Rik's warm and friendly ways did win over most of the ladies in class, except one--Suzie. She was a regular at the shop at that time, and whenever she came in, we'd sit and have a nice cuppa. If the subject of Rik came up, she would get visibly nervous and fearful. I questioned why she felt that way, since I was convinced of his gentle nature.
Her description went something like this: "He has the eyes of the devil--they're black!" and "He wears a ring with skulls on it!" I just had to laugh every time she ran through her litany of fear. I tried to convince her of his true character, but she was convinced that he was the devil himself. I told her that she just needed to meet him some day and she'd see his true and gentle nature--and, if she looked, she'd see that his eyes are really a beautiful blue!
Well, as luck would have it, and the stars were properly aligned one day, we were sitting there whiling away a late afternoon over tea and who do you suppose waltzed casually into the shop? Biker Rik, of course! I thought Suzie would die! She immediately took on a look of horror and I grabbed her arm to reassure her. I said, "Now, I'm inviting Rik to join us, and I want you to look closely at his eyes."
It took all the strength she could muster, but she forced herself to sit and join in conversation. After about 5 minutes I could see her begin to relax. We were joined by various others as the afternoon wound down. Her husband and daughter came after running their shopping errands. My hubby came in after work for a late afternoon sip. My friend Margaret, who is like a surrogate mother or aunt to me, and another friend, Helga, whom I've known for many years also straggled in. And after about an hour and a half and the magic of many cups of tea, this cacophany of souls had solved most of the world's problems and were laughing like a circle of old friends who'd been together for eons!
As I've said many times before, "Behold the power of tea!"