Part Six – Where Lisa finds herself in a pickle.
The dead person, this time, was her sister, Laine. Her sister was not a happy one.
“What are you doing, Lisa?” she scolded.
“Going to work in a café? You know every time you try to work a regular world job you get bored, or you cant. Why set yourself up for failure again?
Remember when you worked in that bakery or when you were trying to be a tour guide?
What are you going to do?
Are you really trying again for another round of I am not ordinary but trying to act it?”
Lisa would not hear of it and ignored Laine. This time she was going to succeed no matter what anyone said. She was going to be in that café until she did not want to anymore.
She unlocked her door and went inside. I am hungry, she realized and thought about food. Her refrigerator was almost empty, so she had to buy some groceries. This hunting of loved ones around the city and even the country was making her home life unstable.
She could never count on being home or making appointments with friends. HA! She thought, what friends? They come and go too quickly, and I have to protect myself.
She sat on her bed, sighed deeply, and lay down instead of getting up to go shopping. This whole situation was getting annoying. From now on, she would be working regular hours in a café 10 minutes away and not travel and run around looking for others. It was going to be great.
In the corner of the apartment stood an angel. She looked straight at her angel and demanded to know what it was this time. The angel, who looked more like a taller version of Kim Da-Mi, smiled at her and closed her eyes for a moment.
“I am not here to scold or go against your wishes at all,” she said. “I am only telling you we might guide you in the right direction while you work at the café.”
“What now!” Lisa was looking exasperated, fiddling with her hair.
“Well, You will see in due time, but there are some things you cannot outrun, and your mission in life is one of them. Your mission is to help passed souls reconcile with their loved ones. It gives peace to the living. It also gives grounds for learning for the souls that have passed.”
“Blah blah, you are on about angel stuff again. I don’t want to be a part of this spiritual world. I don’t want to be a psychic like others who guess half the time and wear the right tie-dye clothes. I don’t believe in crystals and cards. I want to have a normal life and work normal jobs.”
“You can, but you have to embrace the part of you who have a mission. It is a part of your soul to be a guide.” The angel folded her hands in front of herself.
“You keep saying that, and I keep fighting you because I believe I have the right to choose my own life.”
“Lisa,” the angel sighed, “you have the right to choose the form, but you will always be a guide even if you fight it.”
“I am not talking to you anymore,” Lisa said, closed her eyes, and lay on the bed.
The angel went away, and Lisa sat up.
“Fucking universe!” She mumbled and went to get her coat to leave.
She looked at the ceiling and said I am not doing any more dead people things today, just so you all know!
She went grocery shopping without any more dead people coming to talk to her.
Lisa woke the next morning happy and ready to get on with her new life.
She sang in the shower. She danced while getting dressed and hummed while walking to the café.
The café was not open yet, and she went to the back door. There were Theo and Emily, and they let her in.
Theo was the owner. He looked nice because he was just over 40 years old with a mustache and dressed in grey pants and a grey waistcoat. He had a deep voice and a smile on his face.
Emily was thin and with long auburn hair. In a floral dress and flat shoes. Both of them smiled.
“I am so glad you are here,” Emily said when she saw Lisa.
“I am too” Lisa smiled her best.
As the door opened to the café, she could smell the smell of coffee, tea, and café furniture.
“Is the café all new?” she said, smelling the wood from the furniture.
“YES! We opened a week ago, and it has only been Emily and me. I am so glad you are here to help. Have you worked at a café before?”
“No, but I learn fast and love to help out, so we are going to be great, I am sure of it.” Lisa smiled the best she knew how.
“Will you give Lisa an introduction, please Emily? and make sure she does not get too much information. We don’t want to overload her on her first day.” Theo Laughed.
Lisa could not believe her luck. They seemed so lovely and not horrible at all.
Emily started with the rooms. Where the toilets were, the break room, storage, etc. Emily explained the whole thing well, and Lisa tried her best to remember it all.
“We open in 30 minutes, and then we can all sit down before that and talk about how we like to work.”
“Theo,” she shouted, “how does that sound?”
Theo had heard nothing and looked confused.
“Did I miss something here?” He turned around as he said it and spilled coffee all over the floor.
“You do know you have to hold on to things? that makes our work so much easier.” Emily had a sarcastic tone to her voice.
Both the women laughed and rushed to help Theo clean the floor. Theo looked exasperated but started laughing with them.
