A Short Story

By Sarah Leck

8PM, but it smelled like breakfast and early mornings. The smell of coffee roasting wafting through the air from this café that I have never entered, only passed by. The sign tells me it’s only open 2 days out of 7. It’s just as well, I’d be too shy to pop in anyway, and I can’t drink coffee anyway. But on the days it had coffee beans roasting, I’d catch the scent of it and think of my dad

Every morning, he’d have a cup of coffee with something – bread, toast, waffles. His morning routine wasn’t complete without coffee. Before I was tall enough to see what was on the dining table, I’d climb onto a chair near him and demand to have whatever he was having, but he’d always laugh it off and say I wouldn’t like it. That didn’t stop me from trying to take sips from his cup whenever he wasn’t looking, to the point where he’d take his cup wherever he went so I couldn’t. I have vague memories of how he used to drink his coffee black, but over the years the liquid turned paler as it got diluted with milk, as he lost his temper and mellowed out too. There were many things he wouldn’t share with me, with us, but being curious children we’d have a taste eventually; we’d dig deep enough to find out what we wanted to know, eventually

We had a relationship like two teenage boys who didn’t know how to express themselves – I think we still do. But I’ll always remember my indomitable father, whom I saw one Sunday crying quietly by himself over the loss of his father.