Part Eight – Where the universe might be pushing it.
Lisa loved her Café job. After getting the healing part into a secret box with Emily and Theo, she enjoyed being there. She checked the chairs for felt pads and ensured everything was great when they opened.
The first one to enter the café once they were open was a man Lisa thought she knew but did not recognize. She knew she had seen him before but could not remember anything else. She almost turned her brain inside out but could not remember him.
Joe recognized her at once.
“Lisa, he said, do you work here?”
Theo looked at them both and went to greet other guests since Lisa seemed to know this man.
“Yes, and I am sorry, I don’t remember from where I know you.” Lisa was utterly confused.
“I am Joe. You came to message me from my wife last year. Don’t you remember?”
Lisa looked around to see if anyone had heard him. Luckily Theo had been distracted.
“I remember,” she said, “but I don’t do that anymore; now I am working here. Please have a seat, and I will tell you today’s cake menu. We have an apple pie with cream, a Vanilla cake with chocolate sauce, and ….”
The man interrupted
“You really don’t do messaging anymore?”
“No, not anymore. I have put it behind me entirely.”
The man’s wife came into sight behind him. She smiled and said the maker sent him to tell you to go back to your old job.
“Nope, not doing my old messaging job anymore,” she said again.
“What do you wish to drink?”
Lisa was getting very tired and annoyed. Why would anyone send her someone she had passed messages to? It would not sway her mind but make it even more determined.
“I will come back in 2 minutes, and you can tell me what you want to drink.”
“Can’t you pass on a message for my wife?” the man said.
“Nope, sorry,” Lisa had a stern tone, and as she turned, he said, “Tell Anna that Joe still loves her.”
Lisa looked at him and said, “She already knows.”
It would never be fast enough to walk to the other table to get orders because she was determined not to be found out. Lisa thought the couple sitting at that table only wanted coffee, so that was easy enough.
She was amazed at how easy it had been for her to work on the floor of a café.
She put the note with the coffee orders on the counter and went to Joe, the widower. He was looking at her, saying he was amazed she could just put it all behind her.
“It was easier than you would think,” she said, not looking at him.
“Are you ready to order, sir,” she said, pulling out her notepad.
“Yes, can I have some vanilla cake and a latte, please?”
“Sure,” Lisa smiled a big smile and left to go to the counter.
Anna, the man’s wife, stood over him and looked at Lisa as she passed.
“Come back to talk to us,” she said.
Lisa ignored her and went to get coffee for the couple and put the order down.
“Is he an old friend?” Emily asked. “Theo said he knew you.”
“Only an acquaintance,” Lisa said in a monotone voice.
Lisa did not want to leave her new job because of the old one. It was going to be ok, she told herself. She tried to sound casual.
She stood by the counter waiting for Joe’s Latte and cake, not risking anything. She felt the eyes of both Joe and his wife at her but ignored them. After years of knowing just how it felt to be poked for contact all the time, she ignored it and let it go. That was her plan from now on.
Cake and Latte ready, she went to give them to Joe.
Joe looked at her. “Please give my wife a message.”
“She is here, so you can just talk. I am not a messenger anymore.”
Lisa turned and left the table. Joe looked like he had just gotten a huge present, and he started talking to what seemed to be himself had Lisa not known the circumstances.
She smiled as she went to the counter because she had been able to say no, and it felt good.
Emily was curious.
“Where do you know Joe from?” she asked.
“Just my old job” Lisa smiled and thought it would be time to counter.
“Where do you know Theo from?”
Emily got all flustered.
“I know him from… Well, I know him from..” Emily stuttered. “I know him from Pain class.”
“Pain class?” Lisa had never heard about that kind of class before.
“Yes, we are both dealing with pains in our bodies and trauma, so we went to a pain management class and met there.”
“That sounds like it was meant to be,” Lisa said.
“Oh,” Emily had tears welling into her eyes, “you might think so.”
A new customer came into the café—an older lady with a mink fur coat and sunglasses.
“Wow,” said Emily. “She looks like she is off her normal turf.”
“She does,” Lisa said, knowing this was an old messenger client.
She went to greet her, and as soon as the woman saw Lisa, she said
“Oh, Lisa, are you here?” She kissed both her cheeks and went to sit by the window.
“How funny you should find this very café Lydia. How did you manage that?” Lisa tried not to sound annoyed.
“I was in the neighborhood and it looked like a nice place.” Lydia smiled.
“Well, that was unexpected,” Lisa tried to smile too.
“Do you want to order or wait a moment to look at the menu?”
Lisa hoped it would not be another one of the dead people visiting moments.
