Part Eleven – Where Lisa has to choose
Lisa had a good day on her third day even though Arthur came to the café.
She had helped a man and had not talked to anyone else about the work she used to do. It was perfect, she thought as she stood in her shower.
Her angel came to greet her in the living room, but she just welcomed her and continued her day.
Walking to the café was refreshing. The weather was already warmer. With lots of snow and freezing temperatures, winter had been hard on everyone. This warmer weather meant she did not have to wear four layers of clothes.
Arriving at the café, she saw Emily and Theo talking inside. It looked serious.
She went in and said good morning as she approached them. Theo looked very serious.
“I hear we had an altercation yesterday” he was not smiling.
“If this happens again, please tell me I don’t want that kind of people in my café.”
“He was ok, just upset,” Lisa said.
“I was not hurt or anything like that, so don’t worry.”
“But Lisa, I am serious. I worked in places where nothing was done when people were abusive, so just let me know another time, ok?”
“Ok,” Lisa said, not knowing if there would be others.
Emily had been quiet but joined in.
“He looked scary when he grabbed you, Lisa.”
Lisa smiled. She was not used to others caring.
“I was used to some of that in my old job, so don’t worry, I am ok, but I will say something if I think it gets out of hand.”
“Thank you,” Theo looked at Emily with a smile. It was evident to anyone that he had love in his eyes when he looked at her. Lisa smiled and hoped someone would look at her with the same adoration and love one day.
Emily hurried to the kitchen to make cakes. Theo started cleaning glasses from the dishwasher, and Lisa went on her way, taking chairs off the tables and washing them.
They had gotten a rhythm already. It felt so natural to her. I should have done this ages ago. The moment she thought that her smile fell when she saw three dead people in the corner.
Oh no, she thought to herself but ignored them.
“I am not talking to you dead people,” she repeated to herself.
She had not even realized she was whispering when Theo looked at her funny.
“You are not what?” he said
“Ohh, nothing, it is just a thing I tell myself. Sorry, I won’t do that again” Lisa could have kicked herself.
Theo looked at her funny.
“Talking to dead people,” he said, “how is that a thing?”
Lisa almost panicked, but years of doing this made her compose herself within seconds.
“I once saw a ghost as a child and have been saying that ever since,” she smiled the best she knew how.
“Ah,” Theo said and smiled funnily.
She hurried on with her job and was almost done when another dead person came to the café. This time it was her sister Laine who wanted to know if she was getting ready to give up.
Lisa kept repeating her mantra for the day.
“I am not talking to you dead people” Without looking up, she put one sugar container on each table.
Laine stopped and laughed.
“Like you have a choice at all,” she shouted before disappearing again.
Lisa knew this was a warning to start working towards her old job, but she refused.
She loved what she did at the café. Also, she loved waking in the morning for the first time in years. This was her dream job, and she did not want to leave it at all.
The morning meeting was brief; only messages about cakes and coffee deliveries were discussed.
When the clock said ten, they were done with all the preparations and ready for customers to come.
No one was outside, and they all sat for a moment, relaxing.
“Lisa, what was your last job?” Theo asked.
“Communication,” she said, thinking she had answered this several times.
“Why did you want to open a café?” she countered to change the subject.
Theo looked surprised by the question but smiled and looked at Emily.
“I wanted to open my café because Emily needed a job,” he mused.
Emily looked at him and said
“Get a grip, old man. I could have gotten another job. You did not have to do this.”
“But Emily, I wanted to do that for you and no one else.”
They both laughed, and Lisa could not help smiling. She knew the words from Theo were true to his heart. They were such great people, and she loved working with them.
“So, what is the relationship between the two of you?” Lisa asked.
She had to ask because the love was deep, and she wanted to know.
Emily smiled and said
“He was my angel, savior, and friend.”
“She is the love of my life.”
“Do you live together then?” Lisa was curious since she had seen a dead man claiming to be Theo’s lover on her first day there.
“Yes, we do, even though we have lost a lot of people because they think he is an old man holding on to a much younger woman.” Emily laughed.
