Self Expression Magazine

I Cried

Posted on the 04 August 2018 by Lee Bemrose @LeeBemrose
Today in the cafe... it was a good day. Busy, but more importantly, many laughs were had. I can't express how fortunate I feel to be working with the current Team Awesome. Ari and Jodie are amazing humans. It's really sad to think that our paths might never have crossed, given that I can't imagine them not being in my life.
At the end of this beautiful day, an older guy comes into the cafe. He's on the phone organising coffee for other people. He says into the phone - yes, that's where I am now. Does Veronica want a chocolate brownie too? No? All good then. See you soon.
He orders three coffees and the chocolate brownie. I think it's a bit odd that he's wearing sunglasses on this overcast day.
As I make the coffees he tells me brightly, "Your coffee is highly rated by my daughter. She loves your coffee. She thinks you're the best barista in the area."
Naturally I'm happy to hear this and ask who his daughter is, thinking she must be a regular, maybe one I know by name.
"Oh, we've been in here a couple of times." His tone suggests I wouldn't remember them. Not regulars then. "My daughter is in hospital."
I keep glancing at him in the mirror, trying to remember. There is something there, but those sunglasses make it difficult. Then it comes to me.
"Have you both been in her exactly twice? And did you sit at that table by the door both times?"
He smiles at me. "Yes, that's us."
I remember them clearly now. They made an impression. They struck me as a loving father and daughter. I remember her plain beauty and something about her presence, her vibe. She seemed to me to be enthusiastic and appreciative. I remember her mentioning hospital and thinking she doesn't seem to have any injuries and seemed in good health. Maybe she was referring to someone else, I thought at the time.
Back in the present, I asked the man if his daughter is okay.
"Well... yes," he says through sunglasses clearly not worn as protection against the glare. "She has mental health issues that she has to be hospitalised for sometimes."
"Ah. I'm sorry to hear that. I do remember you both. She seems like a lovely person."
"Oh you got that right. Lovely person." In that tone, I can feel the love. "There's just this thing we have to deal with. We just have to get through it."
The transaction done, I tell him that I hope his daughter is okay and that I hope he is okay. I tell him to take care. He thanks me with a smile and leaves the cafe.
I close the door and... I don't know exactly what it is... the fact there is so much care and love about him or the fact that he is doing this mundane thing like buying coffee and sweets before returning to whatever it is that they have to get through, but watching this basically very decent, loving, gentle old man cross the road, it breaks me. Alone in my banged up little cafe, I just cry. I really fucking cry.

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