“I will take tea, white tea, and whatever cake you feel like I should try, dear; thank you.”
Lisa went to Emily, who looked like she did not know what to say.
“Don’t ask.” Lisa said, “She wants coffee and the key lime pie.”
Lisa put the small note down on the counter and looked at Joe, who was waving for her. As she approached, she could see he wanted to talk, but Lisa was, in no way, going to speak to him.
“Do you need anything?” Lisa asked once she was close enough.
“I want to talk to my wife like we did the last and first time I met you. I want to hear her words, please, Lisa.”
“I am sorry, but this is my workplace, and I cannot help you. Your wife is doing fine, so don’t worry but talk more to her at home.” Lisa said she hoped it would not cause a scene that she refused.
“Ok,” Joe said with tears, “thank you. I am sure we will meet again someday.”
“We probably will; payment is at the counter,” Lisa said and left.
Emily, who had no idea this was going on, smiled at Joe when he came to pay.
“Did you enjoy your stay with us?” she chimed.
“Yes, very much. I hope you keep Lisa because she is a keeper.”
“I am sure we will.” Emily smiled.
Joe left, and Lisa drew a sigh of relief.
Lisa knew she had to walk to Lydia. It would be round two of this day’s challenge. She wondered how many the universe would send her way before eventually giving up. She knew they would never give up, but she hoped they might turn down the amount.
She took the Key lime pie and tea, drew a deep breath, and walked toward Lydia’s table.
On the surface, this woman was well-off, polite, and in charge. But Lisa had seen her transform, crumble when her daughter died, and then unfold herself again. This had been one of the most amazing journeys she had been on with a client. It had touched her heart.
Lydia had thought she had been a great mom providing for her daughter, never lacking money. The pressure of money and demands had been hopeless for her daughter Loretta who had been a free spirit and a painter. She could never conform to whatever Lydia wanted for her.
When she had talked to Lydia, who was hard to get a hold of, she had seen a woman who did not understand that she had done anything wrong. After a long conversation, Lydia had crumbled into a crying pile of a human being.
She had finally understood that what her daughter needed the most was not proper education, money, or fancy things but a mother’s love and acceptance.
What Loretta had needed the most before killing herself was to feel loved.
With all this in mind, she went to talk to Lydia.
“Here is your pie and your tea” Lisa smiled warmly at Lydia.
“How are you?”
Lydia looked up and said
“I am good. I made changes to my life because I understood what needed to change. I have made a fund for struggling artists and counseling for them. Loretta gave me that present, and so did you, my dear. You taught me.”
“Actually, it was Loretta. I only translated.”
“But without you, there would never have been any kind of understanding. Thank you so much. I can never thank you enough. How did you end up here? Don’t tell me you quit being a messenger.”
“I did,” Lisa said. “I wanted to live like an average person and try to be me and normal,” Lisa tried to sound confident.
“Oh, my dear Lisa, you must follow your heart, I know, but I also know that you cannot outrun your mission in life.” She pulled out a business card.
“If you ever need a job or want to work in anything else, let me know. I can make it happen.”
“If you love this café, I will keep coming here and cheer for you, but I hope you find what makes you happy, dear. “Lydia sounded much older than she was but also with care in her voice.
“Thank you, Lydia. I will keep it in mind. I must go, but please enjoy your cake. Emily is very good with cakes.”
More guests came to the café, and soon it was filled with people. Some were working on their computer, some were talking, and every table was taken.
When Lydia got up to leave, she paid and left Emily surprised.
“Did she say anything?” Lisa was worried when she approached Emily,
“No, she just tipped you and said this was because you were you.”
“Is she not allowed to tip?” Lisa did not understand the problem.
“She tipped you $800,” Emily laughed out loud.
“You must have done something amazing because that cannot be my cake that did that.”
“Your cake is great,” Lisa smiled and knew this was Lydias’ way of showing love.
Theo came from the office and asked what all the fuss was about. Emily laughed.
“First came a man Lisa knew and then an old woman in a fur coat. Lisa knew her too. The older woman just tipped Lisa $800. I was laughing at the insane amount of money.”
Theo looked at Lisa, then Emily, and then back again.
“How did… why did she…” he trailed off.
Lisa smiled, “I don’t want the money, so can we just put all the tips in a jar and share them once a month? Like on the first of the month?”
Theo, still looking puzzled, said
“Of course, but don’t you want the money?”
“No, I am going to invest them into you two. We are all working here, so why not share,” Lisa said, knowing that Lydia had said they were for her only.
She hoped to buy some of the goodwill she desperately needed when the universe turned up the persistence.
They all went back to their places and moved on with their day.