A Day at the Café!

I was lucky to enter the Cafe before it began raining. My favourite corner was empty. Keeping the bag by my side, I sank into the cosy spongy couch. Then I pulled the menu and sanitized it with my little spray bottle. The waiter had forgotten to disinfect, just that. After scanning it left and right for almost five minutes, I placed the same order – Cafe Latte and Hot Brownie.

Raindrops had started collecting on the windowpane but weren’t hiding the view, yet. The market was in full swing for the ongoing festive season. In a few minutes, roadside hawkers started showing rapid movements. While few tried to settle within the fixed-shop sheds behind, others pulled up their temporary blue-plastic sheds. As the rain got heavier, parents clasped their kids’ hands and rushed inside random shops. The sight was ecstatic. I got so lost in the scene that I forgot it was over 15 minutes with no sign of my order yet. Just as I looked around in agitation, I saw the order coming. The waiter’s smile along with the tray, took away most of my bad mood.

As I got comfortable in the couch once again, the coffee’s mild bitterness and melting brownie elevated the rest of my mood. Half-done eating, I took out the mobile phone to call him. It was 20 minutes up the decided time. As I unlocked the phone, there was a text.

“Sorry, can’t make it today. Can we meet tomorrow?”, it read.

My disappointment was short-lived, for I’d served my sweet cravings for the day. I gestured the waiter to get the bill. The waiter came but surprised me with a rose flower instead of a bill in the tray.

“This is for you Mam”, he said keeping the tray on the table.

I was baffled. Unable to comprehend, I immediately asked, “What is this?”

“Mam, Sir asked me to give this to you. We don’t have flowers here, so I had to go to a florist to buy it. This is also why your order got late.”

Still trying to comprehend who had sent it, I picked up the digitally typed note kept beside the flower.

It read, “Like you said, this rose is the first step towards defeating depression! Don’t worry about the bill, it’s paid. I know that you charge even when clients don’t turn up for the scheduled meeting. Let’s meet tomorrow, if you are free.”

With a wide smile on my face, I picked my bag and exited the cafe. In my 10-year career as a Counsellor, I hadn’t seen such a thoughtful client. As I sat in my car, I noticed that the rain had stopped, and the market was back in action. As the chauffeur drove me back home, I kept the windows open to smell the petrichor!

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