“How old are you,” she asked Emily getting suspicious.
“I am 20, and the old man I love is 42, so not that far apart” Emily smiled at Theo.
“Just a little old.”
“I met her when she was 17, and everybody went nuts because she was not old enough for me, and they had the right to judge me. She turned 18 only a month after we met. I saw her at a gallery and loved her from the moment I saw her.” Theo had a dreamy look in his eyes.
Emily laughed and said
“I looked at him and just knew he was my man. I did not see any more paintings after that. My family went insane once they found out and threw me out. So we have been living together since I was 18 and 2 months. I would not trade it for a moment.”
Lisa felt tears prickle her eyes.
“Oh, that is an amazing life story,” she said.
“I bet you have had many lives together and recognized each other,” Lisa said without thinking.
Theo looked at her and said,
“You think so? How would you know?”
Once again, Lisa could have kicked herself.
“I was just guessing,” she said, trying not to get flustered.
The bell saved Lisa as a customer walked through the door.
The only problem was it was a former client of hers. An older woman in a fur coat. They all stood up, and Lydia followed the older woman. The ladies were smiling, and when they saw Lisa, they started waving at her.
Lisa could have passed out right there. This was terrible, and they could blow her cover without hesitation or intention.
“Lisa dear, I am so glad to see you,” Lydia half-shouted.
Both Theo and Emily looked amused.
“Come to me, Lisa, and tell me what to do in life,” the other woman called Agnes said.
Lisa smiled and said
“I am coming,” looking at Theo, who now looked even more suspicious of her. Both Lydia and Agnes looked amused.
Lisa grabbed her notepad and went to greet the two old ladies.
“How are you both?” Lisa said, trying to sound friendly.
“We are fine, but why are you not taking bookings anymore?” Agnes looked almost insulted. “I needed to talk to you about some choices I have to make, but then Lydia told me you were here. Do you need me to pay a higher fee for a session?” Agnes did not smile.
“It is not about that; I simply needed to become more ordinary,” Lisa tried to sound carefree.
“What can I get you ladies” she smiled.
Agnes looked at her and said
“You could get me a piece of your best cake and coffee, black. And while you are at it, find me a session.” Lydia laughed
“I will have the same, dear.”
Cake and coffee coming up, Lisa said at spun round.
She was met with suspicious looks at the counter as she placed the note.
“How do you know these old ladies” Theo folded his arms.
“They are something else,” Emily joined in.
“They are just old clients from my former job. So sweet but also high maintenance.“ Lisa tried her best to sound casual.
Theo was not entirely sure he bought it but let it slip.
After a few moments, the coffee and pie were ready. Lisa was happy to serve the pean pie with whipped cream and coffee.
The two ladies were not taking no for an answer. Agnes was serious
“I will come here every day until you say yes to help me in my life and business.”
Lisa did not know what to do at that moment. Should she say yes and not be entirely normal, or should she insist on being ordinary?
This was a hard one because she knew these women, and they were used to getting their way.
“For the time being, I am not doing sessions. I am sorry,” she told them after serving their coffee.
“Then I guess we will see each other a lot,” Agnes mused.
“I guess,” Lisa said and went to the counter.
Emily looked at her with a weird expression.
“Is there a problem with the guests?”
“No, not at all. They know me from before and want me to be the same, but I am not,” Lisa assured Emily, who still was not convinced.
Lisa tried her best to look unaffected, but she knew this was only the start because soon, the place would fill with old clients and people she had helped in the past. God was funny in that way because she did not have the right to choose too much.
She could use her touch on her work, but work had to be done, and she had to be a messenger, it seemed.
The last time she decided this messaging was over, her dishwasher broke, her computer and her washing machine, and then she had three power outages in two days. It seemed like everything she touched turned into a damaged state.
She soon decided she would return to normal working messaging, and everything worked again.
This time she was determined to make her way without the messaging. She knew the universe and god would try to stop her, but she wanted it to be ordinary and have a typical job.
The two women had eaten their cake and came to the counter as they left. Lisa almost shook with fear of what they might say.
