thank you so much for jumping in when you did. You’re a lifesaver.”
The other woman scoffs and then grins. “You know it’s no sweat, boss. Sorry I didn’t get here earlier.”
“You showed up when I needed you most,” MIa says with a wave. “Cover while I sit down and go through emails?”
Aisha doesn’t respond verbally, quickly rolling her eyes and shooing Mia away before turning to the couple that have stepped up to the counter to order. Knowing that she’ll call for help if needed, Mia makes her way to the office while trying and failing to stifle a yawn. Pushing the door open with a hip and walking a short distance to the small desk, she places the glass on the surface as she drops herself into the office chair. Booting up the software that handles both messaging and all the back end ordering of supplies always takes forever, so Mia doesn’t feel bad checking up on Instagram and Twitter while she waits.
The day moves rather quickly after that, lunch and after school rushes busy but manageable like always. It’s only just turned 8:30pm - half an hour after closing up the shop - when Mia emerges, keys in hand. She’s only just put the second key into the top lock when a sudden breeze stops her hand. Eyebrows furrowed, she turns slightly to survey the street. It’s not quite deserted but is empty enough considering the time.
Strange. Very strange. She thinks to herself, ignoring the slightly uncomfortable feeling running through her in favor of finishing locking the door. It’s only when Mia finds herself closer to her apartment that she allows herself to think about the feeling she had outside of the shop. That feeling again of something drawing nearer. Whatever it is will have quite a bit of influence - it’s not just the energy of the spring equinox. It’s something more .
After fixing herself a small bowl of ramyun for dinner and washing up quickly, Mia settles into bed and opens her laptop to watch some Netflix. It’s late enough that settling on the couch to watch something would obviously result in falling asleep there. It’s not long before she finds herself yawning, eyes staying closed longer and longer, slipping into sleep.
Several days later on the spring equinox, Mia is standing behind the counter taking the order for a very kind older couple when the door chimes. That same energy she’s felt for days hits her again, eyes flying to the newcomer. A young woman much like herself with long black hair that lays over her shoulder, keen eyes sweeping over the shop’s décor before meeting Mia’s eyes.
Shaking herself, Mia redirects her focus to finish the order of the couple patiently waiting in front of her. While they move aside, she turns to prepare the woman’s tea and leaves Aisha to pour the man’s coffee and deliver the drinks. Taking a deep breath before turning back around, Mia touches the small piece of clear quartz around her neck.
“Welcome to Moon Tea & Coffee...what can I get for you?” The smile on her face is genuine as she lets her eyes take in the new face before her. Kind, knowledgeable eyes with a mouth slightly upturned at the edges, just enough to make you want to know what she’s thinking. No feelings of bad intentions or ill will.
“Hmmm,” comes the hum. “Everything looks wonderful...do you recommend tea or coffee?”
“Well, that all depends. Do you need to stay energized and awake? Do you require a calm mind? It all hinges on your needs.” Mia doesn’t say out loud that there’s more to her tea and coffee than meets the eye. She doesn’t know for sure yet that this stranger recognizes her energy, but she isn’t about to acknowledge it so blatantly either. In the end, it only takes a minute or two longer for the woman to settle on an iced black tea infused with peach - stability, protection and vitality all in one. How interesting .
It’s when it comes time for this new customer to pay that Mia knows for certain they’re aware of the magic she wields.
“May the nourishment of the earth be yours,” she mutters softly as the reader registers the contactless payment.
The answer is instinctive, a response bubbling forth to answer the call. “May the clarity of light be yours.”
“May the fluency of the ocean be yours…” brown eyes meet brown eyes. Energy flows between the two.
“May the protection of the ancestors be yours.” A shared exhalation. The traditional blessing between witches meeting for the spring equinox - the dawning of a new lifecycle, a fresh page - isn't something that is readily known amongst the masses. No, this is a bit obscure amongst the collective as a whole. Another moment passes as this new knowledge settles and finally Mia finds the motivation to avert her head with a nod.
“I’ll have your tea right out to you if you’d like to take a seat wherever you please.” she says, turning away slightly.
A nod is given in response. “If it’s not too much trouble and you’re not busy, would you please join me? I think we deserve to have a proper introduction after…. Well, that.”
Humming in agreement, she pulls down another cup to pour herself some as well. It’s only a minute or two later that she finds the other woman, settled onto one of two oversized chairs by a bookshelf and a very large, needing to be propagated, monstera. Setting the tray on the small table in front of them, Mia settles into the open chair after handing one cup over whilst keeping the other for herself. The pair sit in silence, settling into each other’s energy.
“So,” she starts, clearing her throat softly, “I know the exchange at the counter was introduction enough, but I’m Mia, the owner of this café and peddler of customized teas. I take it you’ve just arrived?”
A smile and hand are offered in return. “Yiren; nice to meet you. And yes, I just got in today...my grandmother had an estate here that I’m going to fix up. I needed a change and received it, one could say.”
Both women laugh knowingly. It’s one of those things that come with the territory...things just tend to happen, whether you will them or not. If the universe and the stars want it to happen, there is very little one can do to stop it. Silence settles over the pair again as they continue to sip.
“I think you’re very much meant to be here, you know.” Mia finally mutters, staring off into space, cup edge pressed into her bottom lip. A curious noise from the back of Yiren’s throat is her only response, a prompt to continue her thoughts. “I’ve been meaning to hire another person for the shop. Maybe have an in-house baker or cook.”
It’s Yiren’s turn to grin. “Lucky for you, I am a certified kitchen witch at your service, if you’ll have me.”
And just like that: the town has another witch as resident, a new hand at the tea shop, and a new friendship.