“What did you say?” he asked once they got closer
“We are going to sit down 5 minutes before we open for a talk, right?”
“Yes, we are,” he said with a rag in his hand and on his knees cleaning up coffee.
“Now we don’t need scented candles. The whole place smells like coffee,” Emily laughed.
Three people were on their knees on the floor. Lisa thought about how surreal this felt.
“Do you often have meetings on the floor?” she asked and laughed.
It was a great time before they opened for customers, and Lisa loved the place already. This was going to be great. She was sure of it.
Once the doors opened, people would start ordering. They had put Lisa on ordering and cleaning, Emily at the counter making the orders, and Theo was the one to spread the good mood he had.
Lisa saw a couple sitting by the window. The man was around 50, and the woman around 40. He looked nice, and so did she. Lisa was super nervous about approaching them because she had only approached others when it was for work and with a dead soul beside her.
“Can I help you?” she said with the most pleasant voice she could muster.
“You sure can,” said the man.
“Can we get two black coffees and an apple pie slice each?” The woman nodded. “I hope the pie is good.”
“Emily made it this morning, so it is good,” she wrote on a piece of paper with the table number on top.
Emily had taught her to do that. Otherwise, the orders would be confused. Emily had told her many useful things in no time. Right now, Lisa could not imagine she would forget anything.
She put the small piece of paper on the counter and went to another couple at the other end of the room. There were 16 tables in total, so not the biggest nor the smallest café.
She saw a dead man standing by the first couple but did not want to mix up her old and new job at all. She was going to ignore him, that was for sure. She did not want to do anything with dead people today.
He was standing by the woman and looking at her. Lisa told herself I am not doing this as she approached the table with their coffee and pies. I am so not doing this.
“Is everything ok?” She asked the couple, and the woman said she thought it was a little cold.
Yea, because there’s a dead man behind you, she thought but said, “I will get you a blanket” instead.
She asked Emily where the blankets were and went to get one.
She gave the blanket to the woman and ignored the dead man. The other couple at the other table had to be served too, which was her focus. The dead man started talking, but Lisa refused to listen. No way! This was a café job, not a psychic booth or her old career.
Since they were the only two couples in the café, she went to stand with Emily and maybe even learn how to use the coffee maker.
As soon as she did, the dead man came and talked about the woman by the window.
“She is sick, you see, and she doesn’t know. You have to help me save her, and you have to.”
Lisa tried her best to ignore him. Go away, she wanted to channel it to the dead man.
After almost an hour of talking, the dead left, and Lisa drew a deep sigh. Thank God, she thought.
I am so not doing this every day. It is going to be almost impossible to keep dead people away. And then it hit her. She could burn some sage. Was that not what the psychics used in their houses? But was it to keep the dead people in or out? she could not remember. This changing business was tricky.
She was on point with most of the things she did during her first shift and was looking forward to going the next day when she got off.
Theo was happy she had been there and done so well, even though he had been at the office most of the day. It had not been busy, so it was a great way to start, Lisa thought. Emily had even said she had been good. Maybe she would be great at it.
As soon as she stepped out into the street, a flood of dead people was waiting for her. Six or seven, Lisa counted.
“I am not doing anything for any dead people,” she thundered, “so stop yourselves!”
“I don’t want to be harsh, but go away!”
A woman walked by and looked at Lisa like she was almost scared of her. Lisa sighed and realized she had said it out loud. “It must look insane to other people,” she scolded herself. “I have to be more careful.”
She had to go home and along came all the dead people. They all tried to get her attention by talking or making noises. She ignored them and walked like an average person going home from work. Nothing out of the ordinary here, she wanted to look like nothing was going on.
She was almost home when she heard Laine’s voice, and she paused. She turned to see Laine stand amongst the dead people. Nope, not doing that Laine!
She started walking again.
“I am just going home, going home, going home,” she sang in a low voice.
Nothing worth seeing here. Just going home, the song became more intense.
As soon as she reached her house and went into the apartment, the house was almost filled to the brim with dead people.
“Look! she said out loud, I am NOT doing anything with dead people for the next weeks. I will give my job a real chance to settle in, so don’t start with me because I will not react. And Laine, I am glad you are here but not if you will make me work.”
So that is settled; Lisa was getting hungry and went to the kitchen and started making noodles.
After a while, the dead went away. Lisa wanted to live as she had never done before.