“We are leaving, but I guess we will be back tomorrow, dearest Lisa.” Agnes smiled.
“We will see you tomorrow then,” Lisa countered, not wanting to give anything away.
Emily smiled and said,
“You are welcome any day. Thank you for coming.”
They left without saying anything more, but Lisa knew they would be back every day for a long time as long as she said no.
It only took an hour before another of her old acquaintances entered the door. This time it was Mr. Miller she had helped to get the murderer who killed his daughter. She remembered him living far away, and it seemed uncanny that he would find his way to the café.
“Lisa!” he said as soon as he saw her.
He hugged her and smiled the brightest smile he could.
“How funny you are here.”
“Mr. Miller,” she said, showing him to a table at the far end. She did not want Emily to listen to this one.
He sat and smiled at her.
“It has been such a long time since we last met.”
“Quite a while,” she said with a smile.
This was one of the people she had loved helping because his grief would have killed him had he not gotten the help.
“What can I get you? We have cakes,” she said with a smile.
“Thank you.” He said, “I will look at it.”
Lisa went to other guests, cleaned the tables, and took orders before returning to Mr. Miller.
“I am so glad to see you, Lisa. My life changed after your visit, and I am almost ok again” he smiled with affection in his smile.
“I got a divorce, and we should have done that years ago” he looked thoughtful.
“Your visit changed everything because I saw myself too in everything you told me, and my dearest daughter came so clearly through. You are a life savior.”
Lisa smiled and blushed.
“I am only me, but I know there were so many messages for you that day, and I am happy for you, and to see your smile is amazing.”
“And what a person you are,” Mr. Miller was filled with positive energy.
“What will you have today?
“Key Lime and tea, do you have green tea?”
“We have green tea, So Key lime pie, and green tea?”
“Yes, please,” Mr. Miller said, smiling at her.
Lisa went to put the order on the counter.
Emily asked if Mr. Miller was a family member, and Lisa said
“No, someone I used to work with before.”
Emily looked suspicious.
“You looked very close to him, though. Were you that close with all you worked with?”
“No,” Lisa laughed, “but this one is special.”
Her orders for the other guests came, and they went on working.
When the order for Mr. Miller came, Emily said
“I will bring it to him. You see to the other guests.”
They had to go into the kitchen. Lisa had two dirty plates and a dirty mug in one hand. She did not want Emily to be alone with Mr. Miller. Emily was already out from behind the counter and on her way.
Lisa could do nothing but look at her as Emily went to his table.
Coming out of the kitchen, she saw Emily talking with Mr. Miller.
Oh no, she thought this was terrible, very bad.
She had other guests and knew she could do nothing to change what they talked about. A deep breath and move on, she thought.
Emily returned to the counter and handled the two notes Lisa had put there. She smiled and looked very thoughtful.
Lisa had a knot in her stomach and felt sweat on her back. She was not going to like what this was going to mean to her job. She was getting fired for sure.
This was a four-day career, she thought.
She said nothing and hoped it would all be ok. I have to breathe and find a way. This was a time to be strong and not be swayed, but was it that easy, she thought to herself.
A lot of thought came and went during the following hours of work. She looked at Emily, who looked at her from time to time. What did Mr. Miller say to Emily was the big question.
As her shift ended, she felt like she could breathe more. She was more than happy it was only a part-time job and not full-time yet.
They had decided on twenty hours a week for the first three months. Then they would choose if she wanted more hours.
It had been an excellent way to start because she was tired from working only part-time. She had saved money to survive fewer hours for a long time.
There was a customer pause about 30 minutes before her shift ended, and she stood by the counter, hoping Emily would not say anything.
She never looked at Emily and started cleaning cups and getting things into the kitchen. She brought out another cake for the display and washed the tables.
Emily said nothing.
When she got home, she brought something to eat and went to bed at five. She switched on a series on tv and fell asleep. Her tv had a timer and turned itself off after 30 minutes.
Her sleep was interrupted by a dead man, but she turned him away and went back to sleep. Then a dead woman came, and she did the same.
“I am not talking to you anymore,” she said sleepily, returning to sleep every time.