Part Twelve – Where things start out good
In the morning, she had slept enough.
For the first time, she was not looking forward to work because she had no idea what Emily and Theo would say. She was sure they had heard and wanted to know more about what some clients said.
It was hard to explain without scaring people; she did not want that with Theo and Emily. They were such friendly people. Lisa did not want to be defined by other people’s stories anymore. She wanted to be ordinary and not spend her whole life traveling from one story to another.
She was thinking about all the things she had to miss out on because she was going with a message to someone. Lisa was turning away from her old life. She needed to prioritize her life and world, and working at a café was perfect. She knew God might have another plan for her, but she had to let that thought go.
A dead messenger is not a messenger, she thought to herself.
She walked to the café.
Theo was there by her side as soon as she walked in the door.
“We are having a meeting,” he said, looking at Emily, who nodded.
Lisa knew this might be the end of her work at the café. With a heavy heart, she sat at the table where they had their morning meetings.
Emily brought tea and coffee for them and had a small watch timer on the table for the cakes in the oven.
“So,” Theo said, “you had been here some days. How do you like it here?”
“I love it. I wanted to work hard, and this was perfect.” Lisa put on her best smile and tried to sound as sincere as possible. She felt her hands sweat.
Emily looked at her.
“We love having you here, but something puzzles us.”
Here we go, thought Lisa.
“What?” Lisa was very nervous now.
“It seems like you know a lot of people and that people are very fond of you.”
“I was wondering what you actually did in your old life because it seems to catch up with you. The older woman said she could not make decisions without you, and the man that grabbed you seemed very upset. Tell us what is going on.”
Lisa had a big decision to make. Was she going to tell them or stay silent?
“We just want to know what is going on so we can make sure everything and everyone is ok,” Theo said.
Lisa decided on a middle-ground solution.
“I worked in communication before and sometimes had clients I helped with life decisions, a kind of counseling. That is why they came to me. I chose to walk away from that world because I needed a break to try to be normal. So now I am working here, and I am ok with people coming. I was more worried you might think it strange. I will try to keep my counseling clients away.”
“NO!” Theo cut in a little too loud.
“They buy coffee and cake like everyone else, so they are welcome. You must know that we only want happy customers, and you make that happen. We just wanted to know what was going on.”
Emily, who had been silent, said.
“I was worried when I saw the police officer and that man grabbing you. The two elderly ladies are the sweetest but also hang on to you. It is fine as long as we know what is going on.”
“Thank you,” Lisa’s husky voice almost didn’t let any words out.
She was relieved that she was not getting fired or thrown out. She liked the job and would like to keep it. She took a deep breath.
“So,” Lisa said to lighten the mood, “Are we done? The chairs are waiting for me.”
Theo laughed, and Emily smiled.
“Don’t you want to hear what cakes I am making? Oh, cakes,” Emily flew up, knocking over her chair.
“I am going to be right back,” she shouted as she ran to the kitchen.
Theo looked at Lisa.
“Are you sure communication is all you want to call it? It seems like there is more to it.”
“Of course there is, but it is all communication and counseling. I am sure It will die down once I make sure they all know I am only working at a café and not my old job.”
Theo looked at her
“Just as long as everyone is ok.” He held his gaze.
“I think we are ok. “
Lisa smiled as she stood up and went to the first chair. “
I will take the chairs down and prepare for opening.”
Theo stood up and agreed.
“I am going to clean the table after the chairs.”
“No need to wait,” Lisa said.
Theo looked like he had more to say but went to the office.
The cakes had been saved at the very last moment and looked on the darker side. Emily had started new cakes at once.
“That damn timer,” Emily had shouted in the kitchen, and Lisa had laughed out loud.
While putting sugar containers on the tables after wiping them down, Lisa thought about the café and what the day would bring. She had already seen four dead people around the tables; one had even talked to her. She ignored her, of course, but now Lisa wondered what was to come.
It would not be long before she knew what was going on.
Theo came into the room, and the dead woman said
“There he is.”
Lisa got startled, made a small jump, and almost dropped the sugar container in her hand.
Theo looked at her funny when she reacted to something he could not hear.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
“Did you hear something?” He looked around.
She could see the dead woman approach him and tried not to stare. How on earth was she going to tackle this situation, she thought.
“I thought I heard something,” she said, “but I am ok.”
Theo was about to say something when he jumped to one side.
“Are you ok?” Lisa smiled. She knew the dead woman put her finger in his ear, making him jump.
Theo looked startled and not in a good mood.
“NO! Something touched me,” he yelled.
Lisa looked at him and said,
“but no one is here, Theo.”
“Who do you think it is?” She did not want to give anything away.
“Who?” he raised his eyebrows.
“Do you think it is a who?”
“I don’t think it was a bird that flew in and touched you.”
Theo looked scared and without any desire to be in the room.
“So, who do you know who would want to talk to you from the dead?” She tried to sound like she knew nothing about dead people.
Theo looked at her.
“Why? Are you going to summon the dead person?” His voice was high-pitched and trembling.
A smile escaped Lisa, and she tried her hardest not to laugh.
“Maybe,” he said, now a little less shaken.
“I am going to my office, and I hope no one is following me there.” His arms waved, and he shouted leave me alone, dead people.
Lisa could not keep his laugh in anymore, and she burst into loud laughter.
“What kind of hand gesture is that?” she laughed
“Are you doing Tae kwon do?”
Theo did not seem like he found it funny.
“They have been doing this for years,” he said loud enough for Emily to come running. She looked at Theo, who was still shaking, and said
“Is it those dead people again?”
Lisa stopped her laugh and said
“Have you had this problem for a long time?”
She realized there might be a God-given plan in her work at the café. Maybe this was a little too much of a coincidence.
“It has been going on for almost ten years. The spirits are after him. They are teasing him, and he had done nothing wrong.” Emily looked like she was about to explode.
The dead woman who had touched Theo now came to stand beside him.
“He killed someone and doesn’t want to own up to it. He is a coward and a murderer. You have to help me.”
Lisa ignored her but could not help but feel curious.
“Maybe they just want to tell you something,” she said, “maybe it is all about owning up to something or listening.”
Theo stood up straight and said
“I am going to the office.”
He turned on his heels and walked so fast he almost ran.