The café owner had a solid gold cup underneath the counter and kept it safe from customers. He served the perfect espresso in white delicate ceramic cups. The drinks were often on the house when Bessa brought in new members of staff from the theatre to be introduced to the neighbourhood. The owner was always welcoming and kind. The first day in a new job, no matter how exciting the arts profession could be, it felt like a lonely place on a first day.
The food off the café grill was served generously to guest artistes who were appearing on the theatre’s stage for just one night. They were passing through and had no time to make connections with friends. The solitary nature of their craft meant the warmth given along with a corned beef and pickle sandwich would always be more welcome than the a soulless packaged up club sandwich from an anonymous chain store restaurant.
The secret the café owner held back from the local cultural committee who managed access to important historical regional antiquities must have been a burden. He had an agenda to keep the café on the map. It stood behind the theatre and was more of a social service than a going concerned. For a few coins you could always get your fill of hot food. He was an everyday hero and although she may not return for some time, Bessa hoped he was still there.
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