Carroll walked around the block to the tea shop on the other side.
Not long after she met David he announced that he was quitting his job as a construction worker and was going to open a tea shop.
It turned out that he had quite a passion for the stuff. He knew every kind of tea there was and what kind of tea was best for when you weren't feeling well.
And he drank it all the time. He never drank coffee.
She smiled remembering the time she had made him try it.
She looked up at the swirling print above the door:
'The Looking Glass'
She knew Alice liked the book 'Alice in Wonderland', but this was starting to get a little ridiculous.
It didn't exactly help that her name was Carroll like the authors last name.
But really! A girl named Alice, who owns a tea shop called 'The Looking Glass'. And dates a crazy tea obsessed man who's nick name is 'Hatter'!
Though she could see why he was called that. She rarely ever saw him without a hat on that messy mop of his.
Not to mention all the amazing things he could do with a hat! She reckoned it must have taken him years to get his tricks right. But he told her he'd been able to do them since he was a little kid.
She liked David. At first it was a huge shock to see him suddenly kissing her daughter when they had apparently only met once before, not to mention that Jack had proposed to her only the night before. But after they went out and had some pizza they had told her how they met.
She could tell it was an utter lie, and David was an amazing liar. But she was even better at sniffing out a rat.
But she didn't exactly mind. She had a feeling they would tell her the truth one day. And she could see how much David loved and adored Alice. She had no doubt he would jump in front of a bullet for her.
Carroll had seen all that as they were telling her the story. When Jack had come around she hadn't seen him look at Alice like that, not once. He looked at her almost as if she were a possession.
So for that she liked David even more. And it was clear that Alice loved him back.
She walked in and sat down at a barstool by the counter. A small man who looked very feminine despite the fact he had a moustache, called Donny came up to her.
Apparently David had once owned a tea shop elsewhere, Donny had worked for him. Then he had worked for a while in a rehab centre, but he didn't really like it there and had hunted David down and asked for another tea shop job.
"Hey Carroll," he squeaked. "Tea and Borogove Pizza?" he said suggesting her usual. She nodded and he began to scurry away.
She had no idea what hey had called it 'Borogove' pizza or what meat they used on it, but it was good.
She laughed in confusion when she saw a new sign hanging behind the counter. 'No Oyster Tea' it read. Ugh, Oyster tea… that must taste terrible! Who in there right mind would want to drink that!
A few minutes later Donny came back out with her order.
"Alice and Hatter are… ugh… busy… out the back," he told her.
She sighed as she bit into her pizza. Was she the only one who called the poor boy by his real name!
She looked around at all the customers. She was proud of Alice, they really were doing well. But some of the customers were so odd!
A few of them could only be described as animal like. Like the man in the corner that looked like a horse with his long face. To her Donny looked like a mouse.
Then there were the ones who dressed weirdly… well… most of them dressed weirdly. Miss matched clothes, costume like things and clothes that looked like they were from another era. Not to mention the bright colours.
At least there were some normal looking people here today.
Curiously she watched one of the weird people walk up the steps. She remembered Alice quickly breezing over about guest rooms being up there or something like that. She'd never been up there before.
Quickly she drunk the rest of the tea, and when Donny wasn't looking she snuck up the stairs.
She peered into the first open room she came to. It was indeed a room. It was neat and tidy but all it had was a bed, a bedside table and a light. No draws or cupboards… not even a clock.
This level was full of guest rooms, some empty some occupied.
Then at the end of the corridor it widened into another room. It was empty, except for a large old framed mirror on the far wall.
It was beautiful and she found herself drawn towards it. She walked up till she was standing right in front of it.
Its intricate gold frame work was amazing. Slowly she reached out her hand to touch the glass…
"Carroll!" she whipped around at the sound of Donny's panicked voice. But as she did her heal caught on the other one and she fell back onto the mirror.
But she didn't hit the glass like she expected to. She kept falling. She fell through the glass and down a tunnel vortex like swirl of colours. She was so shocked that at first she didn't even realise how hard it was to breath.
Then she hit ground. She was dizzy and uncomfortable. But thankfully her only injuries were a few bumps and scratches from the branches digging into her.
Dazed she looked around… somehow… she was sitting in the middle of a large green forest.