To say that the two fall into an instant friendship is an understatement. Despite being the owner of the shop, Mia has always been slightly introverted and Yiren steps easily into the place of a more sociable, engaging position. In a short amount of time, they open daily to a small line waiting for the quiches that Yiren makes, the perfect addition to a tea or coffee of the person’s choosing.
Everyone - and Mia does mean everyone - ends up loving Yiren, herself included. She is a calm presence and capable of so much care, Mia finds herself spending almost all of her time in the kitchen during slow moments. The two end up taking on the task of fixing up Yiren’s grandmother’s old house whose garden, whilst overgrown, was certainly the star of the show when it was properly tended to. That summer is filled with more cobwebs than either of them would like to see ever again, awkward tans from hours of weeding, and so much laughter that Mia truly can’t remember a time when she was alone.
Their practices compliment each other so well - a kitchen witch and solitary whose main focus is tea and coffee are a natural fit. Herbs overtake a small alcove by the kitchen almost immediately, and Mia never really noticed before that of all the spaces in her shop, that was the one she was never really able to fill. They move around each other like planets, customers always tell them. Their energies just flow in a way that changes the atmosphere in the café so subtly, it isn’t explainable.
Time passes in a blink...Samhain and winter solstice come and go, rituals for each performed in such tandem and with such fantastic results, Mia is floored. Her magic was never lacking, per se, but with Yiren, everything is just that much better.
Mia realizes that she is in love with Yiren a full 2 years after her arrival. The house was completely renovated by the next spring equinox...the summer and early fall lending themselves to outdoor improvements, while winter was the perfect time to tackle the interior. Letting her lease lapse was the easiest thing in the world to do, really, having come to an unspoken agreement that it just made sense for a part of this home to be hers as well.
She is the only one Mia wants to share good news with, faces hardships with. They are constantly in each other’s pockets in the best of ways and respect each other to know when either of them is in need of space. Mia has felt bits of doubt starting to creep in recently. Invasive thoughts and the nagging little voice in her head making her question everything, keeping her up at night.
Does she feel that same way about me?
I can’t and won’t fuck this up. Please let me not fuck this up.
God, she’s stunning in the morning.
I wonder if she needs a cup of tea?
Please, oh please....let her love me too.
Yiren, to her credit, knows that she is in love with Mia. The quiet, smart witch was one that she wished for growing up - a partner to have in magic and life. Sure, she never thought it would work when she was younger but after time, she kept wishing and wanting and throwing spells into the universe in the hope that somewhere she would have that other half waiting for her.
Getting that news about her grandmother’s estate was something Yiren knew would lead her to where she needed to be, with who she needed to be with. She always pictures Mia with the pink hair she had when they first met, despite it being a very lovely lilac at the moment. Yiren was captivated at how Mia worked her magic with the various teas and coffee. She had such an intuitive way about knowing exactly what people needed that Yiren envied her.
Her cooking was one thing - it was filled with positivity, luck, harmony but to look at a person and see what they need ...if only for a moment or for a test or to get them through a spot of bad health or issues with money? That was magic.
September was coming to a close...a time when Mia felt a true shifting in the air. Samhain has been one of those days in the witches’ calendar that she loves most, as cliché as it is. It is death to be sure - but more so an acceptance of change. Of a new season, a new year and all that it will bring.
Already there are plans in town regarding the festivities, and she would be lying if she said she wasn’t giddy about it. The leaves are good and crunchy now as she makes her way to the shop, already taking in the sight of the line of people ready for breakfast.
Yiren has been at the shop for an hour already, not needing much more time to have everything prepped and ready for the crowd. She's always let Mia sleep in that little bit extra, knowing that the finances and supply orders take some overtime, even with an extra set of hands behind the counter in the form of Onda, a friend of Aisha’s who now works for them.
The exchange of warm greetings as she approaches makes Mia’s smile even larger today. It must be the fall thrum that is finally settling in. It feels like something settling into place, almost akin to the feeling she had when Yiren first arrived.
Shaking her head, she moves past the crowd - who thankfully know by now that they’ll need 15 more minutes to be ready to open fully - and unlocks the door quickly, letting herself come face to face with the best smell ever.
Mmm, breakfast potato scramble.
“Good morning, light of my life...my darling...my dear.”
Yiren emerges from the kitchen, plate in hand. “While I appreciate you flattering me, you know I won’t withhold the starchy goodness from you.”
Taking the plate, Mia nearly faceplants with how close she brings it to her face, intent on breathing in the heavenly aroma up close. She is still face first in her breakfast when she utters a phrase not as quietly as she would have liked.
“I love you so much, I could kiss you right now.”
“So why don’t you?” comes the soft reply a heartbeat later. Mia freezes, her eyes shooting open to look at the other woman. She is met with a soft, unassuming smile and a squeeze to her free hand before Yiren turns away to head back into the kitchen. Onda finds her there 5 minutes later, plate still suspended in mid-air and startles her enough that the breakfast almost finds it’s way to the floor instead of her stomach.
It’s only after the morning rush that Mia can find a moment to visit Yiren in the kitchen. Subtly was never her strong suit, so she just goes ahead and asks.
“Did you mean it?”
“Oh Goddess....of course I meant it.”
Mia is sure her feet moved without her willing them to do so, because in the next instant, she is in front of Yiren. She presses their lips together in a soft kiss filled with love, promises and magic. Magic that sparkles and sings because this is everything. She is everything Mia could have wished for.
“You know,” Yiren whispers against Mia’s lips. “I wished for you...and I’m so grateful that you’re real and you’re mine.”
Mia can’t stop smiling, happiness overflowing from every part of her...magic really does find its way into your life in the best and funniest of ways.